Harrison Bay State Park

Quick Facts

Harrison Bay State Park

Tennessee

(423) 344-6214

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The 1,200-acre Harrison Bay State Park was originally developed as a Tennessee Valley Authority recreation demonstration area in the 1930s. This beautiful wooded park is a haven for campers, boaters, and fishermen, as well as picnickers and other day-use visitors from Chattanooga and the surrounding tri-state area. The park has approximately 40 miles of shoreline on Chickamauga Lake. Its name is derived from a large bay at the main channel of the Tennessee River that covers the old town of Harrison, as well as the last Cherokee Campground. The parklands are of historic significance because of the Cherokee Campground. The Campground consisted of three villages, which were ruled by one of the last great Cherokee Chieftains, Chief Joe Vann. Original workmanship of the Civilian Conservation Corps from the 1930s can still be admired throughout the park. This park is the oldest Tennessee State Park. It has opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and golfing.

Map of Harrison Bay (TN)

Latitude, Longitude: 35.173910, -85.116421

READ MORE

Activities

  • Boating

    All types of boats and water recreation vehicles are allowed at the park. Boats are not available for rent. A boat ramp is available to the general public free of charge. The marina can accommodate boats of up sixty feet in length. The park also has a marina that features 161 covered slips, 28 uncovered slips, and four sailboat slips. There is no transit or overnight slip rental available. Fuel is available at the dock. The dock is winterized.

  • Bicycling

    Harrison Bay offers a 4.5-mile loop trail that was built with assistance from the Southeast Off-road Bicycle Association. The trail features nice uphill climbs with some fast downhill opportunities as well. The trail is fun and rated for all abilities.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Contact park regarding auto/motorcycle touring oppurtunities.

  • Camping

    There are 128 RV campsites with water and electrical hookups and a limited number that can accommodate RVs up to sixty-five feet in length. There is one centralized dumping station. Bathhouses are located in each of the four camping areas as well as at the playground. There are 21 tent-only campsites that do not have electrical or water hookups. Tents can be put up beside RVs but visitors are limited to one family unit per site. No reservations are taken. Space is available on first come, first-served basis.

    The park's group camp consists of 24 rustic cabins that can accommodate up to 144 people. The group camp kitchen is fully equipped with utensils, commercial stove and gas oven, household-sized refrigerator and freezer, and a walk-in cooler.

  • Fishing

    Visitors enjoy lake fishing at the park and can expect catches of bass, bluegill, and catfish. A valid Tennessee fishing license is required.

  • Golfing

    The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay has water and heavily-wooded land with soaring pine and hardwood trees. This popular location is often noted as "the best natural piece of land for a golf course" and reflects the traditional Jack Nicklaus emphasis on overall integrity and playability for golfers of all ability. The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is also one of the most highly recognized environmentally sensitive courses in the nation. It is certified by Audubon International for its conservation practices and also registered as the first Groundwater Green Guardian Site in Tennessee.

  • Hiking

    The park has eight miles of trails, ranging in difficulty from easy to moderate. There are three hiking trails at the park. There is a 4.5-mile shoreline loop, a trail through the forest, and a short trail through a field. The trails are open year-round.

  • Historic Sites

    Harrison Bay is the oldest state park in Tennessee. Harrison Bay's name comes from a large bay of the Tennessee River that covers the old town of Harrison. The original town site was also the last Cherokee Campground. The Campground consisted of three villages which were ruled by one of the last great Cherokee Chieftains, Chief Joe Vann.

  • Picnicking

    The park has 3 large pavilions to accommodate large groups. Pavilions may be reserved up to one year in advance. Grills and water spigots are provided. There are four individual picnic areas, each equipped with a grill.

  • RVing

    There are 128 RV campsites with water and electrical hookups and a limited number that can accomodate RV's up to 65 ft. There is one centralized dumping station.

  • Tennis

    The park has tennis courts.

  • Water Sports

    The park has an Olympic-size swimming pool and a wading pool for small children. The pool is open from Memorial Day through late summer. A lifeguard is on duty.

Seasonality/Weather

The park is open year-round. It has a winterized dock. The trails are open year-round, but the pool is only open in the summer.

Park Partners

Friends of Harrison Bay State Park

Friends of Harrison Bay State Park works to preserve and protect the natural and scenic beauty of the park. It educates visitors about the importance of environmental, wildlife, and cultural conservation.

Directions

Driving

From Chattanooga: Take Exit 4 off I-75 onto State Route 153. Travel North on Hwy. 153 and at the sixth exit , Hwy. 58, turn north. Travel approximately 12 miles to Harrison Bay Road on the left. Follow the signs to the park entrance. The park entrance is approximately one mile on the left.

From Knoxville: From I-75, take Exit 25, Hwy. 60. Travel on Hyw. 60 approximatley nine miles to Hwy. 58. Turn South at Highway 58 and travel approximately 15 miles to Harrison Bay Road. Turn right onto Harrison Bay Road. The park entrance is approximately one mile on the left.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(423) 344-6214

Links