Hiwassee River History

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Hiwassee River, Tennessee

Did you know that the Hiwassee River goes by different names depending on what state it’s in?

The headwaters of the Hiwassee begin in Towns County, Georgia, then flow north into North Carolina before heading west into Tennessee. But in Georgia, the river is called the Hiawassee. The “a” is dropped when it enters the Tar Heel State.

The name, by either spelling, comes from the Cherokee word “Ayuhwasi,” which means “meadow.”

The river is much calmer than the nearby Ocoee River, which is why it’s popular among families. Webb Brothers Float Service offers trips down the Hiwassee River from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

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