Fort Loudoun Lake, Tennessee, USA

Also known as:  Fort Loudoun Reservoir

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Fort Loudoun Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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All About Fort Loudoun Lake

Lake Locations: USA - US South Region - Tennessee - East Tennessee -

Named for a nearby 18th century British fort, Fort Loudoun Lake draws millions of visitors every year for fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing. Located at the headwaters of the Tennessee River, Fort Loudoun Lake extends 55 miles from Lenoir City to Knoxville. It is the first in a chain of nine reservoirs that form a continuous navigable channel to Paducah, Kentucky, approximately 652 miles away. All nine reservoirs are managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which was a New Deal idea. Speaking to Congress, President Roosevelt painted a picture of a “corporation clothed with the power of government but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise.” The TVA dams were created for flood control and to generate hydroelectric power, and have helped protect and build the region ever since.

Construction of the Fort Loudoun Dam began in 1940 and was finished is 1943. Fort Loudoun Lock raises and lowers boats and barges 70 feet between Fort Loudoun Lake and Watts Bar Reservoir. Barges carry over half a million tons of cargo through the lock every year. Fort Loudoun Lake is connected by a canal to Tellico Reservoir on the nearby Little Tennessee River. Water is diverted through the canal for power generation, and the canal allows commercial barges access to the Tellico Reservoir without having to pass through a lock.

Because Fort Loudoun Lake is a main waterway, the water level only draws down about six feet fluctuating between elevations of 807 feet to 813 feet. The length of the lake makes it ideal for recreational boating, jet skiing, and water skiing, and there are public boat ramps and marinas. There are abundant populations of largemouth, smallmouth and black bass, and the lake is particularly well known for its black and white crappie. There is camping available near Loudoun Lake and wildlife to see. Birdwatchers will love the black-crowned night herons and osprey along with other waterfowl. Fort Loudoun State Park is 1,200 acres set aside to commemorate one of the earliest British fortifications on the western frontier. Today visitors can tour the partially reconstructed fort named for John Campbell, the 4th Earl of Loudoun and commander of the British Forces in North America.

Its rich diverse history and beautiful water makes Fort Loudoun Lake a great place to explore and enjoy.

Things to Do at Fort Loudoun Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish Species Found at Fort Loudoun Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Crappie
  • White Crappie

Find Places to Stay at Fort Loudoun Lake

If you’re considering a Fort Loudoun Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Fort Loudoun Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Fort Loudoun Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Fort Loudoun Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Tennessee Valley Authority

Surface Area: 14,600 acres

Shoreline Length: 379 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 813 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 807 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 815 feet

Maximum Depth: 78 feet

Water Volume: 282,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1943

Water Residence Time: 10 days

Lake Area-Population: 173,890

Drainage Area: 9,550 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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