Fort Loudoun Lake Paddling
Knoxville, TN 37920
Fort Loudoun Lake is located at the headwaters of the Tennessee River near Knoxville and extends 55 miles upstream from the dam to the confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers. Since Fort Loudoun is a navigable mainstream waterway, the annual drawdown is only six vertical feet. Water levels fluctuate between 813 and 807 feet above sea level. Fort Loudoun Lake features 379 miles of shoreline and 14,600 acres of water surface making it a popular recreational area for fishing, paddling, and birdwatching. The tailwater area immediately below the dam is an excellent site for viewing a variety of waterbirds, including herons, cormorants, gulls, osprey, and bald eagles. The reservoir is connected by a short canal to the Tellico Reservoir on the nearby Little Tennessee River. The dam was completed in 1943 at a height of 122 feet high and stretches 4,190 feet across the Tennessee River.