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TVA South Holston Dam and Reservoir

Natural Area, Lake, River, or Waterfall

ADA Accessibility Notes

ADA accessibility available at fishing pier, overlook, paved trail, picnic tables, restrooms, visitors center, water fountain.

South Holston Reservoir is on the South Fork Holston River in northeastern Tennessee and extends 24 miles east into Virginia. It is one of several of TVA reservoirs that cross state lines. The Cherokee National Forest surrounds over half of the reservoir which contributes to the natural beauty and limited development along the shoreline.

In 1991, TVA built a labyrinth weir below the dam to introduce oxygen to the river when the hydropower plant isn’t generating electricity. Oxygen-rich water helps create a sustainable habitat for aquatic insects, vegetation and fish.

For more information about South Holston dam 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 Johnson City: Take US-26 north to exit 20 (North Roan Street/Bristol Highway); at Blountville, turn right onto TN-394, then right onto US-421. Turn right onto Emmett Road and keep to the left onto Holston View Dam Road.

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.

Recreational Opportunities

The South Fork Holston River is home to an annual spring migration of white bass. Locals say that when the serviceberry and dogwood bloom, the white bass run. Below the dam is a popular trout fishery which has been designated a World-Class Recreation Area.

The Spring Creek embayment on South Holston Reservoir is one of the best-known waterfowl birding sites in East Tennessee.

There are several trails located in close proximity to South Holston Dam – most started out being footpaths made by anglers seeking access to the trout-rich waters. The 1.8 mile Osceola Island Loop Trail provides great opportunities to view the weir, observe wildlife or watch anglers casting their flies. For additional information about trails please visit the TVA Trails webpage.

Note: If fishing from a boat in the reservoir, be sure to have a valid fishing license from either Tennessee or Virginia; if fishing from the shoreline, you need a valid fishing license from the state in which you are standing.

Be sure and check TVA’s generation schedules when heading to a tailwater to fish.


Seasons Accessible

All Seasons



Visitor centers, trails, boat ramps, and canoe access points operated by TVA are provided to the public with no fee

Nearby Places