Gainesville Lake is a reservoir that represents one of two lakes created along the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in Alabama. The Howell Heflin Lock and Dam, created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1978, is located eight miles north of Epes and just east of Gainesville, Alabama, and downstream from Aliceville Lake on the Tenn-Tom. The lake's uses include navigation, flood control, and recreation.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) impounded this lake in 1936 for hydroelectric power and navigation. It is one of nine impoundments along the Tennessee River, and its waters flow from Lake Guntersville and into Wilson Lake.
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Boat launches along this lake include the S. W. Taylor Overlook, Cochrane Recreation Area, Heflin Access Area (lower pool), Ringo Bluff Access Area, Riverside Access Area, Sumter Recreation Area, and Vienna Access Area.
The Heflin Lock and Dam is the last and southernmost structure on the Tenn-Tom. Commercial and recreation vessels can reach the connecting Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway about 53 miles away on the Tombigbee River and through an impoundment created by the Demopolis Lock and Dam, which forms Demopolis Lake. It is 215 miles from Demopolis to the Gulf of Mexico.
Although state parks are far from this lake, visitors can find private camp sites in the area. Cochrane Recreation Area in particular offers day-use and overnight camping. Aliceville, located just northeast from the lake, offers hotels, lodges, and B&Bs.
Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.
Gainesville Lake is located in Pickens County, Alabama, and the closest towns include Aliceville, Gainesville, Vienna, and Epes. The closest major city is Birmingham at just about two hours' drive from the lake. Birmingham maintains a large airport, but if you want to hire a jet charter, you can use Tuscaloosa's airport, which is almost one hour closer to the lake.
Fun times at Gainesville Lake
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