tva logoTennessee Valley Authority

Recreation Information

sailboat on water with blue sky and clouds Millions of people enjoy recreational activities on TVA lakes each year. The lakes and the 293,000 acres of land surrounding them offer nearly limitless opportunities for fun-filled activities, including water skiing, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, fishing, swimming, hiking, nature photography, picnicking, birdwatching and camping.

TVA Developed Recreation Map

Our map viewer provides three distinct views for lake recreation areas, as well as GPS coordinates and directions to recreation areas and facilities across the Tennessee Valley.

Undeveloped TVA Public Lands Recreation Map and Information

TVA owns and manages approximately 293,000 acres of land Valley-wide. Of this total, about 229,000 acres are available for dispersed, or informal, recreation.

Camping and Recreation Areas

TVA operates 80 public recreation areas throughout the Tennessee Valley, including campgrounds, day-use areas and boat launching ramps. Get information here about TVA operated campgrounds and amenities. TVA also provides land for campgrounds operated by commercial operators and public entities.

Read about Melton Hill Dam Sustainable Recreation Area

Learn more about Campground Commercial Management Request for Proposals

Multiple Use Trails

TVA manages over 100 miles of trails, including trails for hiking, trails for biking and equestrian trails. Get more information about the trails, including links to maps.

Recreation Release Schedules

Go fishing or experience the excitement of canoeing, kayaking or rafting on the many stretches of river below TVA dams.

The Ocoee River Gorge

The Ocoee River has both an Olympic whitewater course and a four-and-a-half-mile rafting area. The area also offers lots of other recreational opportunities, including swimming, boating and picknicking.

Reservoir Information

A handy resource for fishermen and boaters, these pages track water levels on an hourly basis for TVA lakes across the Tennessee Valley, give water release schedules at the dams and more.

Reservoir Ratings

TVA operates one of the most comprehensive river-system monitoring programs in the United States. Get information about water quality at TVA lakes, including advisories on swimming at various recreation areas and eating fish caught in the reservoirs.

Tracking Water Temperatures on the Elk River

TVA monitors water temperatures in the Elk River closely so that it can adjust the operation of Tims Ford Dam to protect the variety of life in the river, including a trout fishery and endangered species that require cold water, and sport fish that require warm water.

TVA Reservoir Map

Our interactive map of TVA facilities gives the location of all TVA lakes and links to general information on each, including descriptions of recreation opportunities and conditions.

Clean Marinas and Clean Boating

Boating is one of the most popular recreational uses of TVA lakes. TVA's Clean Marina Initiative certifies marinas that are in compliance with pollution-control standards. And the national Clean Boating Campaign helps educate boating enthusiasts and marina operators in practices that reduce pollution and erosion on the waterways.

Commercial Recreation Management Fee Guideline

TVA has recently revised its commercial recreation management fee guideline based upon an independent review of industry practices. This guideline outlines how TVA will determine rent for the use of public lands for commercial recreation. It is intended to provide options, achieve consistency for approximately 170 agreements and to ensure the public is adequately compensated for the commercial use of public resources. The guideline also provides for longer tenure, lower administrative cost and a centralized management staff.


Mobile App

image of iPhone appDownload the TVA Lake Info app for iPhone or Android for an easy-to-use resource for operating on and around reservoirs and dams in the TVA region.

This information is also available on TVA's mobile site.


Learn About Boating Safety

How to Go Through a Lock

Safe Boating in Barge Traffic

Navigation Aids on the Tennessee River System (PDF file, 325 kb)

Rules of the Road for Recreational Boaters

Hazardous Waters

National Safe Boating Council


photo of bird


Some of the premier birdwatching sites in the entire inland Southeast are along TVA lakes. Here’s information on the best spots for birding on TVA lands and waters.

Content for id "future1" Goes Here
Content for id "future2" Goes Here
Content for id "future3" Goes Here