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Tennessee Dams

Boone Dam
Boone Reservoir is located on the South Fork Holston River in northeast Tennessee. The reservoir is named for frontiersman Daniel Boone, who played a major role in the history of the Tennessee area.

Boone Reservoir features a swimming area above the dam and a boat ramp including a courtesy pier for safe, convenient boat launching and retrieval. Water skiing and fishing are popular pastimes at Boone.

Directions: Interstate 81 to exit 59. Take Highway 36 South to Highway 75 and turn left toward Tri-Cities Airport. Go approximately 1 mile, cross the Holston River and turn right at the Reservoir sign.

Cherokee Dam
Cherokee Dam is on the Holston River in Jefferson City, Tennessee, 52 miles upstream from the point at which the Holston and French Broad Rivers converge to form the Tennessee.

Cherokee Reservoir attracts millions of recreational visitors each year. Along its shorelines are public access areas, county and municipal parks, commercial boat docks and resorts, a state park, and a state wildlife management area. There are many tent and trailer sites for campers.

Fishing is popular at Cherokee, and the reservoir’s fish population is very similar to that found in other east Tennessee reservoirs—black bass, sauger, walleye, crappie, various sunfish, and the usual rough-fish species.

Cherokee Reservoir has a self-service campground. 41 campsites with water and electric hookups, rest rooms with heated showers and flush toilets, children’s play equipment, picnic tables and grills, group pavilion available by reservation, swimming beach, boat ramps above dam and below dam, lake and river fishing, paved walking trail, bird-watching.

Directions: From Jefferson City go 1.5 miles west on US 11E, then follow signs 4.5 miles north to Cherokee Dam Reservation.

Chickamauga Dam
Chickamauga Reservoir is on the Tennessee River just north of Chattanooga. The reservoir stretches 59 miles upriver from the dam to Watts Bar Dam.

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, which joins the river just below Chickamauga Dam. The reservoir attracts millions of outdoor enthusiasts each year for fishing, boating, and swimming. There are boat ramps on the lake and canoe access on North Chickamauga Creek.

The Big Ridge Small Wild Area is a 200-acre upland hardwood forest situated on a high ridge above the north shore of the reservoir at the dam. An easy 1.3-mile loop trail leads through the forest. Spring wildflowers include bloodroot, toothwort, larkspur, trillium, and mayapple.

Directions: From I-75, take exit 4, Highway 153. Take exit 6, Amnicola Highway and follow the signs to Chickamauga Lake.

Douglas Dam
Douglas Dam is on the French Broad River Dandridge, Tennessee. The reservoir extends 43 miles upriver from the dam through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Douglas Reservoir is located among the rolling uplands of the Great Valley of east Tennessee. Set against the backdrop of the lush, green Smoky Mountain foothills, Douglas attracts two million recreation visitors a year. Picnicking, camping, boating, and fishing are all popular activities at the reservoir.

Douglas and other TVA reservoirs built during World War II made a historic contribution, providing hydropower to drive the war effort. The reservoir remains an integral unit in the overall water control system in the Tennessee Valley.

Under normal conditions, Douglas stores spring rainwater for release during the dry summer and fall months to maintain adequate depth for navigation on the Tennessee River and to generate electricity. Water levels begin dropping in late summer to provide space for the next spring’s rains.

Birdwatchers enjoy the fall migration of shore birds, wading birds, and other waterfowl that flock to Douglas from late July to early October. The birds rest and feed in the muddy shoreline and areas of shallow water exposed as the level of the reservoir is lowered to prevent spring flooding downstream.

Douglas Dam has a self-service campground (423-587-5600). 65 campsites, 61 with water and electric hookup and two handicapped-accessible sites. Rest rooms with heated showers and flush toilets, dump station, picnic tables, swimming beach, boat ramp, walking trail, wildlife viewing area, bird-watching.

Directions: From Interstate 40 take exit 407. Go South on Hwy. 66, then 3.5 miles east on Hwy. 139, then 0.5 miles south on Hwy. 338 to the pavilion.

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