Skip to main content
Bear Creek

Bear Creek Reservoir Land Management Plan

Reservoir Land Management Plans (RLMPs) effectively guide land use approvals, private water use facility permitting, and resource management decisions on TVA-managed public land.

Bear Creek Reservoir is one of four tributary reservoirs included in the Bear Creek Reservoirs LMP project, which was approved by the TVA Board of Directors in March 2001.

Bear Creek Dam, one of four small dams located in northwestern Alabama, is found at Bear Creek River mile 74.6 in Franklin County, Alabama, roughly 30 miles southwest of Sheffield, 30 miles southwest of Muscle Shoals, and 10 miles southeast of Red Bay. The Bear Creek System of dams were built to provide flood control, water supply and recreation opportunities in the area.

The Bear Creek area is popular with all types of boaters, especially canoeists and kayakers. The Bear Creek Floatway, which flows into Bear Creek Reservoir, is a popular spot for teaching first-timers to negotiate rapids and work with the current. Below Bear Creek Dam, the Lower Bear Creek Canoe Trail provides a more leisurely float running a total of 34 miles down the creek and all the way to Pickwick Landing Dam on the Tennessee River. The scenic area is also popular for fishing, picnicking, birdwatching and sightseeing.


The scope of Bear Creek Reservoir is 2,295.6 acres of the 9,178.2 total acres of TVA public land in the Bear Creek RLMP. The Bear Creek section contains a regional overview, information about the environment around the reservoir and descriptions of each parcel of land. Bear Creek reservoir property is divided into seven parcels, and each parcel is assigned a single land use allocation zone. Descriptions of the allowable land uses within each land planning zone are available here.

Bear Creek Reservoirs Land Management Plan (PDF)


Use the GIS Viewer Map to find individual parcels and land use allocations for TVA reservoir property.  Click on individual parcels to find out more information about a piece of TVA property.  Please note that parcel descriptions are included in the interactive map viewer for convenience, but may have been altered from the original description due to character length restrictions.  Please reference the appropriate Reservoir Land Management Plan for the complete parcel descriptions.  Also, please note that parcel descriptions are representative of the time in which the plans were written; some information may be out of date such as available facilities or names of commercial operations.

Download Map (PDF)

View Larger Map

How to Use the Viewer Map (PDF)

Land Allocation Acreage

TVA land around Bear Creek Reservoir has been allocated for certain land
uses as summarized in the table below.

Allocation Designation*


Zone 2

Project Operations


Zone 3

Sensitive Resource Management


Zone 4

Natural Resource Conservation


Zone 5



Zone 6

Developed Recreation


Zone 7

Shoreline Access




*Zone 1 is Non-TVA Shoreland with TVA land rights and does not change as a result of the lands planning process.

Environmental Review

TVA’s land planning methodology incorporates the environmental review process established under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA requires federal agencies to consider the effects of their proposed projects on the human and natural environment before final decisions are made.

Bear Creek Reservoirs Environmental Review (PDF)

It is important to note that RLMPs are programmatic plans that designate potential allowable land uses as defined in the land use zone definitions and do not involve specific land actions. TVA would complete an appropriate site-specific environmental review prior to proposed development or activity on TVA public land.