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Appalachian Trail for the river | Roane County to be part of TN Riverline project

The project creates experiences along the river from Knoxville to Paducah, Ky.

KINGSTON, Tenn. — Love a good outdoor adventure? How about paddling the Appalachian Trail of the Tennessee River?

The Tennessee Riverline project aims to create a series of experiences along the river that would showcase the beauty and versatility of one of Tennessee's greatest assets.

"We have 40 miles of the Tennessee River in Roane County," Roane County Executive Ron Woody said.

The beauty of the Tennessee River is unmistakable.

RELATED: German researcher swimming the entire Tennessee River

"We think it's the largest section of the Tennessee River in one county," Woody said.

Roane County executive Ron Woody says his community wants to capitalize on that.

"We've always, in Roane County, enjoyed our river system," Woody said.

The county plans to be a part of the Tennessee Riverline project. It's a series of experiences along the river that will connect Knoxville to Paducah, Ky.

"We think it'll be kayaking, paddling, it could even be pleasure boats that can do the river system," Woody said. "You could have places where people are paddling the river that have stop points that they can camp overnight."

Woody doesn't know exactly what the project will do just yet. But that won't be the case for long.

UT professor Brad Collett and his students will host community workshops in Roane County and four other places along the River this summer. It's part of the pilot program that started in March to hear what people want.

"One of the things that we're hoping to achieve through the pilot program is to sit down with the leadership and with the residents of the community to understand how this project aligns with the needs and priorities," Collett said.

He says communities like Roane County are the start. It's going to take every city's involvement to be successful, though.

That's something Woody can see happening sooner rather than later.

"It's going to be enjoyable to work with the other four communities too, because I think everyone will bring a little different insight into how we want to take advantage of this great natural asset that we have," Woody said.

Roane County's scheduled week for pilot program activities is July 22.

For more information, head to the Tennessee Riverline website.

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