Cordell Hull

Cordell Hull watershed

About the Cordell Hull watershed

Drainage Area

799 square miles

Notable Tributaries

  • Blackburn Fork River
  • Roaring River


  • Clay County, TN
  • Jackson County, TN
  • Macon County, TN
  • Overton County, TN
  • Putnam County, TN
  • Smith County, TN

The rivers and streams of the Cordell Hull watershed drain to an impounded section of the Cumberland River known as Cordell Hull Lake, a reservoir created by another U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s project in 1973. Lands to the region’s north and west are mostly forested, while the regions’ southeastern third is primarily agricultural. The watershed is almost entirely west of the Appalachian Mountains.

The watershed is home to three State Scenic Rivers that all flow into Cordell Hull Lake – Roaring River, Blackburn Fork, and Spring Creek – as well as Cummins Falls and Standing Stone state parks and the 25,000 acre Cordell Hull Wildlife Management Area. 

The watershed sustains an abundant and distinct array of aquatic life. Streamside salamanders lay eggs in ephemeral streams – a strategy that keeps predatory fish from swimming upstream and plundering them. Critically endangered orangefoot pimpleback mussels still find habitat in free flowing streams. Reintroduced in 2000, lake sturgeon are making a comeback in the watershed and can grow to be nearly 200 pounds.

Explore the Cordell Hull watershed