Kyles Ford, TN is an area in Hancock County located at the base of the Clinch Mountain along the Upper Clinch River. Kyles Ford houses the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s (TWRA) Kyles Ford Wildlife Management Area. This portion of Kyles Ford was acquired by TWRA in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and other conservation groups in an effort to preserve the area’s rare, threatened, and endangered species of freshwater mussels. The concerned area of the Upper Tennessee River watershed, that includes the Powell River Tributary, is home to one of the most biologically diverse concentrations of freshwater mussels in the Continental United States, containing some species that are globally unique.
The shallow shoals of the Clinch River are home to 35 species of mussels, more than any other place on Earth.
The Clinch-Powell Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. has been instrumental in working with the Kyles Ford community in developing portions of the preserve with educational and low-impact ecotourism facilities such as the Clinch River Conservation Center and Retreat and the River Place on the Clinch Market and Café and riverside cabins and camping. These ecotourism options help raise awareness and supplement funding of ongoing biodiversity research and preservation efforts.