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Cordell Hull Lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers impounded Cordell Hull Lake by creating the Cordell Hull Dam on the Cumberland River between 1963 and 1973. Used for navigation and hydroelectric power, this reservoir encompasses over 11,960 acres and offers plenty of room for water recreational sports such as boating, water skiing, fishing, and wakeboarding.


The lake is becoming known as one of the best striped bass lakes in the nation. Cold-water and warm-water fishing are available year round, because Lake Cumberland and Dale Hollow Lake discharge cold water from upstream into this lake. Other popular fish species in this include white bass, crappie, and catfish. Look for smallmouth and rock bass along tributary streams.


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    Cordell Hull Lake Tennessee Coordinates:
36.2484N -85.9553W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
11,960 acres
Maximum Depth:
90 ft
504 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


Boaters can find two marinas -- one at Defeated Creek Recreation Area and the other at Granville -- and at least 25 boat ramps and two docks along the lake. Boaters can lock through to Cordell Lake from upstream, and lock through to Old Hickory Lake at the Old Hickory Lake Dam downstream to Nashville. Please check with local Corps offices to make sure that the locks are open to recreational boats when you plan your outing.


The Army Corps of Engineers offers two developed campgrounds and two primitive camping areas at the lake. Developed campgrounds include all the amenities, including laundry facilities, showers, boat ramps, beaches, and power, water, and some sewer hookups. The primitive areas include outhouses and a more isolated venue. If you want to take advantage of the amenities at a state park, Standing Stone State Park is located within 50 miles east from the dam site along TN-85 to TN85.

Vacation homes along the lake also are available to those individuals who don't like to camp. Carthage, located at the southwestern end of this lake, also provides a variety of accommodations.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Cordell Hull Lake is located in Smith, Jackson, and Clay Counties, about 60 miles east of Nashville along I-40, then north along TN 25. Other towns along that route include Lebanon and Carthage. The small town of Hartsville is located northwest of the lake, and Gainesboro is located northeast of the lake near the small Jackson County Airport.

Fun times at Cordell Hull Lake  Cordell Hull Lake

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Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  45 Avg. High  50 Avg. High  60 Avg. High  69 Avg. High  76 Avg. High  84 Avg. High  88 Avg. High  87 Avg. High  82 Avg. High  72 Avg. High  60 Avg. High  49
Avg. Low  25 Avg. Low  27 Avg. Low  35 Avg. Low  43 Avg. Low  52 Avg. Low  62 Avg. Low  66 Avg. Low  65 Avg. Low  58 Avg. Low  44 Avg. Low  36 Avg. Low  28