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  Lake, River, or Waterfall

TVA Tellico Dam and Reservoir


Located in eastern Tennessee, the Tellico Reservoir was formed by construction 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 tributary 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 dam to divert water through a short canal into the Fort Loudoun reservoir. The linking of the reservoirs helps reduce downstream flooding,  produce power, and improve navigation. The canal allows barges to enter the Little Tennessee River without the lock, thus significantly increasing commercial barge operation 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.

For more information about Tellico Dam and Reservoir please visit TVA's Reservoir Information page.

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. 

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:

Tellico has two additional trails, Beach Trail (2 mi) and Hall Bend Trail (5 mi), visit  TVA trails webpage for more information.

For recreational inquiries please visit Tellico's Recreational Facilities webpage

Seasons Accessible

All Seasons

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

Fees: No Fees

 ADA Accessibility Notes

ADA accessible at fishing pier, picnic tables, restrooms

ADA available at bird watching, boat ramp above and below dam, swimming beach, wildlife viewing area

 Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are welcome, certain conditions may apply

For More Information, Contact:

TVA Public Land Information Center

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

Latitude: 35.777948000
Longitude: -84.259703000
Elevation: 747 FT (228 M)
Meet the Author:
Tiffany Foster
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