Sequatchie River
Sequatchie River.jpg
A stream gage along the Sequatchie River near Whitwell, Tennessee
The Sequatchie drainage basin
CountryUnited States
Physical characteristics
SourceBrady Mountain in Cumberland County, Tennessee
 • coordinates35°49′17″N 84°58′40″W / 35.82139°N 84.97778°W / 35.82139; -84.97778[1]
 • elevation2,460 ft (750 m)[1]
MouthTennessee River near Jasper, Tennessee
 • coordinates
35°01′31″N 85°38′07″W / 35.02528°N 85.63528°W / 35.02528; -85.63528Coordinates: 35°01′31″N 85°38′07″W / 35.02528°N 85.63528°W / 35.02528; -85.63528[1]
 • elevation
597 ft (182 m)[1]
Length116 mi (187 km)[2]
Basin size602 sq mi (1,560 km2)[3]
 • locationWhitwell, Tennessee, 25.1 miles (40.4 km) above the mouth(mean for water years 1920-1983)[4]
 • average745 cu ft/s (21.1 m3/s)(mean for water years 1920-1983)[4]
 • minimum16 cu ft/s (0.45 m3/s)
September 1925[4]
 • maximum32,500 cu ft/s (920 m3/s)
March 1973[4]
Basin features
 • rightLittle Sequatchie River

The Sequatchie River is a 116-mile-long (187 km)[2] waterway that drains the Sequatchie Valley, a large valley in the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. It empties into the Tennessee River downstream from Chattanooga near the Tennessee-Alabama state line.


The Sequatchie River originates from several springs at or near Devilstep Hollow Cave, including the spring, Head of the Sequatchie. Dye traces establish the origin of their water as originating from Grassy Cove,[5] the pastoral limestone sinkhole located to the north-east. The Sequatchie River follows the general trend of the Sequatchie Valley, flowing south-west for 182.12 mi (293.09 km).[6]

Sequatchie River in Pikeville, Tennessee
Sequatchie River in Pikeville, Tennessee

The stream crosses into Bledsoe County near the head of the Sequatchie Valley. The Sequatchie Valley is traversed throughout much its length by U.S. Route 127. The first sizeable town on the Sequatchie is Pikeville, the county seat of Bledsoe. State Route 30, which descends Walden's Ridge into the Valley and then climbs the escarpment back onto the plateau, crosses here.

Crossing into Sequatchie County, the stream flows into Dunlap. Just north of Dunlap, US 127 turns southeastward, beginning the ascent onto Walden Ridge and eventually down into Chattanooga. A set of railroad tracks previously ran along the river from this point, testament to heavy underground coal extraction in years past. For almost the rest of its length the Sequatchie is paralleled by State Route 28. State Route 283 also runs along the base of the Walden's Ridge escarpment for several miles. The river then enters Marion County. The town of Whitwell is just a few miles into Marion County. Below Whitwell at the small community of Sequatchie (also known as Sequachee), the river receives the flow of the Little Sequatchie River, which descends from atop the Cumberland Plateau to the west. At Jasper, which is slightly west of the river, is a railroad junction. East of town is the crossing of U.S. Highway 41 by SR 28, and the bridge over the river. Shortly south of the Interstate 24 bridge is the mouth of the Sequatchie into the Guntersville Lake impoundment of the Tennessee River.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sequatchie River
  2. ^ a b "The National Map". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved Feb 16, 2011.
  3. ^ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, "Imperiled Aquatic Species Conservation Strategy for the Upper Tennessee River Basin," 5 December 2014, p. 1.
  4. ^ a b c d United States Geological Survey, Water Resources Data Tennessee: Water Year 1983, Water Data Report TN-83-1, p. 154. Gaging station 03571000.
  5. ^ Crawford, N.C. (1989). "The karst hydrogeology of the Cumberland Plateau Escarpment of Tennessee (Grassy Cove area)". TN Div. of Geology, Rept. of Investigation #44. 2: 41.
  6. ^ "U.S. Geological Survey, 2007-2014, National Hydrography Dataset available on the World Wide Web". Retrieved 2017-12-21.