Super Loopers - cruising America's Great Loop
Cruising the Tennessee Tombigbee - Tenn-Tom
cruising the Tennessee Tombigbee on America's Great Loop
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Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, begins near its
eastern border with Georgia and then flows westward, before
flowing northward back into Tennessee. It connects the
Tennessee river at Pickwick Lake to the Tombigbee river at
Demopolis AL. The largest lakes it traverses are Guntersville,
Wheeler, Wilson and Pickwick.

As a Looper, if you are also an angler, sightseer or lover of
history, you will want to take a side-trip along the full navigable
length of the Tennessee River, from Paducah to Chattanooga
and Knoxville before entering the Tenn-Tom Waterway.
This leg of your voyage is 234 miles.
It is 300 feet wide and 9 feet deep and is the Loopers best route to the Gulf of Mexico. It is made up of 10 Locks and connects you to the Gulf of
Mexico and the Gulf ICW at Mobile Bay. This route is offers more Marinas, fuel stops and things to see and do compared to the much longer Lower
Mississippi route from Cairo to the Gulf ICW.
The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (more commonly referred to as the Tenn-Tom) is a 234-mile long
man-made waterway connecting the Tennessee River and the Tombigbee River. The north end connects to the
Tennessee River near where the borders of River near its confluence with the Black Warrior River at
Demopolis, Alabama.
This of course, is your route to Mobile Bay and the Gulf ICW.

For now, it is enough to know, that you will NOT be alone on the Tenn-Tom. More then 15,000 recreational
boats a year are transiting the Waterway in all directions between Cuba Landing in Waverly Tennessee and
Mobile, AL. In addition commercial Barges and Tow boats are running 24 hours a day.

Maybe the most important item you need to know, is that the only fuel available between Demopolis and
Easter Shore Marina in Mobile Bay is Bobby's Fish Camp. That makes it the fourth farthest distance between
fuel stops on the entire Great Loop and the
second farthest on the Tennessee -Tombigbee route.  

There are some 40 recreation areas and some of the very best fresh water fishing in the world. In addition,
(unlike the Lower Mississippi) there are plenty of safe anchorages and marinas to meet your needs.

The Demopolis to Mobile portion of this journey however is about as remote and uninhabited as you will
find on your entire Great Loop adventure. It is a natural river stretch of some 200 miles, and if you are going
slow and easy as I always do, you will need provisions for 3 or 4 days of anchoring out. It is however a beautiful
voyage.

All it all, between the Tennessee River, the Tenn-Tom, the Black Warrior-Tombigbee, and the Alabama River,
provides boaters voyaging America's Great Loop an opportunity to boat right to and through some amazing
places.

Cruising the Tenn-Tom requires "boating out of the box". That means that all you have ever learned still
demands the use of your own good common sense. All turns and bends in the river are not all wide enough for
you and that Barge or Tow. You won’t always be able to follow the charts, and you don't even want to think
about cruising at night.  Go slow, sit back and take in the sounds and the scenery. Take time to stop along the
way.
Our opinion:  When it comes to choosing between taking the Tenn-Tom route vs the Lower Mississippi route,
of course the 1st decision has to be based on your vessel's fuel range. The 2nd decision has to be based on
your lifestyle, and that of your crew or Mate. The Tenn-Tom (direct) route offers 38 marinas, convenient stops,
and plenty of safe anchorages, amenities, great site seeing and wonderful side trip opportunities.  Sad but true,
this is the very most enjoyable, fun and relaxing route to take. For those wishing to visit New Orleans, we suggest
this route and heading west on the Gulf ICW from Mobile Bay.

       DON'T KNOW WHY. . .  But many Loopers express dread or boredom over cruising the Tenn-Tom, fact is
however, there is plenty to do and see along this route - if you're not wearing blinders.
      Camping & Picnic facilities are located at eight major recreation areas along this 234 mile Tenn-Tom. In
addition Demopolis has some great history as well as a couple of great restaurants and a Golf course for the
Golfers among us. The Old Red Barn Restaurant (not the old chain restaurant) in Demopolis is a favorite and a
"don't miss" in my book.
      This portion of your journey is an easy 234 miles and has some great scenery. So just take your time and
enjoy the sites. Lots of nature along this route.
      Most likely, you will have to anchor out two (maybe 3), nights on this leg of your voyage. (We mention that,
only because some Loopers would rather pay to stay in a Marina every night.
Bobby's Fish Camp
The only fuel available between Demopolis and
Eastern  Shore or Dog River Marinas in Mobile Bay.
This makes it a
must fuel stop for most of us, as it is
in the middle between 200 plus mile stretch, between
Demopolis and Mobile Bay.

The Catfish dinner is a bonus!
Bobby's Fish Camp is said to serve the best catfish in the world.  I agree. They have fuel of course,
but I always stop for the catfish.
Your last 10 miles or so before reaching Mobile harbor will get very busy. Not only is there a lot of commercial
traffic, you are entering an area with a NO WAKE speed zone. While there are choices, on both sides of Mobile
Bay, once I pass the I-10 bridge, I head east to Fairhope, and Eastern Shore Marina which is 11 miles away.  
Eastern Shore Marina is located in a protected area just up the Fly Creek channel at the town of Fairhope. It
offers transient slips, gas and diesel, pump out facilities, great shower and laundry facilities, and a courtesy car.
It also has free WIFI access, mast stepping, marine supplies, and a full service maintenance facility. It is close to
shops, restaurants, and also has on site rental cars for longer use if you need or want one. For those wanting to
visit New Orleans, it is only a two and a half hour rental car drive away from Fairhope.  

Marinas on the
Tennessee - Tombigbee
route from Cairo to
Mobile Bay
Mile 22
Kentucky Dam Marina
www.kydammarina.com

Green Turtle Bay
Mile 25
www.greenturtlebay.com

Pebble Isle Marina
Mile 96
www.pebble-isle.hypermart.net/

Birdsong Marina
Mile 103.5
www.birdsong.com

Cuba Landing Marina
Mile 115.5
www.cubalandingmarina.com

Clifton Marina
Mile 158.5
www.cityofclifton.com

Grand Harbor Marina
Mile 440.7
www.gograndharbor.com

Aqua Yacht Harbor
Mile 448.7
www.aquayachtharbor.com

Bay Springs Marina
Mile 412
www.bsmarina.com

Midway Tenn-Tom
www.midwayonthetenntom.com

Aberdeen Marina
Mile 358.2
www.aberdeenmarina.com

Columbus Marina
Mile 334.7
www.columbusmarina.com

Pirate’s Marina Cove
Mile 307.4
www.thepiratesplace.com

Demopolis Yacht Basin
Mile 216.7
www.demyb.com

Bobby’s Fish Camp
Mile 118.9
(251) 754-9225

Eastern Shore Marine, Inc.
Near marker 72
www.easternshoremarineinc.
com
Tennessee -Tombigbee

= Don't Miss!

Birdsong Marina is the
location of North America's
only fresh water Pearl Farm.

Bobby's Fish Camp is a must
for both fuel & Catfish Dinner
The Tennessee -Tombigbee Waterway
White Cliffs on Tennessee - Tombigbee
THE RED BARN RESTAURANT - Last time we were in Demopolis, we called the Red Barn and they picked
us up and returned us to the Marina.
      Demopolis is a great overnight stay - and your next stop - about 95 miles down river - will be Bobby's
Fish Camp. Bobby's Fish Camp is a must fuel stop for many. It will be your last fuel stop until you reach
Mobile Bay. Your last Lock is just 3 miles past Bobby's Fish Camp.