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Chilhowee Lake

Chilhowee Dam, completed in 1957, is located between river miles 33 and 34 on the Little Tennessee River. The reservoir, which covers about 1,734 acres, extends into Blount and Monroe Counties in Tennessee. This is one of two reservoirs in Tennessee that is maintained by Tapoco, a division of the Alcoa Power Generation, Inc. Since it is located on the north side of the Great Smoky Mountains, this lake offers some gorgeous scenery for boaters, as well as some great fishing for anglers.

Chilhowee Lake is a shallow ten-mile long, cool water reservoir that is riverine and stretching upstream to Calderwood Dam, near the state line. The lake flows into the Tellico River downstream. Chilhowee also is known for the number of waterfalls that empty into this lake, including Miry Branch, Bolden Knight, and Chilhowee Cascades.


Trout are stocked on an annual basis, and they thrive in the cool clear waters provided by this reservoir. Anglers also can enjoy fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, crappie, and rock bass. Record fish caught in this lake include a three-pound, ten-ounce black redhorse in 2007.


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    Chilhowee Lake Tennessee Coordinates:
35.5456N -84.0503W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
1,747 acres
Maximum Depth:
25 ft
874 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


Chilhowee Lake offers easy and convenient access with several boat ramps on U.S. 129 along the lake's northern border, as well as two fishing decks that can be easily accessed by the disabled.


Chilhowee Lake provides part of the boundary between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest. Campers can find some obscure and beautiful campsites if they're on the lookout. One such site is the campground at Abrams Falls, located about seven miles from the boat ramp on U.S. 129. Campers can stay close to the lake, too, and use one of the more than 70 campsites offered through the Forest Service's Chilhowee Recreation Area.

Nearby Maryville offers cabins near streams, hotels, and great sausage and biscuits for early-morning risers. If you want to drive further into tourist country, you can find plenty of lodging at Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg to the east. Knoxville, located oto the north, also supplies plenty of resources for accommodations.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Considering that Chilhowee Lake is a mere 40 miles from Knoxville and a little over 50 miles from Gatlinburg, this lake is pristine. Its location near the parks helps, as few people are in the area for anything other than tourism or hunting during hunting season. Maryville offers all the amenities visitors might need without dealing with overt traffic, and the Knoxville McGhee Tyson Airport is located just north of that city and south of Knoxville. Chilhowee also benefits from being off the beaten path. Visitors can gain access via U.S. 129 from Maryville, or 321 to 129 from Gatlinburg.

Fun times at Chilhowee Lake  Chilhowee Lake

  Chilhowee Lake  Chilhowee Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  47 Avg. High  52 Avg. High  61 Avg. High  70 Avg. High  78 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  88 Avg. High  88 Avg. High  82 Avg. High  71 Avg. High  60 Avg. High  50
Avg. Low  29 Avg. Low  33 Avg. Low  39 Avg. Low  47 Avg. Low  56 Avg. Low  65 Avg. Low  69 Avg. Low  68 Avg. Low  60 Avg. Low  49 Avg. Low  39 Avg. Low  32