Williams Island Blueway Camping
Camping Application (Below)
To apply for a permit to camp at our Pot Point or Williams Island Blueway Campsites, please fill out the form below at least one full business day before you plan to camp. You will be emailed a permit. Please call 423.266.0314 or email firstname.lastname@example.org during normal business hours with any questions.
Rules for Camping at Williams Island
Campsites at Williams Island are maintained by the Tennessee River Gorge Trust, as a convenience to visitors. Please help us maintain these sites.
*Camping applications are at the bottom of the page*
1. Williams Island Campsites are boat-in only and are first come first serve. There is a small dock across from Baylor School to load and unload on the right side of the island with a downstream orientation roughly halfway down the island. There is a boat storage rack above the set of stairs.
2. Pack It In, Pack It Out. Please be a good steward and follow the Leave No Trace principle.
3. Please bring your own firewood. Refrain from collecting firewood around the site because:
Forest litter provides food and habitat for many insects, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and even microorganisms. If every camper collected firewood, there would not be any left for the decomposing organic matter the fulfill its ecosystem function.
4. Please be respectful of the organic farm and cattle on William’s Island.
5. Please do not dump liquids other than water directly into the Tennessee River or its tributaries. When washing your hands or dishes, please carry water well away from the campsite and river, at least 200 feet away if possible. If interested, consider using small amounts of environmentally friendly soaps.
6. Please keep lights dimmed and noise low after 10 PM. Be courteous and do not disturb other campers.
7. Carry a copy of your permit with you (i.e., your confirmation email).
8. To report illegal activity, contact:
For Williams Island - Hamilton County Sheriff's Office at (423) 622 - 0022
For Pot Point - Marion County Sheriff's Department at (423) 942 - 2525
Link to the Blueway map in case you need further details: Blueway Map
Directions to Williams Island Blueway campsites
The Tennessee River Gorge falls within the Tennessee River Blueway, a river trail formed by TVA in the 1930s that runs for 45 miles from Chickamauga Dam to Nickajack Dam. The best information for traveling on the Tennessee Blueway is located at Canoe Tennessee's website.
Head over to Outdoor Chattanooga's website for tons of information on exploring the Gorge via water.
William’s Island is accessible by boat. The island is across from Baylor School, and can be accessed by the Suck Creek Boat Ramp which is 1.2 miles downstream from William’s Island (paddle 1.2 miles upstream to William’s Island). The Coolidge Park boat launch is also located roughly 9 miles upstream of the island. The campsite dock and trailhead are located on the right side of the island with a downstream orientation, roughly halfway down the island.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are the campsites pet friendly?
Absolutely! Feel free to bring pets on your camping adventure.
Where can I rent canoes/kayaks?
Check out Canoe Kayak Chattanooga at https://www.canoekayakchattanooga.com/
How long does it take to paddle to the campsites?
This will depend on your launch site, boat design, experience, and your paddling orientation (upstream or downstream). In general, a rough estimate would be that average paddlers can expect a single river mile to take 15-30 minutes. Longer, faster kayaks will be on the faster end, while large canoes may be on the slower end. Also, be sure to check TVA’s Chickamauga Dam release schedule at https://www.tva.gov/Environment/Lake-Levels/Chickamauga (for reference, 20,000 cfs is slower moving current, 50,000 cfs is moderate/strong current, and 70,000 cfs is very strong current).
Do I have to pay to camp?
Nope, the campsites are free so everyone can get out and enjoy the Gorge! But of course, feel free to make a donation to TRGT so we can continue to manage these campsites for the public at www.trgt.org/donate!
Can I access the campsites by land?
The Pot Point Campsite is accessible by land (see directions on the Pot Point Camping page), but William’s Island is only accessible by boat.