When Brad Collett assigned his landscape architecture students a project to reimagine the Tennessee River Valley, he had no idea that one would propose an idea that could change the region’s relationship with one of its essential natural resources.

Nearly six years later, what started as a 2016 class project has evolved into a dynamic vision for a trail system that could pump upwards of $104 million into Tennessee and surrounding state economies. 

The goal: turn the Tennessee River, and the public land connected to it, into North America’s next great trail system.

Tennessee RiverLine, an emerging trail system following 652 miles of the Tennessee River, is reframing the natural resource as a tourism hub and reconnecting communities to the water in their backyard.





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