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|Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, begins near its
eastern border with Georgia and then flows westward, before
flowing northward back into Tennessee. It connects the
Tennessee river at Pickwick Lake to the Tombigbee river at
Demopolis AL. The largest lakes it traverses are Guntersville,
Wheeler, Wilson and Pickwick.
As a Looper, if you are also an angler, sightseer or lover of
history, you will want to take a side-trip along the full navigable
length of the Tennessee River, from Paducah to Chattanooga
and Knoxville before entering the Tenn-Tom Waterway.
|The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (more commonly referred to as the Tenn-Tom) is a 234-mile long
man-made waterway connecting the Tennessee River and the Tombigbee River. The north end connects to the
Tennessee River near where the borders of River near its confluence with the Black Warrior River at
This of course, is your route to Mobile Bay and the Gulf ICW.
For now, it is enough to know, that you will NOT be alone on the Tenn-Tom. More then 15,000 recreational
boats a year are transiting the Waterway in all directions between Cuba Landing in Waverly Tennessee and
Mobile, AL. In addition commercial Barges and Tow boats are running 24 hours a day.
Maybe the most important item you need to know, is that the only fuel available between Demopolis and
Easter Shore Marina in Mobile Bay is Bobby's Fish Camp. That makes it the fourth farthest distance between
fuel stops on the entire Great Loop and the second farthest on the Tennessee -Tombigbee route.
There are some 40 recreation areas and some of the very best fresh water fishing in the world. In addition,
(unlike the Lower Mississippi) there are plenty of safe anchorages and marinas to meet your needs.
The Demopolis to Mobile portion of this journey however is about as remote and uninhabited as you will
find on your entire Great Loop adventure. It is a natural river stretch of some 200 miles, and if you are going
slow and easy as I always do, you will need provisions for 3 or 4 days of anchoring out. It is however a beautiful
All it all, between the Tennessee River, the Tenn-Tom, the Black Warrior-Tombigbee, and the Alabama River,
provides boaters voyaging America's Great Loop an opportunity to boat right to and through some amazing
Cruising the Tenn-Tom requires "boating out of the box". That means that all you have ever learned still
demands the use of your own good common sense. All turns and bends in the river are not all wide enough for
you and that Barge or Tow. You won’t always be able to follow the charts, and you don't even want to think
about cruising at night. Go slow, sit back and take in the sounds and the scenery. Take time to stop along the
however, there is plenty to do and see along this route - if you're not wearing blinders.
Camping & Picnic facilities are located at eight major recreation areas along this 234 mile Tenn-Tom. In
addition Demopolis has some great history as well as a couple of great restaurants and a Golf course for the
Golfers among us. The Old Red Barn Restaurant (not the old chain restaurant) in Demopolis is a favorite and a
"don't miss" in my book.
This portion of your journey is an easy 234 miles and has some great scenery. So just take your time and
enjoy the sites. Lots of nature along this route.
Most likely, you will have to anchor out two (maybe 3), nights on this leg of your voyage. (We mention that,
only because some Loopers would rather pay to stay in a Marina every night.
|Bobby's Fish Camp
The only fuel available between Demopolis and
Eastern Shore or Dog River Marinas in Mobile Bay.
This makes it a must fuel stop for most of us, as it is
in the middle between 200 plus mile stretch, between
Demopolis and Mobile Bay.
The Catfish dinner is a bonus!
|Bobby's Fish Camp is said to serve the best catfish in the world. I agree. They have fuel of course,
but I always stop for the catfish.
|Your last 10 miles or so before reaching Mobile harbor will get very busy. Not only is there a lot of commercial
traffic, you are entering an area with a NO WAKE speed zone. While there are choices, on both sides of Mobile
Bay, once I pass the I-10 bridge, I head east to Fairhope, and Eastern Shore Marina which is 11 miles away.
Eastern Shore Marina is located in a protected area just up the Fly Creek channel at the town of Fairhope. It
offers transient slips, gas and diesel, pump out facilities, great shower and laundry facilities, and a courtesy car.
It also has free WIFI access, mast stepping, marine supplies, and a full service maintenance facility. It is close to
shops, restaurants, and also has on site rental cars for longer use if you need or want one. For those wanting to
visit New Orleans, it is only a two and a half hour rental car drive away from Fairhope.
Marinas on the
Tennessee - Tombigbee
route from Cairo to
Kentucky Dam Marina
Green Turtle Bay
Pebble Isle Marina
Cuba Landing Marina
Grand Harbor Marina
Aqua Yacht Harbor
Bay Springs Marina
Pirate’s Marina Cove
Demopolis Yacht Basin
Bobby’s Fish Camp
Eastern Shore Marine, Inc.
Near marker 72
= Don't Miss!
Birdsong Marina is the
location of North America's
only fresh water Pearl Farm.
Bobby's Fish Camp is a must
for both fuel & Catfish Dinner
|The Tennessee -Tombigbee Waterway
|White Cliffs on Tennessee - Tombigbee