Imagine walking down a winding path to the lustrous white sands, gulls wheeling overhead. White sands beckon, as does the sound of lapping waves. Children run happily along the shoreline, playing with buckets and shovels as their parents relax under the sun, reading beach novels. A little further down the shoreline, a group of teenagers play at volleyball. It’s a scene of pure summertime bliss.
Where are you?
No, you’re not in the Outer Banks, or Panama City, or Hilton Head, or Gulf Shores—or at any ocean anywhere. You’re right at home in the Valley, at Boone Lake’s newly manicured swim beach off Minga Rd. just south of Johnson City, Tenn. It’s free and open to the public…and absolutely gorgeous.
There are many such swim beaches on TVA dam reservations throughout the Valley designed to provide respite from the summer heat and allow families of all income levels to enjoy family fun on region’s lakes, explains Jerry Fouse, recreation strategy and tourism development specialist for TVA Natural Resources. Most are free; a few charge a nominal fee.
“Really, the swim beaches provide a multifaceted recreation experience,” he says. “There are always picnic areas and there is shore fishing available; there are often trails nearby and boat ramps. It’s like a mini state park experience.”
Recreation is part of TVA’s DNA, interwoven with its stewardship mission Fouse explains: “It’s important to us to provide the broadest recreation experience to the broadest group of people, and TVA has been developing facilities like these since the 1950s.”
Thanks to TVA’s efforts, you can easily have a one-day beach get-away. Just pack up a lunch, the kids, some sunscreen and head to a beach near you.
Besides Boone Beach, other Valley swim beaches include:
* Indicates that a nominal fee will be charged.
It’s always a good time for fun on the Tennessee Valley’s lands and waters. Not sure where to start? We have you covered! Check out some of the best recreational activities on our reservoirs. While you’re enjoying the lakes, trails, picnic areas and campgrounds, share your own stories and photos on Instagram using #TVAfun.
Get the all the latest news and inside information about recreation on TVA public lands and lakes.