Description - Watts Bar, located about midway between Knoxville and Chattanooga, is one of nine TVA dams on the Tennessee River. The reservoir attracts millions of recreation visits each year for boating, fishing, swimming, camping, and other outdoor activities. A scenic overlook near the dam provides visitors with a panoramic view of the reservoir and surrounding countryside.
The dam was completed in January 1942, three weeks after Pearl Harbor, and provided urgently needed electricity for the war effort.
The lock at Watts Bar handles more than a million tons of cargo a year, and the reservoir plays an important role in flood control. In conjunction with other tributary and main-river reservoirs above Chattanooga, it is of special value to that city, which is the point of greatest flood hazard in the Valley.
Without the regulation these dams provide, Chattanooga and other downstream communities would have suffered several major floods and many smaller ones over the years that would have resulted in damage amounting to some $4.9 billion.
- This picnic pavilion has the following amenities: (1) electrical outlet with (2) plug ins, lighting under the pavilion, (11) tables that will seat 100 people, (3) charcoal grills, handicap accessible, restrooms near by (about 150 feet), near the beach area and boat ramp, paved parking lot, water is furnished, there is a basketball goal but 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 - reservoir attracts millions of recreation visits each year for boating, fishing, swimming, camping, and other outdoor activities. A scenic overlook near the dam provides visitors with a panoramic view of the reservoir and surrounding countryside.
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.
Watts Bar Reservoir is on the Tennessee River in east Tennessee. It extends 72.4 miles northeast from the dam to Fort Loudoun Dam.
From Spring City, Tennessee, take Highway 29 South to Highway 68 East. Follow signs to the dam.