|South Holston Lake
South Holston Lake's 7,580 acres are ideal for boating, kayaking, canoeing, water skiing, and fishing. Created by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1940s, the dam impounds the South Fork Holston River in Sullivan County. It is the first dam on the South Fork Holston, and it extends across Tennessee and Virginia state lines near Bristol.
Located about 50 miles above the South Fork Holston River's confluence with the North Fork Holston River, the dam and lake are situated in a beautiful Appalachian Mountain setting. The dam site and the Tennessee portion of this reservoir are surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest, which extends up into Virginia.
In 2010, a reciprocal agreement between Tennessee and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries went into effect. Tennessee residents currently can purchase an annual South Holston Reservoir License to fish the Virginia side of the lake. Virginia residents can obtain a similar license to fish the Tennessee side, but all residents still must have a valid state license. This is important information, especially for trout fishing, as each resident must have a valid state license to fish for that species. Visiting anglers must abide by state boundaries and the state that issues the license.
Search South Holston Lake Resources
Two public boat launches exist -- one at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's ramp on U.S. 421, and another at the Little Oak Campground off Forest Road #87. The Tennessee side of this lake also hosts five marinas and boat docks, and ramps at Little Oak Campground and Observation Knob Park.
Lodging on the Tennessee side of South Holston Lake includes camping at Cherokee National Forest as well as at other campgrounds in Sullivan County. For hotels, inns, and B&Bs, visitors can find rooms in Kingsport, Bristol, and Blountville.
Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.
South Holston Lake is situated in Sullivan County, Tennessee, and in Washington County, Virginia. Nearby cities include Bristol (which straddles the Tennessee-Virginia state line), Kingsport, and Blountville in Tennessee. Knoxville is located about two hours from the northern portion of the lake in Tennessee via I-81 and Hwy 394 at Blountville. Bristol is located on I-81 just north of Blountville, and that town is located just 11.6 miles (about 25 minutes) from the lake.
Fun times at South Holston Lake
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