Our Season

Each year, our season opens at the beginning of May and ends at the end of October. During our season, regular office hours are Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm.

Accessing the Island

Access to the Island is by permission and reservation only. No trespassing. During our open season, to use the Island for kayaking or canoeing, stop by the house to ask for permission and to pay the parking fee for self-shuttling.

No Shuttle Services - Parking for Self-Shuttling

River Johns does not rent canoes or kayaks and does not provide any shuttle services between the 2 locations where you start and end your float.

If you have your own canoe or kayak, we offer parking for a fee so that you and another driver can shuttle between the Island and the location where you start and end your float.

Water Levels

Getting on the water takes planning – play it safe and check the water levels for the Little River (above Townsend, TN) on the USGS | National Water Dashboard  and check the weather forecast before you head out.

As they say…Turn around – Don’t drownDon’t be a dud, we’re having a flood! Don’t put in, bear a grin 🙂


Fishing off the Island is for our guests and by permission only. We’ve seen some fairly good-sized fish taken from the Little River surrounding the river Island. Small Mouth and Large Mouth Bass, Redeye, Bluegill, and Catfish to name a few. If you want to catch your own supper, the Little River may have it.

Fishing License and Permits

There is always a chance of you getting caught by bigger fishermen… these are the folks from the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Commission (TWRA), so get a permit or take your chances, the choice is yours to make. Rules and Regulations, you know.

No Tubes

We DO NOT rent tubes. We do not encourage the use of tubes at River Johns, and if they are used by your children, please supervise them closely. If they float past the island, they will be in faster water and access down river is practically nil! Use Caution.


Welcome to Peace!

It’s getting down right hard to find peace on this earth.
Well, River John’s can help you find, not only peace but also a whole lot of beauty, fun and relaxation. Learn the true meaning of “quiet” where the only sound you might hear may be the dipping of a paddle in the water alongside your canoe.

River John’s River Island is approximately 3 and 1/3 acres in size. The River Island is surrounded by the waters of the Little River with two bridges to access by. One bridge is a walking bridge and the other is for vehicles to cross onto the island. River Island is covered with plenty of trees for shade and open areas for the enjoyment of sports.
You’ll see Great Blue Herons soaring among stately Sycamore trees. See fish flash beneath you… watch turtles sunbathing on ancient craggy stumps… swim or wade a little, or maybe throw in a line or two.

Island Weddings

What more could the Bride and Groom ask for than to have a private Island Wedding on the Little River near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

Rent the entire 3-acre Island for your dream wedding (2-day minimum). Stay for the day and camp overnight for a special, camping wedding.

Island Day Rentals

The Island is available for day rentals for community activities and events on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays only.

If it’s just for a day or more… bring your group to our island getaway for the day and enjoy the surrounding water of the Little River.

Island Camping

Imagine your own private island to camp on with friends and family.

The entire island (no individual camping spots) can be rented out on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (3-night minimum) and can accommodate up to 50 campers.