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Polk County is located in the southeastern corner of Tennessee. Its county seat is Benton. The county was named after then-governor, and later-president James Knox Polk.
Much of the terrain of eastern Polk County is mountainous, including Big Frog Mountain, constituting part of the southern Appalachian Mountains. Large tracts of Polk County are part of the Cherokee National Forest. Polk County, Tennessee is the home of the Ocoee River. No matter what other areas claim, they can't claim one of the most exciting whitewater rivers in the eastern United States.
It's also the Gateway to the Cherokee National Forest, a favorite for hunters and fishermen, as well as campers and photographers. The Ocoee River, site of whitewater slalom events in the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympic Games, runs through Polk County and is vital to one of the county's major industries, whitewater rafting. The calmer Hiwassee River, a tributary of the Tennessee River which flows through northern Polk County, is also used for rafting and tubing.
Train lovers and kids of all ages will enjoy the Hiwassee River Rail Adventure, a trip that will take you to the top of the famous "Hiwassee Loop" where the tracks cross over themselves as they corkscrew up a mountain. History buffs will delight in museums, historic sites, and Cherokee history. Antique hunters and collectors will be right at home in our shops and galleries.