TVA Fun

Tennessee Valley summers brings warm weather and plenty of opportunity to get outside on TVA’s lands and lakes and play the days away. What to do? Scroll on for great ideas.

At TVA, we're hardwired for fun. Recreation is part of our mission—it's who we are. And there's plenty of fun to be had year-round on TVA land and water.

Do you love to hike? We've got trails for every ability. Fishing your obsession? We have some truly world-class bass and trout fishing destinations. Do you like to kick up dirt? We have some spoke'n hot mountain biking trails. Birdwatching more your style? Take a peek at our small wild areas. Camping? Boating? Swimming? Paddling? Check, check, check, check. And those are just a few of the possibilities.

All you need to do, any time of year, is get out there and have a good time. Share your own stories and photos on Instagramusing #TVAfun!

Capture Your Summer Memories

Have wide-open fun in TVA’s wide-open spaces this year, snap a pic, and you could win great prizes courtesy of #TVAfun, now celebrating its fifth birthday!

History on Wheels

Two new TVA multi-use trails near South Holston Dam are designed to provide mountain biking fun for the whole family now and in times to come.

Hiwassee Boat Ramp Open for Summer Fun

A new boat ramp on the Hiwassee tailwater offers safe access to the beautiful vistas and fabulous fishing of Apalachia Lake.

Big Ones Below Norris

The tailwater below Norris Dam offers outstanding trout fishing and perfect conditions for paddling—and A.D.A. access to boot. Fun for everyone!

Killer Biking on TVA’s Mill Creek Loop

Whether it’s rainy or gorgeous fall day, grab your mountain bike and head for the Mill Creek Loop, TVA’s latest and greatest hiking and biking trail, where both the color and the ride are spectacular.

Be a Cool Camper

Fall is prime time for cool, cozy, colorful camping. Here are nine ways you can have fun in the outdoors while making your stay a sustainable one.

The Big Cheese

Fishing for bass on Guntersville is always good. In the fall, it’s even better—if you know the right techniques for fishing the weeds this time of year. Our fishing expert shares his secrets.

Sailgating with the Vol Navy

“Sailgating” is a grand tradition at the University of Tennessee, home to the storied Vol Navy, which ties up on the Tennessee River outside Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on football Saturdays.

Come Visit Our Dams

You’ll find yourself welcome at nine of TVA’s dams, which feature visitor centers. Four of these are staffed with friendly folks ready to answer your questions about TVA’s past, present or future.

Picnic Paradise

There’s no doubt about it: Picnics mean good times, yummy food and family fun. Consider having your next outdoor shindig at one of TVA’s fabulous picnic areas or pavilions.

Colorful Autumn Hikes

The Tennessee Valley is at its best when fall brings out glorious color in the trees. Here are six spectacular hikes that even the most jaded leafers will absolutely love.

Fun on the Urban Reservoirs

Fort Loudoun and Tellico reservoirs are close enough to Knoxville city residents to live on. But they’re also popular weekend getaways, known for bass fishing, hiking and hiking.

Exploring Tims Ford

Embrace precious Indian Summer days and explore the many water trails available on Tims Ford Reservoir on the Elk River in Middle Tennessee.

Summer Fun at Pickwick

“Go west, young man” is not just a famous quote; it’s good advice to vacationers who want to have fun in the “west end” of the Tennessee Valley region. Pickwick Landing Dam and Lake offer action-packed days (and barbecue-filled nights).

TVA Readies for Eclipse Visitors

What are you doing for the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse? Consider taking in the view on one of the South’s most beautiful reservoirs.

The Secret Ocoee

There’s more to the Ocoee River than world-class whitewater rafting. We caught up with an experienced guide to find out what other kinds of adventures the Ocoee has to offer.

Beech Getaway

You don’t have to go big to have your fun on the lake. If you live in West Tennessee, you can think small—and still have a good time—on the seven Beech River lakes.

Making New Memories at Nickajack Lake

You may not know Clyde Boyd of Jasper, Tenn., but if you visit TVA’s Glover Branch Recreation Area just below Nickajack Dam, you’ll be walking among his memories—and across the land where he raised crops, milked cows and grew old.

Urban Mountain Biking

Just because your bike was made to handle rocks and roots doesn't mean it can't perform on pavement, too. Try one of these urban biking trails, five of the best in the Tennessee Valley.

Go with the Flow

Norris Lake’s outstanding Loyston Point trails provide a beautiful setting and a mountain biking experience that will suit your experience level—whether you’re a beginner or seasoned expert.

Mountain Biking Is Spoke’n Hot

About 40 million Americans participate in the sport of mountain biking each year—and the Tennessee Valley is their playground. Want to join their numbers? Here’s what you need to know before you go.

Mountain Bike Mecca

Bike Magazine summed up Raccoon Mountain’s bike trails in one word: glorious. Find out why these 30 miles of trails are known for monster thrills and family chill.

Five Feathered Friends

Get to know the looks, songs, diets and habits of these five common birds, and you’ll have feathered friends worth watching wherever you go in the Tennessee Valley.

Birdwatching 101

TVA maintains public areas—woodlands, grasslands and waterways—across the Tennessee Valley, and these are great places for birdwatching. With a little know-how, you’ll see the splendor of birds all around you.

Spotting Eagles and Raptors on TVA Land

Eagles, ospreys and hawks all dwell in the Tennessee Valley year-round—in particular on Guntersville and Kentucky reservoirs—offering majestic views for birdwatchers in the field and, via web cam, at home.

8 Tips for Better Birdwatching

Winter is here, and with it some of the best birdwatching of the year. You can find many fine feathered friends on TVA public lands—but your own back yard will also offer incredible avian views, if you know how to look.

Doggy Paddling

At TVA we love pets. So why not bring them out to enjoy #TVAfun on our lakes and streams? Paddling with your pooch is great fun, and with a little preparation and know-how, safe for everyone.

Five Perfect Paddles in the Tennessee Valley

We’ve done the research, we’ve witnessed the beauty, we’ve had the fun—and we can practically guarantee you’ll have good time, too. So there is no reason for you to not to check out one of these perfect Tennessee Valley paddles.

Making “Bucket-List” Whitewater

When the horn sounds, the Ocoee River in east Tennessee becomes a bucket-list destination for experienced rafters looking for miles of Class III and Class IV adventure. Here’s how TVA maintains the whitewater thrills.

The Ghost of West Tennessee

There are many legends on how the Ghost River section of the Wolf River in west Tennessee got its name.

Paddle Pointers

We want you to have summer fun on our lakes and streams—and stay safe while you're doing it. Check out these 13 things you need to consider before you climb into your kayak, raft or canoe.

Bygone Boats

Antique and classic boats harken back to the time when recreational watercraft with nicknames like “Little Funhouse” and “Eleanor” filled the Tennessee River.

Marina Heaven

Marinas are home base for all the splashy boating lake fun of summer. When they go the extra mile to be environmentally sound, the good only gets better.

Hit the Beach

Craving a beach vacation this summer, but don’t have the time or money to make it happen? A lazy waterside getaway may be closer than you think.

Cool Your Heels on TVA Trails

Summer temperatures may be on rise through the Valley, don't be afraid to get outdoors. These four terrific TVA trails offer leafy shade and built-in water features to help you escape the summer sun and cool yourself—naturally.

Family-Friendly Hiking on Cherokee Lake

Looking for the perfect hiking experience for the whole family? You can do no better than this “two-fer” of trails at Cherokee Lake, loved by old and young and everyone in between.

Hiking in the Wild

Trails through TVA’s Small Wild Areas let Valley residents get up close and personal with some of the most exceptional natural resources and scenic views in the region.

Get Ready, Go Hiking!

It’s time to lace up those hiking boots, grab your supplies and hit the trail—with both fun and safety in mind!

All the Comforts in the Great Outdoors

Long to stay in the great outdoors, but tent camping just isn't your style? Try living it up in a decked-out RV. You can have all the comforts of home—including wi-fi—and still get out into nature on TVA campgrounds.

Celebrate National Trails Day with TVA

TVA trails crisscross more than 170 miles of public land — there for you to hike or bike, no matter what your difficulty level. They’re fun to explore and great for exercise. The only downside is the work to maintain them.

Lakeside Camping

Always wanted to live on the lake but can't afford the real estate? Now you can enjoy all the amenities without the expense by camping at one of TVA's six dam reservation campgrounds.

Island Getaways

No need to travel across the ocean for a relaxing vacation. You can get away from it all and pitch a tent on one of the dozens of wild islands that dot TVA’s reservoirs right here in the Valley.

Kids Playing Hooky

Introducing youngsters to fishing takes preparation, practice and patience—but their first catch could get them “hooked” for life.

The Tug Is the Drug

Winter, spring, summer or fall, any angler will tell you that there is nothing like the adrenaline rush of “fish on.” The Tennessee Valley is home to many world-class trout fisheries, chief among them the South Fork Holston River.

Creating Family Fishing Traditions on TVA Lakes

From trophies worthy of hanging on the wall to the simple joys of a bluegill on a little girl’s line, TVA lake fishing creates memories that cross generations. PLUS: 10 family-friendly destinations for fishing from the shore.

Fisherman’s Paradise

Lake Guntersville is a world-class destination for bass fisherman. Here’s why the lake is so good—and how TVA manages it for ongoing excellence.

The Happiest Camping

Want to make eco-friendliness part of your camping experience? Now you can, by choosing one of the 46 Tennessee Valley Camp-Right Campgrounds.
TVA Dam Trading Cards

Retro-Modern Trading Cards!

Collect and trade our series of 35 TVA dam cards. Each includes a beautiful illustration on the front, and vital stats on the back, including dam data and insider info on the best ways to have fun on the reservoir. Get our best tips for hiking and biking, fishing, camping and more! See them all.

Find the trading cards at our visitors centers at KentuckyNorris and Fontana dams; at Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Facility; or at our TVA regional offices in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Murphy, Paris, Lenoir City and Gray, Tenn., and Guntersville and Muscle Shoals, Ala.