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Fort Loudon Lake

Fort Loudoun Lake is a reservoir located just south of Knoxville near the McGhee Tyson Airport. It extends about 50 miles upstream from the Fort Loudoun Dam at Lenoir City into Knoxville. It is the first lake out of nine steps of reservoirs, dams, and locks on the Tennessee River created by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). With urban development so close at hand, this 14,600-acre lake is a popular spot for fishing, paddling, boating, bird watching, and other recreational sports.

Note that different entities spell the lake and the surrounding region as either "Loudoun" or "Loudon."


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    Fort Loudon Lake Tennessee Coordinates:
35.4731N -84.1436W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
14,600 acres
Maximum Depth:
40 ft
813 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


Anglers know this lake well for its bass and catfish. The most common fish in this lake include largemouth, smallmouth, and white bass. Other species in this lake include bluegill, sauger, and crappie. A recent TWRA angler survey shows that black bass accounted for over 35 percent of the catches in this lake.


A short canal connects the Tellico Reservoir downstream on the Little Tennessee River to Fort Loudoun Lake for power production purposes and for commercial barge access. The confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers is located slightly east of downtown Knoxville, and the area marks the beginning of the Tennessee River. This area offers river and lake access to boaters. A lock at Fort Loudoun raises and lowers boats by about 70 feet between the lake and Watts Bar Reservoir, which is the second lake in the series of reservoirs on the Tennessee River.

Boaters also can gain access to Fort Loudon Lake through at least 17 boat ramps located in parks, marinas, and creeks surrounding the lake.


The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located about an hour's drive south of the Fort Loudon Dam. But, campers can find other sites within Blount County, especially around the lake and in the Maryville area. Since Fort Loudon Lake is located so close to Knoxville, visitors can find a variety of available accommodations, including cabins, lodges, resorts, hotels and motels, inns, and B&Bs.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Fort Loudon Dam is located just 30 minutes from Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport, and just 28 miles from the heart of downtown Knoxville via I-75. The reservoir stretches across Blount and Knox Counties, with nearby towns including Maryville, Loudon, Lenoir City, and Louisville.

Fun times at Fort Loudon Lake  Fort Loudon Lake

  Fort Loudon Lake  Fort Loudon Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  48 Avg. High  53 Avg. High  62 Avg. High  71 Avg. High  79 Avg. High  86 Avg. High  89 Avg. High  89 Avg. High  83 Avg. High  72 Avg. High  62 Avg. High  51
Avg. Low  28 Avg. Low  31 Avg. Low  38 Avg. Low  46 Avg. Low  55 Avg. Low  65 Avg. Low  69 Avg. Low  68 Avg. Low  60 Avg. Low  48 Avg. Low  38 Avg. Low  31