Fort Loudoun Dam and Reservoir are named after nearby Fort Loudoun which sits on the bank of Tellico Reservoir. Fort Loudoun was a strong hold during the colonial conflict known as the French and Indian War. This North American war was part of the Seven Year’s War, in which the American colonists sided with the British to fight against the French and Native Americans.
The fort was named after John Campbell, the fourth earl of Loudoun, who was a commander of the British forces in North America.
Fort Loudoun Dam is the first dam downstream of the confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers; the first dam in a series of nine dams that make up the main-stem of the Tennessee River.
For more information about TVA dams, visit www.tva.gov.
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Fort Loudoun Reservoir is a popular recreation destination, known for bass fishing, boating and bird watching. The tailwater area is an excellent site for viewing a variety of waterbirds: including herons, cormorants, gulls, osprey, and kingfishers.
There is public access to both shorelines below the dam for fishing -- the north side has restrooms and access ramps for bank fishing.
Since Fort Loudoun Dam is on the Tennessee River, a primary navigation channel of the southeast, a navigation lock is used to allow boat passage. Moving from one TVA-managed reservoir to another by water requires using the navigation lock, or “locking through,” a free service used by thousands of recreational boaters every year. The lock facilities are owned by TVA and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
It usually takes about 45 to 60 minutes to lock through, but may take longer if there are multiple vessels. Commercial traffic has priority at the locks, but the lock operators try to accommodate recreational boats on every third lockage when traffic is heavy. The lock operator also may wait until several boats are gathered at the lock so that they can lock through together.
Call for information about hours of operation at Chickamauga, Fort Loudoun, Melton Hill, and Watts Bar Dams. Fort Loudoun Lock 865-986-2762 or 1-800-882-5263.
How to Get There
From Knoxville: Go west on I-40; then south on I-75. Take exit 81 at Lenoir City and turn left following US-321 N; before passing Fort Loudoun Dam, turn left onto City Park Drive and take the first right.
From Chattanooga: Follow I-75 N to exit 81 at Lenoir City and turn left following US-321 N; before passing Fort Loudoun Dam, turn left onto City Park Drive and take the first right.
Visitor centers, trails, boat ramps, pavilion and canoe access points operated by TVA are provided to the public with no fee
ADA Accessibility Notes
ADA accessibility available at restrooms, fishing access
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.