Surrounded by the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forests, Hiwassee and the adjacent Apalachia Reservoir serve as a rich habitat for deer, wild turkey and other animals. Below Hiwassee Dam, a day-use park on Apalachia Reservoir provides access to boating, fishing and paths for exploring the reservoir and its tributaries.
Hiwassee Reservoir has a flood-storage capacity of 205,600 acre-feet. It has two generating units with a net dependable capacity of 124 megawatts. It is surrounded by the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forests.
Hiwassee Reservoir is located on the Hiwassee River in western North Carolina, stretching 22 miles northwest to southeast. It is immediately upstream from Apalachia Reservoir. The Hiwassee is exceptionally beautiful and well suited for canoeing, rafting and learning the basics of whitewater boating. The flow of water in the reservoir comes from deep below the surface and is chilly, even in the summer.
Hiwassee: Facts + Figures
- In addition to recreation, Hiwassee Reservoir serves a number of other purposes, including flood damage reduction and power generation.
- Construction of Hiwassee Dam began in 1936 and was completed in 1940.
- The dam is 307 feet high and stretches 1,376 feet across the Hiwassee River.
- Hiwassee Dam is a hydroelectric facility. It has two generating units with a net dependable capacity of 124 megawatts. Net dependable capacity is the amount of power a dam can produce on an average day, minus the electricity used by the dam itself.
- In a year with normal rainfall, the water level in Hiwassee Reservoir varies about 43 feet from summer to winter to provide seasonal flood storage.
- The reservoir has a flood-storage capacity of 205,600 acre-feet.