Obed Wild and Scenic River

There are 208 beautiful streams in the United States designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers. One of them is the Obed Wild and Scenic River, which runs for a mere 43 miles, plunging from a height of 1,860 feet to an elevation of 846 feet during its run. Couched in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, the river twists and turns through the deep valleys before it gushes into the Emory River near Wartburg, TN. The area through which the Obed runs is filled with deep canyons and high ridges and covered in forests that include 35 different species of virgin deciduous trees, giving the land around the river a canopy of burgeoning green in the spring and brilliant colors in the fall. The Obed and two of its main tributaries — Daddy Creek and Clear Creek — provide some of the country's best whitewater rafting. Whitewater experts, who find the river more challenging than most, come from Knoxville or Chattanooga to meet the streams' unique challenges. 

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Obed Wild and Scenic River

When visitors come to the Obed Wild and Scenic River, they find incredible views along the main roads that skirt the stream. Photo opportunities abound in this part of the country, where rocky outcrops, 500-foot-deep valleys, and towering ridges dominate the landscape. Trailheads for hikers and bikers seem to spring out at travelers around every bend. Rafters find adventure while navigating a river that twists, turns, and plummets through the deep valleys. 

Hiking Trails



Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Obed Wild and Scenic River

The quickest route to the Obed Wild and Scenic River Visitor Center in Wartburg is through Knoxville, TN. Start by driving from Knoxville toward the west and find Interstate 40 West (I-40 W). Once you are on I-40 W, go for 11.74 miles. At Exit 376A, take a right to merge onto Tennessee Highway 162 North (TN-162 N), which takes you toward Oak Ridge. Drive for 5.87 miles and take the left ramp onto Tennessee Highway 62 West (TN-62 W). Go for 28.27 miles into Wartburg, where you find the Obed Wild and Scenic River Visitor Center. Once there, you see directions to several different entrances to the Obed scenic area.

The Obed Wild and Scenic River is open year-round. Visitors are advised to use caution during freezing weather as conditions become harsh. Visiting this area provides you and your family with one of the most unique experiences you will find in America.


208 North Maiden Street, Wartburg, TN 37887

Fee: Entry fee $0

A park like the Obed Wild and Scenic River is a perfect spot to use an RV. Camping overnight is almost expected, especially for those who are looking for a wild river experience whitewater rafting or fishing for native trout. It is easy to move from one trailhead to another in an RV, and there are several along the park's stretch. After hiking, biking, swimming, or rafting through a full day, the comfort of an RV is a welcome thought.