Set against the backdrop of the foothills of the Smoky Mountain, Douglas Lake is a popular recreation destination for paddlers, anglers and campers. The dam that controls the reservoir was built in 1942, stretches 202 feet high and 1,705 feet across the French Broad River. Douglas Lake provides 513 miles of shoreline and 28,420 acres of water surface for recreation activities. In a year with normal rainfall, the water level in Douglas Reservoir varies about 44 feet from summer to winter. Although most of the shoreline along the 43 mile-long lake is private, TVA provides two campgrounds near the dam that offer access to the lake. Amenities include restrooms with showers, picnic areas with tables, a boat ramp and a swimming beach.
Birdwatching: From late July to early October, birdwatchers will witness the fall migration of shore birds, wading birds, and other waterfowl that flock to Douglas Lake. The birds rest and feed on the muddy shoreline and in areas of shallow water exposed as the level of the reservoir is lowered to winter flood control levels.
Fishing: Nourished by three rivers, Douglas Lake has become the premier crappie lake in East Tennessee. Other good fishing includes: white bass, sauger, black crappie, striped bass, spotted bass, walleye, blue cat, flat head catfish, channel catfish, red horse, red breast sunfish and bluegill. Fishing is a year round sport at Douglas although spring and fall are the preferred seasons. From November to May, the wide shallow embayment, fertile creek hollows and stump beds, attract the crappie in huge numbers during the spring spawning season making crappie fishing excellent! Spring is the best time for bass fishing but you'll find there's good stock year-round.
Trails: If you want to add a hiking adventure to your time at the lake, the trailhead to the Trotter Bluff Small Wild Area is adjacent to the Douglas Dam Headwater Campground. Hike the almost 2 miles of trail that winds through 30 acres of hardwood forest and limestone sinkholes to an overlook of the lake's tail waters. Springtime hikes are enhanced with colorful wildflowers that dot the landscape.The Dandridge Partnership Trail is a 1.2 mile out-and back that winds through wooded terrain.
French Broad River
TVA - Douglas Dam
Douglas Dam Access