Here Are 10 Of The Most Beautiful Lakes In Tennessee, According To Our Readers
Tennessee is a state that is replete with stunning natural beauty, which is no secret to those who live here. We asked our readers what the most beautiful lakes in this state are, and they eagerly replied with some wonderful choices and lovely photos. We’ve gathered them together for you, and here they are, the clearest lakes in Tennessee:
1. Douglas Lake
Douglas Lake, Tennessee, USA
With more suggestions by far than any other lake on this list,
takes the cake! Located on the eastern edge of Tennessee, it has wonderful views of the Great Smoky Mountains. This is actually a reservoir that was made in the 1940s, and its 28,000 acres of water provide hydroelectric energy to the Tennessee River Valley. Fishing for bass and crappie is excellent here, and it’s a popular swimming, camping, and boating site. No wonder it’s one of the most beautiful lakes in Tennessee!
2. Watauga Lake
Watauga Lake, Tennessee, USA
Also in eastern Tennessee is lovely
. This 16-mile, 6,000-acre lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains and is simply breathtaking. It has some great beach spots and swimming areas and is a great place to fish for rainbow trout, walleye, and more. This reservoir was created in 1948 when the TVA Watauga Dam was completed. Over half of the lake will remain undeveloped and retain its natural beauty as it is in the Cherokee National Forest.
3. Radnor Lake
37220, Oak Hill, TN 37220, USA
If you like seeing wildlife,
is the place to be. Just a hop, skip, and a jump from Nashville, this gorgeous lake is a local favorite and is a Class II Natural Area so it will be protected for a long time to come. This is the place to see herons, owls, and various waterfowl, and the hiking trails surrounding this lake are a great way to see them. Best of all, the Lake Trail is wheelchair accessible! This picturesque lake is beautiful all year round and should certainly earn a place on your bucket list.
4. Norris Lake
Norris Lake, Tennessee, USA
is possibly the cleanest lake in the state, and this reservoir spans five different counties: Grainger, Anderson, Union, Claiborne, and Campbell. This lake reaches 210 feet in depth and has 800 miles of shoreline, and the views here are simply fantastic. Spend a summer day here boating from over 20 marinas and bring the whole family for some leisurely swimming. The lake is surrounded by protected parks with wonderful hiking trails like Chuck Swan State Forest, Norris Dam State Park, and Cove Creek Wildlife Management Area.
5. Indian Boundary Lake
Indian Boundary Lake, Tennessee 37385, USA
This lesser-known lake in the Cherokee National Forest is a bucolic, serene place that is accessible by the Cherohala Skyway.
Indian Boundary Lake
boasts 96 acres of water, a swimming beach, a small boat launch, a fishing pier, and a lovely hiking trail that goes around the lake. If you camp here and need food or firewood, the Indian Boundary Outpost is there to serve your needs. Most areas have decent accessibility and there are full restrooms as well. Be sure to check with the
U.S. Forest Service
to check the current use fees.
6. Dale Hollow Lake
Dale Hollow Reservoir, Tennessee 38551, USA
Nestled on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee is the clearest lake around,
Dale Hollow Lake
. These turquoise-transparent waters are perfect for swimming, boating, water skiing, and every other water-based activity that can be done on a lake. There are several marinas with boat rentals and there are houseboats where you can rent a room and enjoy an entire weekend at this stunning spot. It’s a popular getaway for locals and visitors and is surrounded by lodges and restaurants, so you can really make a whole family getaway here.
7. Chickamauga Lake
Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee, USA
is where you can find perhaps the best bass fishing in Tennessee. In fact, several popular fishing tournaments are held here every year. It has 810 miles of shoreline and reaches a depth of 72 feet and the Hiwassee River flows right into it. This gorgeous lake is a reservoir that was created when the Chickamauga Dam was built in 1940. Its proximity to Chattanooga makes it a very popular recreational area with locals.
8. Davy Crockett Lake
Davy Crockett Lake, Tennessee 37743, USA
Davy Crockett Lake
is another popular fishing spot in Tennessee with largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and various species of catfish. It’s actually a very wide part of the Nolichucky River and is bordered by Kinser Park, which has all kinds of recreational activities like baseball fields, waterslides, and a boat ramp. It’s absolutely beautiful and just a short drive from the charming little town of Greeneville. It’s one of the best places to take in the beauty of rural Tennessee.
9. South Holston Lake
South Holston Lake, United States
This gorgeous lake
was named after an early Tennessee settler named Steven Holston and it sits on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains on the border of Tennessee and Virginia. One of many reservoirs that were created in the 1940s, this lake generates power and flood control for the surrounding area and most of it is surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest. You really have to come in the fall when the colors surrounding and reflecting off of the lake create such a spectacular sight.
10. Coy Gaithers/Bedford Lake
Bedford Lake, Tennessee 37183, USA
This may be the last lake on this list, but this list is just a fraction of the multitude of magnificent lakes in Tennessee.
Coy Gaithers/Bedford Lake
is another fantastic fishing spot and some massive fish have been caught here. It has largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, sunfish, and catfish. It’s one of the smaller lakes but is big on beauty. It’s a lovely place to relax and get away from city life and enjoy the calm waters, warm sun, and gentle breezes.
Have you been to any of the clearest lakes in Tennessee? Let us know in the comments. If you love the natural beauty of this state, you’re sure to love these seven natural wonders in Tennessee.
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More to Explore
What are the best swimming holes in Tennessee?
best swimming holes in Tennessee are:
Cummins Falls in Cookeville, known for its astonishing sights and cool waters
The Sinks in Smoky Mountain National Park, a fun cliff jumping spot for thrill-seekers
Rutledge Falls in Tullahoma, a scenic spot where you can jump off a waterfall Rock Island State Park, a spectacular spot for swimming and hiking
Narrows of Harpeth in Kingston Springs, a lovely destination for swimming and kayaking
Fort Dickerson Quarry in Knoxville, home to peaceful waters that are crystal clear
Fall Creek Falls in Spencer, a jaw-dropping destination located inside the 26,000-acre Fall Creek Falls State Park
Blue Hole Falls in Carter County, a serene swimming spot near an easy hiking trail
What are the best hiking trails in Tennessee?
best hiking trails in Tennessee are:
Laurel Falls Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This easy 2.3-mile trail is perfect for an afternoon stroll.
Sewanee Perimeter Trail, South Cumberland State Park. You don't have to walk the entire 18-mile trail in order to enjoy its spectacular sights.
Burgess Falls Trail, Burgess Falls State Park. A quick 1.1-mile trail will lead you to an astonishing waterfall. This hike is perfect for kids and adults.
Starr Mountain, Ocoee State Park. This hike is difficult, but if you're up for a challenge, it's worth the trek. The views of Hiwassee River from above the peaks are breathtaking.
Abrams Falls Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This five-mile trail is particularly popular during spring, when the flowers are blooming and the air is fresh.
Honey Creek Loop, Big South Fork National Area. This five-mile adventure is full of rocky terrain, but it's worth the effort.
What are the best natural attractions in Tennessee?
best natural attractions in Tennessee are:
Great Smoky Mountains Ramsey Cascades in Gatlinburg
Burgess Falls State Park in Sparta
Tennessee River Gorge in Chattanooga
Virgin Falls Pocket in Sparta
The Lost Sea in Sweetwater
Lookout Mountain in Rock City