Fort Loudoun Lake, Tennessee, USA
Also known as: Fort Loudoun Reservoir
Named for a nearby 18th century British fort, Fort Loudoun Lake draws millions of visitors every year for fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing. Located at the headwaters of the Tennessee River, Fort Loudoun Lake extends 55 miles from Lenoir City to Knoxville. It is the first in a chain of nine reservoirs that form a continuous navigable channel to Paducah, Kentucky, approximately 652 miles away. All nine…
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Welcome to the ultimate guide to Fort Loudoun Lake! Article topics include:
- All About Fort Loudoun Lake
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Fort Loudoun Lake Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Fort Loudoun Lake Gifts
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All About Fort Loudoun Lake, TN
Named for a nearby 18th century British fort, Fort Loudoun Lake draws millions of visitors every year for fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing. Located at the headwaters of the Tennessee River, Fort Loudoun Lake extends 55 miles from Lenoir City to Knoxville. It is the first in a chain of nine reservoirs that form a continuous navigable channel to Paducah, Kentucky, approximately 652 miles away.
All nine reservoirs are managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which was a New Deal idea. Speaking to Congress, President Roosevelt painted a picture of a “corporation clothed with the power of government but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise.” The TVA dams were created for flood control and to generate hydroelectric power, and have helped protect and build the region ever since.
Construction of the Fort Loudoun Dam began in 1940 and was finished is 1943. Fort Loudoun Lock raises and lowers boats and barges 70 feet between Fort Loudoun Lake and Watts Bar Reservoir. Barges carry over half a million tons of cargo through the lock every year. Fort Loudoun Lake is connected by a canal to Tellico Reservoir on the nearby Little Tennessee River. Water is diverted through the canal for power generation, and the canal allows commercial barges access to the Tellico Reservoir without having to pass through a lock.
Because Fort Loudoun Lake is a main waterway, the water level only draws down about six feet fluctuating between elevations of 807 feet to 813 feet. The length of the lake makes it ideal for recreational boating, jet skiing, and water skiing, and there are public boat ramps and marinas. There are abundant fish populations of largemouth, smallmouth and black bass, and the lake is particularly well known for its black and white crappie.
There is camping available near Loudoun Lake and wildlife to see. Birdwatchers will love the black-crowned night herons and osprey along with other waterfowl. Fort Loudoun State Park is 1,200 acres set aside to commemorate one of the earliest British fortifications on the western frontier. Today visitors can tour the partially reconstructed fort named for John Campbell, the 4th Earl of Loudoun and commander of the British Forces in North America.
Its rich diverse history and beautiful water makes Fort Loudoun Lake a great place to explore and enjoy.
Things to Do at Fort Loudoun Lake
These are some activities in the Fort Loudoun Lake, TN area visitors can enjoy:
- Vacation Rentals
- Jet Skiing
- Water Skiing
- Wildlife Viewing
- State Park
What Kind of Fish Are in Fort Loudoun Lake?
Fort Loudoun Lake has been known to have the following fish species:
- Black Bass
- White Crappie
Find Places to Stay at Fort Loudoun Lake
If you’re considering a Fort Loudoun Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
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More Sites to Book a Fort Loudoun Lake Vacation
Our interactive Fort Loudoun Lake lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Fort Loudoun Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: Tennessee Valley Authority
Surface Area: 14,600 acres
Shoreline Length: 379 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 813 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 807 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 815 feet
Maximum Depth: 78 feet
Water Volume: 282,000 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1943
Water Residence Time: 10 days
Lake Area-Population: 173,890
Drainage Area: 9,550 sq. miles
Trophic State: Eutrophic
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