Norris is a popular tourist and recreation destination. In the 1930s, TVA established demonstration public parks at several locations on Norris Reservoir, including Cove Lake, Big Ridge, and the area around Norris Dam. These parks later became the nucleus of Tennessee’s state park system.
Norris features numerous hiking trails. The River Bluff Trail is the longest at 3.1 miles and offers rich pockets of wildflowers. The Edge Path is a shady corridor with wheelchair access. The Songbird Trail is, as the name suggests, a popular area for birding.
Water sports at Norris include boating, water skiing, swimming, and excellent fishing. The Tennessee state record brown trout was caught in the Clinch River below Norris Dam.
The Norris Dam Visitor Center is located off Interstate 75 exit 122 north of Knoxville and is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through November except for major holidays and in times of severe weather. Staffed by TVA retirees, the visitor center overlooks the powerhouse, Norris Reservoir and a marina. It has maps, videos, and displays about TVA and the construction of the dam.
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