Melton Hill Lake Paddling
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Melton Hill Lake received it's name from a high knob located about two miles from the dam. High atop this hill resides a mapping station established in 1884 by the U.S. Coast Guard and Geodetic Survey. Melton Hill Dam Recreation Area around the reservoir and dam offers year-round camping plus sheltered picnic tables and pavilions. The dam was completed in 1963 and stands 103 feet high. It stretches 1,020 feet across the Clinch River. The reservoir provides nearly 193 miles of shoreline and 5,470 acres of water surface for recreation. Melton Hill is the only dam in the tributary reservoir system with a navigation lock and is considered a run-of-river reservoir, meaning that water is passed through the reservoir without being stored long term. The water level fluctuates about four feet on a daily basis.
Paddling: At the dam, paddlers can put in from either of the two boat ramps available, one above and one below. This gives paddlers access to both Watts Bar Lake and Melton Hill Lake. On the eastern edge of Oak Ridge, Melton Hill Lake is nationally know as one of the best 2,000 meter rowing courses in the US. Oak Ridge's Melton Hill Park is home to the Oak Ridge Rowing Association which hosts a number of regattas including the US Rowing National Championships. Oak Ridge is one of only three cities to host this prestigious event since 1983. Every March to April, thousands of rowers join them for Spring Training — check out our events calendar so you'll be sure to attend! Another scenic blueway access is from the boat dock at Knox County's Melton Hill Park. The boat launch under the Edgemoor Bridge provides 5 miles of shoreline around Haw Ridge Park and alongside the new section of the Melton Lake Greenway into Oak Ridge.