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I have tried to include every river in Tennessee with the following general exceptions:
1 Rivers which are designated as "XXXX Fork" or "(Directional) Fork of the ______ River". I have made three notable exceptions to this. The Big South Fork of the Cumberland River is a significant stream in its own right and the namesake of a quite large National Recreation Area. It is one of the best-known streams for canoeing and, especially, kayaking, in the southeastern United States. Its upstream reaches are generally known as the "Clear Fork River", not merely "Clear Fork", so this is also included as a significant river. The Caney Fork River is also known as a fairly major river in its own right, and impounded by two significant dams, so it too is listed separately.
2 Rivers which are without major surface expression. Example: "Indian River" in Grainger County. This river flows through Indian Cave, and at the mouth of the cave empties almost immediately into the Cherokee Lake impoundment of the Holston River. To be included, I feel that a river needs a surface course of at least several miles' length, not simply a few hundred feet or yards.
If you disgaree, please say why on this page. I don't pretend to have all the answers, or know even all of the right questions. Also, if I have failed to include a river of significance in Tennessee which meets the parameters above, please include it on the list and write an article about it, if you have the time, knowledge, and inclination to do so. Failing that, please "stub" it and I'll try to research it and write the article when I have the time.