Day-Use Recreation Areas

Looking for a place to come play for the day? You can’t do better than TVA’s developed recreational lands. From swim beaches and fishing berms to playgrounds and picnic pavilions, the options for fun are nearly endless.

TVA operates about 80 public recreation areas throughout the Tennessee Valley region where millions of people enjoy limitless opportunities for fun and appreciation of our natural heritage. Click on the reservoir near you for more information about TVA-provided facilities, or click on the area recreation guides to access information about nearby attractions, including golf courses, parks, marinas, resorts, campgrounds and more.

Visit a Dam

TVA has eight dams with open visitor centers featuring displays that transport you through 80 years of TVA history, tell you about the site you’re visiting and explain TVA’s activities today. Four of the centers are staffed with friendly TVA retirees to answer your questions and provide a firsthand experience of the TVA story. The visitor centers locations and hours are as follows:

  • Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Facility, staffed from April to October at Laurel Point, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET (NOTE: Visitor center currently closed for operations maintenance.)
  • Fontana Dam, staffed April to August, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET; September and October, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Norris Dam, staffed April to November, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET from Monday to Saturday; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays
  • Kentucky Dam, staffed 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT in April and November; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT from May to October
  • South Holston is display-only and accessible year-round, open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April to October ET; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November to March ET.
  • Fort Patrick Henry is display-only and accessible year-round, open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April to October ET; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November to March ET. (NOTE: The overlook building at Fort Patrick Henry will be closed June 6 through August 19 to ensure the safety of the public during maintenance projects at the dam.)
  • Guntersville is outdoors, display-only and accessible year-round.
  • Wilson Dam is outdoors, display-only and accessible year-round.

Please let TVA know if you’re planning on bringing a large group, and we will take extra measures to accommodate you. Call Laura Smith (865) 632-8287, or email

Plan a Family Picnic

TVA offers group picnic pavilions at some of its recreation sites; most include bathroom facilities, grill availability, parking, water and handicap accessibility. Here are the TVA reservations that offer picnic facilities: Boone, Cherokee, Chickamauga, Douglas, Fontana, Guntersville, Hiwassee, Melton Hill, Nickajack, Normandy, Norris, Pickwick, Tellico, Watts Bar, Watauga, Wheeler and Wilson. Pavilion use is free of charge and is available on a first-come, first-served basis each day. For information, call TVA’s Public Land Information Center at (800) 882-5263. You can reserve pavilions at Melton Hill, Douglas and Cherokee for $100 per day.

To the extent permitted by law, TVA disclaims liability for any injury to any person or property or loss of life or property related to use of TVA land for recreation activities.


Rules for Use of TVA Public Lands

To ensure that everyone receives maximum enjoyment from their time on TVA public lands, we've established some basic rules designed to enhance your experience and protect our natural resources—now and for generations to come. Read the rules now.


Recreation Map

Our interactive map shows boat access points and other recreational highlights on each of the TVA-managed reservoirs. Our map viewer provides three distinct views for lake recreation areas, as well as GPS coordinates and directions to recreation areas and facilities across the Tennessee Valley. See the map now.


Our Partners

TVA partners year-round with community groups and state and federal partners on projects such as river clean-ups, wildlife habitat enhancement initiatives, trail building, removal of invasive exotic plants, improving access to public lands and general maintenance activities. If your organization is interested in becoming a TVA partner in recreation, contact our Public Lands Information Center.