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TVA Cherokee Dam and Reservoir

Natural Area, Lake, River, or Waterfall

ADA Accessibility Notes

ADA accessibility available at campground, pavilion, picnic tables, restrooms

Cherokee Dam is last reservoir on the Holston River in East Tennessee before the Holston joins with the French Broad River to form the Tennessee River. It is named after the tribe of Native Americans who once inhabited the area.

Cherokee was built to generate hydroelectric power during the World War II emergency and was completed in 17 months. For more information about TVA dams, visit

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving more than 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. For more information about TVA and its mission of service to the Tennessee Valley, click here.

How to Get There

Cherokee Dam is about an hour’s drive east of Knoxville on the north side of Jefferson City. From Jefferson City take TN-92 toward Rutledge; Cherokee Dam will be on the right.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets welcome but must be kept on a leash no longer than 6-feet. TVA is a partner of Leave No Traceand requests that visitors follow Leave No Trace practices, including picking up after your pet. Pets are not allowed in the beach area.

Recreational Opportunities

Cherokee Reservoir is a popular recreation destination. Along its shoreline are public access areas, county and municipal parks, commercial marinas, campgrounds and resorts, a state park, and a state wildlife management area.

Fishing is popular at Cherokee. The reservoir’s fish population is very similar to that found in other East Tennessee reservoirs — black bass, sauger, walleye, crappie and several sunfish species.

There are two TVA managed trails around Cherokee that are used for hiking, running, walking and fishing access. The Cherokee Cross Country Trail on the Dam Reservation is compacted gravel or paved and relatively flat making it easy to navigate – it has several loops, giving you lots of options. The Johnson Ridge Trail is a hidden gem and an awesome trail. It runs along the shoreline for almost all of its entire length; when the water is down, large boulders are exposed offering great places to sit and observe nature. For more information about these trails, visit TVA's Trails webpage.


Seasons Accessible

All seasons; the campground at Cherokee Dam is closed in the winter, for camping information or to make reservations visit TVA's Camping webpage.



Visitor centers, trails, boat ramps, picnic tables, and swim beach are operated by TVA and provided to the public with no fee. The pavilion can be rented and the campground requires fees for stays.

Nearby Places