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Cherokee Lake

Cherokee Lake is one of the oldest reservoirs created by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). They impounded the Holston River in 1940, and the lake was completed and opened to the public in 1941. Built for hydroelectricity during World War II, this lake also offers plenty of recreational activities.

Hawkins, Grainger, Hamblen, and Jefferson counties in Tennessee all share Cherokee Lake. Visitors can find plenty of public access, commercial boat docks and resorts as well as Panther Creek State Park and other public parks along the 400-mile shoreline. A state wildlife management area also sits on the shores, and that resource attracts a large amount of recreational use.


The high level of this reservoir causes Cherokee Lake to maintain greater fish densities then other TVA reservoirs. Cherokee Lake offers threadfin and gizzard shad, alewife, black bass, walleye, sauger, sunfish, black bass, crappie, white bass, and catfish. Cherokee Lake's largemouth and smallmouth bass populations are so dense that there's not need to stock. The state record fish for this lake was a 46.6-pound black buffalo in 1954.


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    Cherokee Lake Tennessee Coordinates:
36.2149N -83.4350W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
28,780 acres
Maximum Depth:
175 ft
1,073 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


Boaters will enjoy the numerous marinas and several access sites located along the lake's 28,000 acres. Most marinas offer full service including boat rentals, accommodations, supplies, fishing tackle, and restaurants. Review the Lake Resource Guide for detials on the local boating.


Panther Creek State Park offers 50 campsites complete with water, electrical hookups, grills, picnic tables, fire rings, bathhouse facility and a laundromat facility. The bathhouse facilities provide hot showers, commodes, and lavatories. There is a dump station for self-contained trailer. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Maximum stay is two weeks. Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging in the area.


The closest major city is Knoxville. Other nearby Tennessee cities are Morristown, Jefferson City and Rogersville. The lake is located in the Tennessee counties of Hawkins, Grainger, Hamblen and Jefferson.

Fun times at Cherokee Lake  Boone Lake

  Boone Lake   Boone Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  46 Avg. High  52 Avg. High  61 Avg. High  69 Avg. High  77 Avg. High  84 Avg. High  87 Avg. High  87 Avg. High  81 Avg. High  71 Avg. High  60 Avg. High  49
Avg. Low  26 Avg. Low  28 Avg. Low  35 Avg. Low  43 Avg. Low  53 Avg. Low  62 Avg. Low  66 Avg. Low  65 Avg. Low  57 Avg. Low  45 Avg. Low  35 Avg. Low  28