Nolichucky River

Located in North Carolina to Tennessee

All About It

  • The Nolichucky River begins at the confluence of the North Toe River and Cane River about 10 miles before it enters Tennessee. The Nolichucky River continues to flow west until it meets the French Broad River at Douglas Lake near White Pine, Tennessee.



  • Origin of the name place have been debated and remained unclear, it is believed to come from a distortion of the nearby Cherokee village which is now in Jonesborough, TN called (roughly) Na’na-tlu gun'yi, which Spruce-Tree Place in English.
  • Take out on river right at the set of wooden steps. The mystery spot known as Cowbell is about 300 yards downstream on the left. Alternate U.S.F.S. take out at Chestoa is about 1 mile further on the right.
  • Most of the history of the Nolichucky River Valley has been largely forgotten, even since European settlers moved into the territory. Up until that time, for thousands of years, Native Americans inhabited along the banks and in the surrounding woodlands. "Here, in 1776, militiamen built Fort Lee near the confluence of the Big Limestone Creek and the Nolichucky River. Future Tennessee Governor John Sevier, then a lieutenant, was in charge of constructing and garrisoning the fort, built to defend the frontier settlers of Upper East Tennessee (then North Carolina) against an invading Cherokee army during the Revolutionary War. The Cherokees burned Fort Lee in July 1776. The site of the fort is believed to be in the vicinity of the David Crockett birthplace State park. The park preserves the site of the original farm of John Crockett; his son David was born at this property in 1786."


Nolichucky Commerce has a Camp ground which helps with money. People can get jobs as a Tour guide, help with water rafting and also being a hiker. They do not use this river for any transportation but you can see this river if you go through route 107 in Tennessee. The Fishing industry is very good such as only will anglers encounter plenty of smallmouth, but rainbow trout and muskie also inhabit the gin clear waters of the Nolichucky.

Water levels and the time of year determine which sections of the river we are guiding on. All in all, the Nolichucky will rival any smallmouth bass river in the world for scenery and quality/size of fish.


  • Avery
  • Buncombe
  • Madison
  • Mitchell
  • Yancey


  • Bakersville
  • Burnsville
  • Newland
  • Spruce Pine
  • Sugar Mountain


  • 1990: 36,321
  • 58 per mi2 2000" 41,556 or 66 per mi2

2001 Land Cover

  • Developed: 5.6%
  • Forest: 81.6%
  • Agriculture: 8.5%
  • Other: 4.3%

EPA Level 5 Eco-regions

  • Southern Crystalline Ridges and Mountains
  • Southern Meta-sedimentary Mountains
  • Southern Sedimentary Ridges High Mountains

Population and Land Cover

~ The Nolichucky River sub-basin has the lowest overall population, and lowest population density in the French Broad River basin. It is also growing at a slower pace than the rest of the basin. This sub-basin has the greatest percentage of the land covered by forest and is the least agricultural. This is mostly likely the result of steep slopes and lack of suitable locations for development and agriculture.


The rivers of North Carolina are an interesting and rich natural resource. They have and continues to make an impact on the people of North Carolina and all of those who visit. There are always new things to learn about these tremendous rivers and the opportunities they provide for people to make a living, to relax and enjoy and to treasure as a natural resource.