Chickamauga Lake

Quick Facts

Chickamauga Lake

Tennessee

(423) 697-4205

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Chickamauga Reservoir is on the Tennessee River just north of Chattanooga. The reservoir stretches 59 miles upriver from the dam to Watts Bar Dam. Chickamauga Reservoir is named for a tribe of American Indians that broke away from the Cherokee Nation in the 1700s. They lived in villages along North Chickamauga Creek, which joins the river just below Chickamauga Dam. The reservoir is popular for fishing, boating, and swimming. There are boat ramps on the reservoir and canoe access on North Chickamauga Creek.

The Big Ridge Small Wild Area is a 200-acre upland hardwood forest situated on a high ridge above the north shore of the reservoir at the dam. An easy 1.3-mile loop trail leads through the forest. Spring wildflowers include bloodroot, toothwort, larkspur, trillium, and mayapple. This large lake is one of nine Tennessee Valley Authority projects on the Tennessee River. Before the Tennessee Valley Authority created Chickamauga and the other reservoirs above Chattanooga, the city had one of the most serious flooding problems in the nation. Now the river that often threatened the city contributes to its economy as a major artery for barge traffic.

Chickamauga has 810 miles of shoreline and more than 35,000 surface acres. Located in Meigs, Rhea, Bradley, McMinn, and Hamilton counties, the lake is composed of two major bodies of water, a 59-mile stretch of the Tennessee River and a 30-mile section of the Hiwassee River. Chattanooga is located on Chickamauga Lake. Primary species of sport fish include white crappie, bluegill, white bass, channel and blue catfish, largemouth bass, and sauger.

Map of Chickamauga Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 35.255638, -85.119071

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Activities

  • Boating

    There are many boat ramps around the lake. There are boat ramps on the reservoir and canoe access on North Chickamauga Creek.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Contact park for auto/motorcycle touring opportunities.

  • Camping

    There are several campgrounds around the lake.

  • Fishing

    Primary species of sport fish include white crappie, bluegill, white bass, channel and blue catfish, largemouth bass, and sauger. There are six fishing piers around the lake.

  • Hiking

    There are several hiking trails on the shores of the lake. The Big Ridge Small Wild Area is a 200-acre upland hardwood forest situated on a high ridge above the north shore of the reservoir at the dam. An easy 1.3-mile loop trail leads through the forest.

  • Historic Sites

    Chickamauga Reservoir is named for a tribe of Native Americans that broke away from the Cherokee Nation in the 1700s. They lived in villages along North Chickamauga Creek, which joins the river just below Chickamauga Dam.

  • Hunting

    Hunting may be allowed on some of the land around the lake. Check with individual land agencies for information on hunting regulations.

  • Picnicking

    There is a group pavilion that can be reserved in advance. This accessible pavilion has the following amenities: one electrical outlet with two plug-ins, lighting under the pavilion, eight tables that will seat 64 people, three charcoal grills. It is near to restrooms, within walking distance of the beach area and boat ramp, and there is a paved parking lot.

  • RVing

    RVs are welcome in the campgrounds located at various points around the lake.

  • Water Sports

    There are several swimming beaches around the lake.

Seasonality/Weather

Summer temperatures range, on average, from 90 F to 65 F. Winter temperatures range from 30 F to 54 F. March is the wettest month.

Directions

Driving

There are many access points to Chickamauga Lake north of Chattanooga. To get to the dam, take exit 4 on I-75 and go north on Highway 153.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(423) 697-4205

Links