The Shoals Named In Inaugural Cohort Of The Tennessee Rivertowns Program

By  | October 23, 2020 | Filed under: News

KNOXVILLE, TN – The Shoals is one of fifteen Tennessee River communities that have been selected for the inaugural cohort of the Tennessee RiverTowns Program, beginning its journey to come an official Tennessee RiverTown and part of the Tennessee RiverLine, North America’s next great regional trail system.


“Joining the Tennessee RiverLine’s RiverTown’s program will connect the Shoals with other Tennessee River communities who realize the benefit of recreational tourism and the importance of environmental stewardship of our river,” said Carrie Crawford, director of the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area. “We are excited to begin planning paddle events and develop educational programs about the river’s history and aquatic biodiversity, as well as thinking about how to best utilize our recreational assets for hiking, biking and paddling. We are excited to begin the journey towards becoming a Tennessee RiverTown.”

The Shoals applied to be a part of the Tennessee RiverTowns Program because Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia, as well as Colbert County, recognized the value that the program will bring to the region, Crawford added.

Through participation in the program, the Shoals will be able to move forward with the RiverTown initiative, said Florence city council member Michelle Eubanks.

“The Tennessee River is one of our greatest assets, and this allows us to put that asset to work now and for the foreseeable future,” Eubanks said. “It’s exciting to see this project move into its next phase. Being part of the RiverTown program is the culmination of the hard work that’s gone into this collaborative effort, and it will continue to be a significant and ongoing connection between our community and the Tennessee River.”

By joining the Tennessee RiverTowns Program the Shoals is taking its first step to becoming an official Tennessee RiverTown, part of the Tennessee RiverLine, which is vision for a continuous system of paddling, hiking and biking experiences along the Tennessee River’s 652-mile reach. This transformative initiative is led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in collaboration with the Tennessee RiverLine Partnership. River communities that are invested as part of the Tennessee RiverLine benefit from economic development and entrepreneurship opportunities, quality of life amenities and increased access to river experiences that improve public health and generations of river advocates that are active participants in its stewardship.

The Tennessee RiverTowns Program follows the overwhelming support for the Tennessee RiverLine vision observed in summer 2019 during the Tennessee RiverLine Pilot Community Program. As a 2019 Pilot Community, the Shoals hosted Tennessee RiverLine staff for three days of activities with residents and community leaders.  Insights gained during that experience, as well as community-specific recommendations to embrace the Tennessee RiverLine vision locally, are included in a report available for download here.


To learn more about the Tennessee RiverLine, stay up-to-date with programs and initiatives by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@tnriverline) and visiting frequently.

Media Release/Cathy Wood/MSNHA media coordinator

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