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  Lake, River, or Waterfall

TVA Tellico Dam and Reservoir


Located in eastern Tennessee, the Tellico Reservoir was formed by the building of Tellico Dam by the Tennessee Valley Authority.  Construction of Tellico Dam began in 1967 and was completed in 1979.  The dam is 129 feet high and reaches 3,238 feet across the Little Tennessee River.  The dam and reservoir are named for The Tellico River which is a tributuary to the reservoir.  The reservoir provides approximately 350 miles of shoreline and approximately 16,000 acres of water surface for recreation activities.

Tellico Reservoir was planned as an extension of nearby Fort Loudoun Reservoir. Tellico Dam serves to divert water through a short canal into Fort Loudoun, linking the two reservoirs in their joint functions of flood damage reduction, power production, and improved navigation. They help regulate flooding downstream, especially at Chattanooga. The canal also allows barges to enter the Little Tennessee River without a lock, thus significantly increasing commercial barge operations in the Valley.  Tellico has a flood-storage capacity of 120,000 acre-feet. Water from Tellico helps drive the four generating units at Fort Loudoun Dam.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a federal corporation and the nation’s largest public power company. As a regional development agency, TVA supplies reliable, competitively priced power, supports a thriving river system and stimulates sustainable economic development in the public interest. TVA operates fossil fuel, nuclear and hydropower plants, and also produces energy from renewable sources. It manages the nation’s seventh-largest river system to reduce flood damage, produce power, maintain navigation, provide recreational opportunities and protect water quality in the 41,000-square-mile watershed.

Recreational Opportunities

Fishing, swimming, boating, birding, and many other recreation activities are enjoyed by visitors throughout the year. 

Link to TVA Beach Trail:

The East Lakeshore Trail is located along the east shore of Tellico Lake and was recently designated a National Recreation Trail by the Dept. of the Interior. This beautiful trail system was developed and is maintained, in partnership with TVA, by a dedicated group of volunteers organized by WATeR (The Watershed Assoc. of the Tellico Reservoir). or detailed maps of trail branches visit our website:

Link to Tellico Blueway Map:

For additional recreation information

How to Get There

From Knoxville, TN - Follow signs for I-40 W/Nashville and merge onto I-40 W - go 3.0 mi

 Merge onto I-75 S -go 20.0 mi .

Take exit 81 toward TN-73 E/TN-73 Scenic E/TN-95 S/US-321 N/US-321 Scenic S go 0.2 mi

Turn left onto TN-73 E/TN-73 Scenic E/TN-95 S/US-321 N/US-321 Scenic S -go 6.9 mi

Turn right onto Antioch Church Rd W -go 2.4 mi

Turn left onto Jackson Bend Rd -go 0.3 mi

Turn left toward Lighthouse Point Dr go 295 ft 

 Take the 1st right onto Lighthouse Point Dr -go 0.5 mi

Turn right onto Edgewater Way go 404 ft

total 34.2 mi

 From Chattanooga, TN - to Tellico Dam reservation.

Take the ramp onto I-24 E -go 6.8 mi

Merge onto I-75 N -go 79.7 mi

Take exit 81 for US-321/TN-95 toward Lenoir City/Oak Ridge go 0.2 mi

Turn right onto TN-73 E/TN-73 Scenic E/TN-95 S/US-321 N/US-321 Scenic S -go 6.8 mi

Turn right onto Antioch Church Rd W -go 2.4 mi 

Turn left onto Jackson Bend Rd - go 0.3 mi

Turn left toward Lighthouse Point Dr - go 295 ft

Take the 1st right onto Lighthouse Point Dr -go 0.5 mi

Turn right onto Edgewater Way go 404 ft ‎

total 98.1 mi

For More Information, Contact:

Tennessee Valley Authority

toll-free 800-882-5263

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Boundaries and names shown do not necessarily reflect the map policy of National Geographic.

Latitude: 35.779014200
Longitude: -84.248601900
Elevation: 815 FT (248 M)
Meet the Author:
Tiffany Foster
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