Watts Bar Lake Paddling
Spring City, TN 37381
Watts Bar Dam, located midway between Knoxville and Chattanooga, is one of nine TVA dams on the Tennessee River. Watts Bar Lake provides a variety of recreational play from paddling, fishing, swimming, and camping. A scenic overlook near the dam provides visitors with a panoramic view of the reservoir and surrounding countryside. Completed in 1942, just three weeks after Pearl Harbor the reservoir provided the urgently needed electricity for the war effort. The height of the dam is 112 feet and stretches 2,960 feet across the Tennessee River. There are 722 miles of shoreline and over 39,090 acres of water surface. To maintain the water depth required for navigation, the minimum winter elevation for Watts Bar Reservoir is 735 feet with a typical summer operating range between 740 and 741 feet. In addition to forming a navigable 72-mile-long reservoir on the Tennessee River, Watts Bar also creates a slack-water channel for navigation more than 20 miles up the Clinch River and 12 miles up the Emory River. Countless coves and islands with natural sand beaches offer ideal spots for virtually all types of water activities.