Tennessee is a state that boasts more than its fair share of natural beauty, and that’s especially true when it comes to its many lakes. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax on the beach, fish for dinner, or paddle around in a canoe or kayak, Tennessee has the perfect lake.
Here are 15 of the best lakes in Tennessee:
Percy Priest Lake
Long Hunter State Park claims almost 3 000 acres of Percy Priest Lake’s shoreline, making it perfect for those who want to enjoy nature while still being close enough to civilization if need be.
For several reasons, Percy Priest Lake is a great lake to visit in Tennessee. First, it is close to Nashville, only 11.5 miles away, making it easily accessible for visitors. Second, plenty of facilities are available such as three campgrounds, 11 picnic areas, 12 boat ramps, and eight marinas, which provide recreational activities such as boating or swimming. Thirdly, Percy Priest Lake has several sailing clubs on its shores, which adds to its appeal among water recreation enthusiasts. Finally, over five million people visit the lake each year due to its beauty and convenience, making it one of the most popular destinations in Tennessee.
Norris Lake is a wonderful lake to visit in Tennessee for many reasons. It is located near the Norris Dam on the Clinch River and has over 800 miles of shoreline, making it perfect for boaters, campers, water sports enthusiasts, and those looking for a getaway spot. For boaters, there are some fantastic full-service marinas and lakeside restaurants, including Sequoyah Marina and Stardust Marina. Norris Dam State Park has a fully equipped marina with a boat ramp available to the general public, as well as houseboats and pontoon boats available for rent.
Norris Lake is located in eastern Tennessee near Knoxville and can be accessed by taking Interstate 40 east from Knoxville and then taking exit 407 toward Norris. From there, you will need to follow signs to reach the lake itself, which will lead you down Highway 92 toward Oak Ridge, then turn onto Highway 56 toward Tazewell before finally reaching your destination at Exit 17 on Highway 58, which takes you right into the heart of the lake area where all of these activities can be enjoyed!
Reelfoot Lake is located in Reelfoot Lake State Park and covers an area of 5,000 acres. It’s also close to other popular attractions such as Dollywood amusement park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which offers plenty more opportunities for fun activities while visiting Tennessee!
Reelfoot Lake is one of the few naturally occurring lakes in the state and is home to over 50 different species of fish. It offers fantastic views with its beautiful cypress trees that grow right in the lake. Also, it’s a popular birdwatching location due to its large population of bald eagles that migrate from Canada during the winter months.
If you’re looking for a beautiful lake to relax on during your next vacation, look no further than Cherokee Reservoir in Tennessee. This gorgeous body of water is perfect for swimming, boating, fishing, and just soaking up the incredible views. And when you’re ready to explore beyond the lake, there are plenty of great hiking trails and other outdoor activities to enjoy in the area.
Cherokee reservoir is located in the East Tennessee mountains and is one of the largest lakes in the state. It’s well known for its clear water and stunning scenery, and it’s a popular spot for fishing, swimming, boating, and camping. The lake is also surrounded by a number of hiking trails, so it’s easy to explore the area beyond the water.
Chickamauga Lake is located 20 miles North East of Chattanooga in between the towns of Birchwood and Georgetown on the Tennessee River. There are over 400 vacation rentals available, including beautiful lake houses and cabins for visitors to enjoy during their stay.
Chickamauga Lake offers excellent water quality, with vast stocks of largemouth bass, small bass, striped bass, and blue catfish. Additionally, it provides opportunities for recreation, such as hiking, mountain biking, and camping at Harrison Bay State Park and Booker T. Washington State Park on its southern side.
Dale Hollow Lake
Dale Hollow Lake is located in Middle Tennessee near the Kentucky border and covers approximately one-quarter of its area in each state. The lake was created by damming the Obey River above, where it connects with the Cumberland River, as well as some portions of the Wolf River.
Dale Hollow Lake offers an abundance of activities, from fishing and swimming to sailing and wakeboarding. Additionally, it boasts the world record for the largest smallmouth bass – making it even more popular among anglers. It also has two states’ worth of location rights, so visitors can experience it from two perspectives.
Nickajack Lake stretches from Nickajack Dam to the Chickamauga Dam near Chattanooga and has a shoreline length of 346 kilometers. It is surrounded by marinas, cabins, and campgrounds, which make it even more appealing to visitors looking for places to stay or activities to do while visiting the area.
Nickajack Lake offers an abundance of fish species that can be caught by those who rent boats at Hales Marina. It provides opportunities for water sports such as waterskiing and tubing. Also, the lake’s beautiful scenery makes it an ideal spot for wildlife spotting – visitors can look out for bald eagles, ducks, geese, and American coots.
Watauga Lake is located in the beautiful Cherokee National Forest, offering visitors scenic views and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Additionally, the lake itself boasts a 169-kilometer shoreline that sits at an elevation of over 600 meters above sea level with a maximum depth of 81 meters.
Furthermore, Watauga Lake is easily accessible via road as it is located east of Elizabethton and close to Interstate 26 and US Highway 19/321. Additionally, developed sites such as public boat launches, picnic areas, and campgrounds are maintained by the Forest Service, which adds to its appeal as a vacation destination.
Boone Lake is a great lake to visit in Tennessee due to its recreational activities and abundance of fish species. The lake stretches across two counties and has 131 miles of shoreline, providing plenty of space for visitors to enjoy swimming, boating, and sport fishing. Additionally, Boone Lake has been stocked with bass, smallmouth bass, black bass, and striped bass for extra convenience.
Tims Ford Lake
Tims Ford Lake has a surface area of 10,700 acres and 265 kilometers of shoreline, offering plenty of space for kayakers, boaters, and anglers to enjoy. It is one of the purest and deepest lakes in the mid-South due to its proximity to major cities like Huntsville, Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, and Nashville. Furthermore, there are four marinas on the lake as well as 20 cabins located on bluffs above it, offering even more opportunities for visitors to explore its beauty.
The dam that creates Tims Ford Reservoir spans 175 feet at its highest point with 1580 feet lengthwise across the Elk River, which changes its water level by roughly 15 feet in a typical year. There are four marinas around the lake, along with 20 cabins on bluffs above it, making it easy for visitors looking for lodging options while exploring this scenic body of water in south-central Tennessee.
Old Hickory Lake
Old Hickory Lake is a great destination to visit in Tennessee because it offers a variety of recreational activities such as boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, water skiing, and more. It also has abundant species such as bass, crappie, and catfish, making it an attractive fishing spot. Plus, the lake is beautiful, with its scenic shoreline providing plenty of opportunities for bird watching or camping nearby in surrounding campgrounds like Cedar Creek Campground or Cages Bend Campground.
Old Hickory Lake is located about 25 miles from Nashville and covers counties such as Davidson Sumner, Trousdale, Smith, and Wilson in Cumberland River’s north-central parts of Tennessee. There are also eight marinas, 41 boat access points around it, and 41 boat ramps for anglers who wish to catch large quantities of fish like bass, crappie catfish, and walleye striped bass sunfish. Additionally, there are residential housing areas around the shores and state parks where visitors can access Old Hickory Lake’s waters via boat ramps or canoeing/kayaking if desired!
Pickwick Lake offers plenty of opportunities for recreation and adventure, such as hiking down nefarious trails, golfing with friends or family, water skiing, jet skiing, and boating. Additionally, Pickwick Lake is known for its large catfish and smallmouth bass, making it an even more popular spot for sport fishing enthusiasts.
Pickwick Lake stretches all the way from Pickwick Landing Dam in western Tennessee to Wilson Dam in Alabama. It covers a total area of 174 square kilometers, with its north end being a route for transportation toward the Gulf of Mexico. The Pickwick Landing State Park is located by the shore of this lovely lake offering visitors many attractions such as a golf course, hotel facilities, marina services, and picnic pavilions, among others. There are also plenty of campsites available within this park if you want to stay longer than just one day trip or weekend getaway!
Chilhowee Lake is a great lake in Tennessee due to its exceptional scenery, recreation amenities, and historical significance. Located in the eastern region of Tennessee, it was created by damming the Holston River and is now home to numerous recreational activities such as boating, swimming, and fishing. The lake also offers camping opportunities at Panther Creek State Park or Cherokee Dam Campground.
Chilhowee Lake is behind Cherokee Dam in the foothills of the Clinch Mountains, 30 miles east of Knoxville. It is an island-studded reservoir surrounded by mountains, making it incredibly picturesque during all seasons. For those looking for even more scenic views from their vacation home rental, many cabins are available along the shoreline that offers panoramic vistas across the waterway or surrounding hillsides.
Watts Bar Lake
Watts Bar Lake is a great lake to visit in Tennessee due to its size, variety of activities, and beautiful scenery. It covers 39,000 acres with 771 miles of shoreline and is popular with boaters due to its unique shape and sandy beaches. Around the lake, visitors can find full-service marinas, RV resorts, and beautiful lakeside accommodations like the Whitestone Inn.
Watts Bar Lake can be found midway between Chattanooga and Knoxville along the Clinch River in eastern Tennessee. It stretches for nearly 117 kilometers in four counties around Eastern Tennessee. The 16000-hectare lake has numerous parks, camps, marina campgrounds, and cottages for rent. Houseboat pontoon fishing boat rentals are available.
Cherokee Lake is an excellent lake in Tennessee due to its historical significance and top-notch scenery. It was named after the Cherokee indigenous to the area who resided here more than 200 years ago. Additionally, it offers many recreational amenities such as pontoon boating, fishing, hiking trails, and mountain biking opportunities.
Cherokee Lake is located in eastern Tennessee close to Knoxville in the foothills of the Clinch Mountains. The dam that created it sits behind Cherokee Dam, which can be found within Panther Creek State Park. Furthermore, numerous cabins and vacation homes are available for rent around its shoreline, offering an even more immersive experience of this picturesque lake.
What activities can be done at the lakes in Tennessee?
There are plenty of activities to enjoy at the lakes in Tennessee. For those who love the outdoors, there are hiking and biking trails, fishing spots, and swimming areas. There are also picnic areas and playgrounds for the kids. And, of course, there are plenty of places to just sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
What kind of fish can be found at the lakes in Tennessee?
The lakes in Tennessee offer some of the best fishing in the USA, with various species available to catch. You can find largemouth bass, panfish such as bluegill and crappie, trout, walleye, and other freshwater fish. There are also plenty of saltwater fish species, such as red drum, flounder, and mackerel, available at the Tennessee lakes.
What amenities are available at the lakes in Tennessee?
The lakes in Tennessee offer a variety of amenities for visitors to enjoy. Some popular activities include fishing, swimming, boating, and hiking. There are also several campgrounds and RV parks located around the lakes, as well as various restaurants and cafes.
What is the best lake in Tennessee for vacation rental homes?
The best lake in Tennessee for vacation rental homes is Norris Lake. This lake offers visitors an array of options for outdoor fun and recreational activities, from fishing and water skiing to hiking and horseback riding. The homes near this lake come equipped with boat docks and private pools, making it the perfect place for a family vacation.
Where are the best lakes in Tennessee for bass fishing?
If you’re looking for some of the best lakes in Tennessee for bass fishing, then look no further than Lake Guntersville, Chickamauga Lake, Douglas Lake, and Percy Priest Lake. These lakes are all renowned for their bass fishing, and you’re sure to have a great time if you head out to any of them.
What is the best lake in Tennessee for camping?
If you’re looking for the best lake in Tennessee for camping, look no further than Cherokee Lake. This beautiful lake is located in the eastern part of the state and offers plenty of camping, fishing, and swimming opportunities. There are also several hiking trails nearby that offer stunning views of the lake and its surroundings.
Are there any lakes in Tennessee with boat rental options?
Yes, there are several lakes in Tennessee with boat rental options. Some of the most popular include Norris Lake, Watauga Lake, and Pickwick Lake. Boat rentals typically include everything you need for a fun day on the water, including life jackets and safety gear.
Are there any lakes in Tennessee with marina facilities?
If you’re looking for a lake with marina facilities in Tennessee, then your best bet is to head to Lake Barkley. This massive reservoir on the Tennessee-Kentucky border is home to several marinas, making it a great place to dock your boat for a few days while you enjoy all the lake has to offer.
Are there any lakes in Tennessee with picnic and hiking areas?
Yes! Several lakes in Tennessee offer picnic and hiking areas for visitors to enjoy. Some of the best include Norris Lake, Cherokee Lake, and Douglas Lake. These lakes offer beautiful scenery, hiking trails, and picnic areas that are perfect for a day trip or a longer vacation.