The Little Tennessee River

Categories: Fishing, River Rafting, Tubing & Kayaking


  •  Multiple pull-offs along NC Highway 28 for easy access outside of Franklin NC
  •  Some of the best Small Mouth Bass Fishing in the world 
  •  Fishing on this river has been featured in magazines on the "Outdoor Channel" 
  •  Home to a variety of endangerd mussel species 
  •  Great for the entire family: Swimming, Fishing, Canoeing, Rafting, Tubing

The Local Scoop

We highly recommend The Little Tennessee River in the Franklin NC area for it's outstanding Small Mouth Bass fishing opportunities as well as it's recreational values. Take the whole family down the river on tubes or in a canoe for a fun filled day of exploration or strap on your waders with a fishing buddy and catch Small Mouth Bass until your arms give out from "setting the hook".
The Franklin NC area has opportunities to rent floatation devices such as canoes, kayaks and tubes to enjoy the river on, or buy your own. There are many pull-offs to enjoy the river from, one being an access point just off of N.C. Hwy 28 North on "Sanderstown Rd.", located at the corner of Iotla Bridge. There is also a tube/canoe/raft rental business located near here, that boasts it's own supply store with fishing tackle and guide service, as well as a campground area.
While you're on NC Hwy 28, stop by one of the local Gem Mines in our area that are world famous for their semi-precious stones including rubies and sapphires. Some of the land that belongs to a current gem mine was once sought out by world famous jewelers, "Tiffany & Co.". So, if you're staying in the Frankln area, makes sure to take full advantage of what the Little Tennessee River has to offer.  Also, while in town, be sure to stop at one of the 5 access points to Franklin's Little Tennessee River Greenway.

The Local Directions

Two Recommended areas to access the river:
Needmore Rd inTelico:
From intersection of Main Street and Depot Street (Adjacent to "Hot Spot") in Franklin, take "Riverview Road" North to N.C. Hwy-28 North for 13 miles to Tellico Road on your left and over the "lost bridge." Continue for another 1.2 miles (bearing right just over the bridge) to Needmore Road on your right. Take this gravel road down to the river for numerous fishing opportunities. 

Sanderstown Rd./NC Hwy 28 & Iotla Bridge:
From intersection of Main Street and Depot Street (Adjacent to "Hot Spot") in Franklin, take "Riverview Road" North to N.C. Hwy-28 North for 4.5 miles to "Iotla Bridge" crossing the Little Tennessee River. Once across take the immediate Right onto "Sanderstown Road" and to gravel pull off on the Right a few hundred feet from Hwy-28.

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Distance From
FROM (Town): Franklin, 4.5 miles HIKE: Roadside
35.28880, -83.49173
35.23535, -83.39549
Macon County