Sequatchie River

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Sequatchie River
Sequatchie River.jpg
A stream gage along the Sequatchie River near Whitwell, Tennessee
Origin Devilstep Hollow Cave in Cumberland County, Tennessee
Mouth Tennessee River in Marion County, Tennessee
Basin countries US
Source elevation 1080 ft (329 m)
Mouth elevation 595 ft (181 m)
The Sequatchie drainage basin, located within the upper Tennessee drainage basin

The Sequatchie River is a 116-mile-long (187 km)[1] waterway that drains the Sequatchie Valley, a large valley in the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee.


Sequatchie River in Pikeville, Tennessee

The Sequatchie River's source is a massive spring which flows out of Head of Sequatchie Spring. It receives the drainage of Grassy Cove, a pastoral limestone region several miles to the north from which the drainage has no surface outlet, through a spectacular series of underground passages. This cave is located in the southeastern portion of Cumberland County, and the water flowing from it is augmented by that of other sizeable springs and small streams, at least one of which provided enough flow for an early textile industry. The stream crosses into Bledsoe County and is at the floor of a valley that trends generally southwestward and is several miles wide. Natives of the area tend to call the portion of the Cumberland Plateau to the west of the valley the "Cumberland Mountains" or "the Plateau" and that to the east of it Walden's Ridge. The Sequatchie Valley is traversed throughout much its length by U.S. Highway 127. The first sizeable town on the Sequatchie is Pikeville. State Route 30, which descends Walden's Ridge into the Valley and then climbs the escarpment back onto the plateau, crosses here.

Crossing into Sequatchie County, the stream flows into Dunlap. Just north of Dunlap, U.S. 127 turns southeastward, beginning the ascent onto Walden Ridge and eventually down into Chattanooga. A set of railroad tracks previously ran along the river from this point, testament to heavy underground coal extraction in years past. For almost the rest of its length the Sequatchie is paralleled by State Route 28. State Route 283 also runs along the base of the Walden's Ridge escarpment for several miles. The river then enters Marion County. The town of Whitwell is just a few miles into Marion County. Below Whitwell at the small community of Sequatchie (also known as Sequachee) the Sequatchie receives the flow of the Little Sequatchie River. At Jasper, which is slightly west of the river, is a railroad junction. East of town is the crossing of U.S. Highway 41 by SR 28, and the bridge over the river. Shortly south of the Interstate 24 bridge is the mouth of the Sequatchie into the Guntersville Lake impoundment of the Tennessee River.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The National Map". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved Feb 16, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°1′31″N 85°38′8″W / 35.02528°N 85.63556°W / 35.02528; -85.63556