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TVA Melton Hill Dam and Reservoir

Natural Area, Lake, River, or Waterfall

ADA Accessibility Notes

ADA accessibility available at camping, fishing access, overlook, pavilion, picnic table, restrooms, swimming beach.

Melton Hill Dam is located on the Clinch River in east Tennessee. The dam and reservoir take their name from a high knob located about two miles from the dam. On this hill is a mapping station established in 1884 by the U.S. Coast Guard and Geodetic Survey.

Melton Hill Dam is the only dam with a lock in the Tennessee River Valley that is not on the main-stem of the Tennessee River.

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

From Knoxville: Take 1-40 west to exit 364, go two miles north on TN-95 to Melton Hill Dam Reservation 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

The reservoir provides nearly 193 miles of shoreline and 5,470 acres of water surface for recreation. The area around Melton Hill Dam offers camping plus sheltered picnic tables and pavilions. Two boat ramps, one below the dam and one above, give boater’s access to Watts Bar Reservoir as well as Melton Hill Reservoir. Roads on both sides of the river are popular for walking, jogging, or bike riding. Game fish in the reservoir include sauger, crappie, and bass.

Melton Hill Reservoir has two TVA managed trails. The Worthington Cemetery Trail, though a short hike (0.5 mi loop), has some unique features that include a cedar barren, native warm season grass meadow and a pier out into a wetland. The Melton Hill Dam Reservation Trail (0.75 mi) takes a hiker from the overlook to the dam below. For more information about Melton Hill's trails, please visit the TVA Trailswebsite.

In 2011, TVA installed a series of renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmentally beneficial enhancements throughout the day use and campground areas. The technologies reduce electric demand of the facility elements such as lighting and water heating, while also generating renewable solar and wind power at the site.

Enhancements within the Melton Hill Dam Sustainable Recreation Site include:

· Photovoltaic solar arrays of various configurations to generate electricity

· A wind turbine to generate electricity

Energy-efficient LED street and path lighting
Energy-efficient LED signage
A solar water heating system in bath house
Water conservation elements within buildings
Energy efficiency sensors
Electric vehicle charging stations
Recycling facilities
Coal combustion product reuse
Storm water management enhancements
For more information on Melton Hill Campground and Pavilions visit TVA's Recreation page.


Seasons Accessible

The campground, beach and adjacent picnic area are closed in the winter; check the TVA website for dates. The boat launching ramp, trail, fishing access and overlook area is open year round.



The day use areas which include the picnic tables, beach and boat launch ramps are free. There are fees associated with the campground and the pavilions.

Nearby Places