Be Our Guest

April ushers in spring showers—and open house at several of TVA’s dam visitor centers. Come see us to learn more about our history, operations and mission.

MARCH 27, 2017—TVA’s dams make certain that the Tennessee Valley is ready to deal with whatever April showers may come. And three of its most remarkable dams are kicking off the month by opening the doors of staffed visitors centers, which illuminate the agency’s history, offer information about how TVA operates its electric system and explain how the river and its tributaries are managed for multiple public benefits—including flood control. The dams opening visitor center doors on April 1 are:

visitor center display

 

TVA’s Tallest Dam

Fontana Dam, near Bryson City, N.C., towers 480 feet high, and is the tallest dam east of the Mississippi River. The dam itself forms part of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches 2,190 miles through 14 states along the eastern U.S., from northern Georgia to mid-Maine.

Find this staffed visitor center (pictured above) off N.C. Highway 28 near the Tennessee border. It’s open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily April through August, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. September and October.

TVA’s First Dam

Historic Norris Dam, the first built by TVA as part of its Unified Development of the Tennessee River plan, was completed in 1936. The same-named planned community that supported the families of dam workers still thrives today in East Tennessee.

Find this staffed visitor center north of Knoxville off Interstate 75, Exit 122. It’s open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April through November.

TVA’s Longest Dam

At more than 8,800 feet, Kentucky Dam is by far TVA’s longest—and it forms the largest reservoir in the eastern United States, stretching 184 miles through West Tennessee and Kentucky.

Find this staffed visitor center off U.S. Highway 62 east coming from Paducah, Ky., or west from Clarksville, Tenn. It’s open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from April through October.

Other Visitor Centers

Raccoon Mountain/Laurel Point

Located off Raccoon Mountain Rd. near U.S. Highway 64/72 west of Chattanooga, this staffed visitor center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through October, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern November through March.

South Holston Dam

Located on South View Dam Dr. in Bristol, Tenn., the unstaffed visitor center is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April through October, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March.

Fort Patrick Henry Dam

Located off Interstate 81, Exit 59, the unstaffed visitor center is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April through October, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March.

Wilson Dam

Located off Reservation Rd. in Muscle Shoals, Ala., the unstaffed visitor center is open 24/7 year-round.

Guntersville Dam

Located off Snow Point Rd. (CR-50) near Guntersville, Ala., the unstaffed visitor center is open 24/7 year-round.

PLEASE NOTE: The centers close for major holidays and in times of severe weather. TVA’s website frequently posts closure information.

The Unified Development of the Tennessee River plan stressed TVA was to provide flood control, navigation and electricity for the region. TVAs dams are tangible evidence of its primary mission: improving life in the Tennessee Valley. We’re celebrating the plan with an in-depth look at 32 of the dams it comprises.