ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. — Researchers are meeting in Roane County to discuss the Tennessee RiverLine Project. The project looks to provide a series of experiences along the waterway that will connect Knoxville to Paducah, Ky.

Tennessee RiverLine will create a continuous 652-mile system of paddling, hiking and biking tails, according to UT's website.  

This goal is to create environmental, recreational, and economic opportunities along the river.

"I think you're going to be able to access two cities from the river, and from a long term standpoint, I think we'll see some added benefit from tourists that will come into our community," Roane County executive Ron Woody said.

About 4.5 million people call the Tennessee River Valley their home, and over half of them live in communities along the banks.

40 miles of the Tennessee River flows through Roane County, and county leaders hope this project will help bring more people out to the water. 

Researchers chose five areas out of a possible 17 to participate in this pilot program. One of those areas is Roane County. Other areas include: Benton County, Tenn., The Shoals, Ala., Bridgeport, Ala., and Paducah, Ky.   

Members of the Tennessee RiverLine Partnership include representatives from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee State Parks and The National Park Service.

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Researchers want your feedback. They're traveling around the region to learn how communities use the river already to get a better idea of what people want to see.

On Tuesday, the public shared its thoughts on what changes it would like to see in Roane County. Tennessee RiverLine organizers hope the project will also showcase the value of the river for the future.

Couldn't attend the meeting? You can still share your feedback online through this survey. 

To read more about the pilot program, click here.