Fontana Lake

Quick Facts

Fontana Lake

North Carolina

(865) 988-2420

Map Directions

Things To Do


Fontana Reservoir occupies a site of particular splendor deep in the Great Smoky Mountains. Fishing, boating, and swimming are all popular at Fontana, but it is perhaps most appreciated by wilderness hikers and campers.

The Appalachian Trail, which extends over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine, crosses Fontana Dam. The hot showers available at the trail shelter, maintained by TVA, have led grateful hikers to dub it the Fontana Hilton. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park borders the reservoir to the north.

Fontana was built during World War II to provide electric power for the war effort. A new town, housing some 5,000 people who worked around the clock in three shifts, sprang up in the forest, and the project broke construction records. What was once the construction village is now a resort offering recreational activities such as boating, horseback riding, and crafts making.

Fontana Lake stretches across two different counties; Swain and Graham county. There are many different access points to the lake with boat ramps and rental boats available.

Map of Fontana Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 0.000000, 0.000000



  • Boating

    For information on boat docks and rentals visit:

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Please contact TVA for more information.

  • Camping

    Please contact TVA for more information.

  • Fishing

    Game fish in Fontana include smallmouth and largemouth bass, white bass, walleye, and crappie.

  • Hiking

    Please contact TVA for more information.

  • Historic Sites

    Please contact TVA for more information.

  • Horseback Riding

    Please contact TVA for more information.

  • Hunting

    Please contact TVA for more information.

  • Picnicking

    Advanced reservations for the group pavilion can be made in advance. This pavilion has the following amenities: one electrical outlet with two plug-ins, handrails under the pavilion have lights, six tables that will seat 36 people, one double charcoal grill and one small grill, handicapped-accessible, restrooms nearby (about 150 yards), not near the beach area, boat ramp is about one mile away, paved parking lot, water is furnished, and there is no equipment for activities such as horseshoes, volleyball, etc.

  • RVing

    Please contact TVA for more information.

  • Water Sports

    Please contact TVA for more information.


The Fontana Dam Visitor Center is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily from May through October. It is closed when the homeland security alert level is orange (high) or red (severe).



From Knoxville, go south on Highway 129 approximately 14 miles to where it joins Highway 411. Turn right and follow 129/411 about 4 miles and turn left on 129 at the split. Go 28 miles on 129 and turn left at Deals Gap on Highway 28; then watch for signs.

Phone Numbers


(865) 988-2420