Chickamauga Dam was built in 1940 on the Tennessee River just north of Chattanooga. The reservoir is named after a tribe of Native Americans that broke away from the Cherokee Nation in the 1700s. They lived in villages along North Chickamauga Creek, which joins the river just below Chickamauga Dam.
Before TVA created Chickamauga and other reservoirs above Chattanooga, the city had one of the most serious flooding problems in the nation. Now the river that often threatened the city contributes to its economy as a major artery for barge traffic.
For more information about TVA dams, visit www.tva.gov.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving more than 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. For more information about TVA and its mission of service to the Tennessee Valley, click here.
The reservoir is popular for fishing, boating and swimming. There are boat ramps on the reservoir and canoe access on North Chickamauga Creek.
The Big Ridge Small Wild Area is a 200-acre upland hardwood forest situated on a high ridge above the north shore of the reservoir at the dam. An easy 1.3-mile loop trail leads through the forest; spring wildflowers include bloodroot, toothwort, larkspur, trillium and mayapple. For more information about this trail, visit TVA's Trails webpage.
The day use area at Chickamauga Dam includes a beach with a roped off swim area, a pavilion, numerous picnic tables with grills, two launch ramps and 2 restrooms.
Below the dam are restrooms and a fishing pier. This is also the north end of the Tennessee Riverpark: ten miles of paved trails that connect Chickamauga Dam to downtown Chattanooga.
How to Get There
From Chattanooga: Take TN 153 N to exit 6 (Amnicola Highway); go north on Amnicola Highway to stop sign at Kings Point Road; turn left like going to Chickamauga Marina. Chickamauga Dam Day Use Area is straight ahead. The tailwater fishing pier can be accessed from the north end of the Chickamauga Greenway; enter from Amnicola Highway.
Visitor centers, trails, boat ramps, and canoe access points operated by TVA are provided to the public with no fee
ADA Accessibility Notes
ADA accessibility available at fishing pier, pavilion, picnic tables, restrooms
Pet Friendly Notes
Pets welcome but must be kept on a leash no longer than 6-feet. TVA is a partner of Leave No Trace and requests that visitors follow Leave No Trace practices, including picking up after your pet.