cruising the cumberland
:: The Cumberland River ::
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Navigable year round, the Lower Cumberland winds 192 miles from Nashville to Smithland at the Ohio River. It flows through ridges and valleys and
is an absolutely beautiful cruise.  All total, the Cumberland River is 688 miles long, and starts in Harlan County in far southeastern Kentucky between
Pine and Cumberland mountains. It flows through southern Kentucky, and crosses into northern Tennessee.  The bulk of the traffic is to and from
Nashville to the mouth. There are but two barge terminals above Nashville , a DuPont Chemical dock just above Old Hickory L&D and a TVA coal-fired
steam power plant at  Gallatin, 54 miles above  Nashville. While the Cumberland is technically navigable up to mile 381, (190 miles above Nashville)
there is no commercial navigation above mile 244.  Celina, Tennessee is the beginning (and ending) of navigation for commercial vessels.

Heading heading south just past Paducah you can start your journey from Green Turtle Marina. From Green Turtle Marina you head south
through Barkley Lake on the Cumberland.  Barkley Lake State Park Marina is at mile marker 59.1. Clarksville  is at mile 126.1. From Clarksville it is an
easy 32 miles and 1 lock to Ashland City, and then another 32 miles to Nashville. If you have the time, this is a great side-trip.

Nashville, Tennessee is located on the Cumberland river and is a great river city. They have a nice riverfront with courtesy docks for those visiting
the city by boat. There are plenty of restaurants near the landing that is located right downtown. The river is quite narrow through Nashville so when
towboats are present it is wise to give them plenty of room.

Along your voyage on the Cumberland, you can head out to the Cherokee Steak House, and cruise by Reba McEntire's home located just North
of Lebanon, TN (30 miles east of Nashville) on the Cumberland River. On your way there, you can cruise past the homes of Tanya Tucker, Crystal
Gayle, Barbara Mandrell, Ashley Judd, and Johnny Depp as well as Brad Pitt's fishing hide-away.  

From the Cumberland River at mile 33 you will enter the Barkley Canal. This is a one mile-long canal that leads to Kentucky Lake on the
Tennessee River, and on to the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.  
The Cumberland River:
At Cairo, you will leave the Mississippi and cruise up the Ohio
River 47 miles and enter the Tennessee River at Paducah, or
you can go another 12 miles and enter the Cumberland River.
Both take you to the same place. The Tennessee River route is
more direct, and the Cumberland route is more popular. The
Barkley Canal connects these two routes just beyond Green
Turtle Marina.
Location - Location - Location
We've all heard what they say about location when it comes to real estate. The same for sure applies to Marinas: Hoppies,
Green Turtle, Kentucky Dam and Bobbies Fish Camp are all important marina locations for Loopers.  Soon, one (again) will open
up on the Ohio at Paducah.
This route - the Tennessee - Tombigbee route VS the Lower Mississippi route:  As you can see, provides many wonderful
things for boaters to see and do. In addition, it offers
over 100 Marinas between the Ohio River and the Gulf of Mexico, whereas the
Lower Mississippi river offers only two. This is an important fact to consider when making your decision on which route to take.
In addition, you will be boating in the most popular and beautiful inland lakes and river area in the USA.
The Cumberland River is fantastic cruising, and it will take you on a wonderful safe side trip to Nashville, Tennessee.
The Cumberland River will take you on a great side trip to Nashville.
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