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Nickajack Reservoir




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General Information

Description - Nickajack Reservoir extends 46 miles upstream from the dam to Chickamauga Dam. The reservoir offers wide expanses of water and the spectacular scenery of the Tennessee River Gorge, known as the Grand Canyon of Tennessee. Boat-launching ramps and fishing berms are located on both sides of the river below the dam, and a concrete fishing pier is connected to the bank with footbridges and a wheelchair ramp. TVA camping and picnicking facilities are available at several locations. Between late April and early October, nearby Nickajack Cave serves as habitat for roosting gray bats, an endangered species. At dusk the sky is darkened as thousands of bats emerge from the mouth of the cave. Nickajack is the sixth step in the stairway of TVA reservoirs and locks that carry barges up and down the Tennessee. Some of the commodities passing through the Nickajack lock are grain, pulpwood, wood chips, soybean oil, salt, petroleum, steel products, and coal. Inadequate lock facilities at the old Hales Bar Dam, which Nickajack replaced in 1967, had long presented a serious navigation problem.

Attractions - The picnic pavilion & gazebo have the following amenities: (1) electrical outlet with (2) plug ins at each, lighting under the pavilion and gazebo, tables that will seat 50 people, (3) charcoal grills, handicap accessible, restrooms near by (about 300 feet), near the beach area and boat ramp, paved parking lot, water is furnished, and there is no other equipment for activities such as horseshoes, volleyball poles/net, etc.Advanced reservations for the pavilion can be made by calling our toll-free number, 866-494-7186.

Recreation - Visitors can enjoy camping, boating, swimming, fishing, and picnicking. The reservoir offers wide expanses of water and the spectacular scenery of the Tennessee River Gorge, known as the Grand Canyon of Tennessee. Boat-launching ramps and fishing berms are located on both sides of the river below the dam, and a concrete fishing pier is connected to the bank with footbridges and a wheelchair ramp. TVA camping and picnicking facilities are available at several locations.

Climate - Tennessee has a temperate climate with short, mild winters. The average annual snowfall for the state is 12 inches. Spring comes in early March bringing flowering trees and shrubs, and warmer weather. Spring temperatures average between 45 and 70 degrees. Summer's full force arrives in the region by mid May, bringing warm weather and higher humidity. The mountains of eastern Tennessee are a great place to escape the hot summer temperatures as the higher elevation cools the air slightly. Cool fall temperatures bring crisp air and brilliant fall colors. Mid to late October is a good time to visit the region to experience the fall foliage.

Location - Nickajack Dam in southeast Tennessee and extends 46 miles upstream from the dam to Chickamauga Dam. From I-24 West, exit 158. Follow signs to Nickajack Dam Reservation / Shellmound Campground. The pavilion is adjacent to Shellmound Campground.


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