East Tennessee Lakes
Cherokee Lake is a majestic lake located on the outskirts of Knoxville. This beautiful lake is known for wonderful bass fishing, clear blue water, and the beautiful setting in the Tennessee hillsides. There are more than 28,000 surface acres surrounded by 400 miles of shoreline.
The lake was named in honor of the tribe of Native Americans known as the Cherokee.
Chickamauga Reservoir is named for a tribe of Native Americans that broke away from the Cherokee Nation in the 1700s. They lived in villages along North Chickamauga Creek. The lake is popular for fishing, boating and swimming. There are boat ramps on the reservoir and canoe access points on North Chickamauga Creek.
Ft. Loudon Lake
Ft. Loudon Lake is situated in East Tennessee in Loudon and Knox counties. The lake offers a variety of water activities including boating, fishing, waterskiing, jetskiing, swimming, camping, public parks, and public access areas. Ft. Loudon Lake is 55 miles long with 360 miles of shoreline and a total of 14,500 acres of surface area. The Holston River, French Broad River, and Little Tennessee Rivers are the main tributaries for Ft. Loudon Lake.
Nicajack Lake offers wide expanses of water and the spectacular scenery of the Tennessee River Gorge, known as the Grand Canyon of Tennessee. Boat-launching ramps and fishing berms are located on both sides of the river below the dam, and a concrete fishing pier is connected to the bank with footbridges and a wheelchair ramp. TVA camping and picnicking facilities are available at several locations. The area offers picnicking, a visitor center, water sports, auto touring, boating, camping, wildlife viewing, fishing, hiking, and hunting. There is also a historic and cultural site.
With more than 800 miles of spectacular blue crystal clear water, Norris Lake offers reflections of the Cumberland Mountains on the tree-lined water and mountain views of both Cumberland and Smoky Mountains. Norris Lake is a sportsman paradise and considered as one of the cleanest lakes in the Southeast. More than 50 Islands dot the surface, some with inviting picnic spots. Three parks, over 20 Marinas, year round fishing, lots of campgrounds, and exceptional dining both on and off Norris Lake.
South Holston Lake
South Holston Lake covers 7,580 acres. It is considered one of the top two lakes in Tennessee and among the best in the Southeast for smallmouth bass fishing. South Holston Lake is well known as a fly fisherman’s paradise. The lake also provides many other recreational opportunities for residents; 60% of its shoreline is bordered by the Cherokee National Forest. The Cherokee National Forest is 640,000 acres of a natural wonderland that includes stops along the famous Appalachian Trail.
Watts Bar Lake
Watts Bar Lake offers a variety of recreational play from paddling, fishing, swimming, and camping. A scenic overlook near the dam provides visitors with a panoramic view of the reservoir and surrounding countryside. There are 722 miles of shoreline and over 39,090 acres of water surface. Fishermen can expect to catch jumbo crappie, lunker, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trophy stripers and a wide array of freshwater fish.
Water recreation is abundant in this area, featuring Watauga Lake; the Doe, Elk and Watauga rivers; several streams and seven waterfalls.
Highly developed recreation areas along Watauga Lake provide facilities for fishing, picnicking, swimming and boat launching. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail runs through the area's backcountry.
Middle Tennessee Lakes
Kentucky Lake; image courtesy of Kentucky State Park Eagle Tours
Center Hill Lake
Water lovers can enjoy fishing, swimming, boating, and skiing on Center Hill Lake. Enjoy swimming and sunbathing or a picnic along the lakeshore. Boat, water ski, fish or just take a walk and experience the beauty and peace throughout the area.
Cordell Hull Lake
This lake offers numerous outdoor recreation activities - camping, boating, fishing, picnicing, hiking trails, bike trails, horse trails, and wildlife viewing. There are top rated ampgrounds and three day-use areas with swim beaches, picnic sites, and play grounds.
Dale Hollow Lake
Dale Hollow Lake consists of 27,700 surface acres of water and 24,842 acres of surrounding land. The Dale Hollow Hatchery is the largest Federal trout hatchery East of the Mississippi. It produces 1.5 million trout annually with an average production of 300,000 pounds – for distribution in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. The hatchery is open to visitors every day from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. The lake is abundant with fish and wildlife and is the home of one of the largest wintering Bald Eagle populations in the area.
This 160,000-acre impound includes 2,380 miles of astonishing shoreline. It attracts some of the most renowned bass and crappie anglers in the world. The lake is home to countless bays, inlets and points to explore, including a 170,000-acre nature preserve which can be found on the eastern shore of Kentucky Lake. The waters are home to white bass, largemouth and smallmouth bass, sauger, catfish, bluegill and red-ear sunfish.
Old Hickory Lake
Old Hickory Lake spans 22,500 acres and extends 97.3 river miles. Many public facilities are located on the lake. There are 41 access sites for boats, two campgrounds operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and four marinas. Old Hickory is a popular reservoir for fishing, boating, jet skiing, sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking and swimming.
Percy Priest Lake
Percy Priest Lake fishing is a popular year round activity that is enjoyed by anglers of all ages and abilities. Fishing tournaments are often held at the lake during summer months and professional fishing guides are also available for hire. Fish found at the Percy Priest Lake include striped bass, large mouth bass, small mouth bass, white bass, Cherokee bass, sunfish, catfish, crappie, bluegill, and trout.
Tims Ford Lake
This lake features the 1,321-acre Tims Ford State park which sits in the shadows of the Cumberland Plateau in south-central Tennessee. The Tims Ford Lake is considered one of the most picturesque lakes in Tennessee and is regarded as one of the top bass fishing and recreational lakes in the Southeast.
West Tennessee Lakes
Pickwick Lake is noted for its excellent water recreation. The lake and river offers fishing, boating, swimming and a marina. In addition to water sports, guests enjoy golfing, birding, picnicking, disc golf, nature walks and tennis. The park contains 1,416 acres of forested hills and hollows.