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Douglas Lake

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) created Douglas Lake, or Douglas Reservoir, for flood control and hydroelectric power in 1942 and opened the lake to the public in 1943. TVA impounded the French Broad River, creating a lake that is located a few miles from the Gatlinburg tourist area and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Most of the over 513 miles of shoreline is privately owned, but TVA maintains recreational facilities at Douglas Dam.


Known as the top ten spot in the nation for largemouth bass and rated one of the top five crappie locations in the nation, anglers also can find white, striped and spotted bass in this reservoir. Other game fish include walleye, catfish, sunfish, and bluegill.


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    Douglas Lake Tennessee Coordinates:
35.4031N -84.9888W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
28,240 acres
Maximum Depth:
140 ft
682 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


Boaters can find a TVA boat ramp at the camping area near the dam. Other locations to put in at Douglas Lake include commercial marinas and campgrounds located around the lake, but mainly near Dandridge.


Campers can find 41 camp sites at the Cherokee Dam Reservation, managed by TVA. This facility has grills, showers, and a swimming area. Another campsite is the Douglas Lake Campground for tents and RVs. This facility has 100 sites with electric and water hookups.

If you're seeking B&Bs, hotels and motels, or vacation rentals, you can find many of those accommodations in Dandridge. This town is located right on the lake. However, if you want to stay in Knoxville or near Gatlinburg, you can find plenty of accommodations in both areas. Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville may charge a bit more because of tourism. You'll also want to book accommodations early if you plan to stay in that area.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Douglas Lake is located in Jefferson County, Tennessee, and cities close to the lake include Dandridge, White Pine, Sevierville, and Newport. Dandridge is the most popular town, as it is situated on the north shores of Douglas Lake just off I-40. Dandridge is located less than thirty miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park via I-40. Dandridge also is less than an hour's drive from Gatlinburg, depending upon traffic. The heart of Knoxville is only 31 miles from Dandridge along I-40, but the Knoxville McGhee Tyson Airport might take more time -- that airport is located on the other side of Knoxville about 45 miles from Dandridge.

Fun times at Douglas Lake  Douglas Lake

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Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  46 Avg. High  51 Avg. High  60 Avg. High  69 Avg. High  77 Avg. High  84 Avg. High  87 Avg. High  87 Avg. High  81 Avg. High  71 Avg. High  60 Avg. High  49
Avg. Low  22 Avg. Low  26 Avg. Low  31 Avg. Low  40 Avg. Low  49 Avg. Low  58 Avg. Low  63 Avg. Low  62 Avg. Low  54 Avg. Low  41 Avg. Low  32 Avg. Low  25