Norris Lake, Tennessee, USA

Also known as:  Norris Reservoir

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Norris Lake.

If you’re considering Norris Lake vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Norris Lake guide!

Norris Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - South - Tennessee - East -

Just 25 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee, Norris Lake is the first reservoir created by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Named for Senator George Norris, author of the legislation that created the TVA, Norris Lake is 129 miles long and surrounded by plenty of secluded coves to explore.

Extending 73 miles up the Clinch River and 56 miles up the Powell from Norris Dam, Norris Lake was filled in 1937. Construction on Norris Dam was started in 1933 just after the TVA was created, and the dam was completed in 1936. It’s the largest flood control storage reservoir on a tributary of the Tennessee River. The area around Norris Lake gets around 45 inches of rain a year making the lake an important tool to prevent flooding. In winter reservoir levels draw down around 30 feet to prepare for flood storage.

The town of Norris was a planned community built to house the people that worked on the dam. Based on the English Garden Movement, Norris consisted of 12 basic Appalachian style houses which were some of the fist all electric homes in the area. In addition to building the town, the TVA also established parks including Cove Lake and Big Ridge that became the nucleus of the Tennessee State Park System.

Big Ridge State Park has over 15 miles of maintained trails and camping. Its 3,600 acres are heavily forested and offer plenty of chances to see wildlife and explore. Loyston Point Recreation Area is run by the TVA with camping, swimming and trails along Norris Lake. Norris Dam State Park has over 4,000 acres for camping, hiking and exploring with lots of wildflowers and songbirds. In 2005 the TVA opened a new Visitors Center at the dam. Nearby, the Lenoir Museum Cultural Complex includes the Lenoir Pioneer Museum, an 18th century rice gristmill, and the Crosby threshing barn.

Norris Lake is large enough to support all kinds of water sports. There is boating, waterskiing, and swimming, and excellent fishing. There is some controversy about stocking striped bass in the lake, but Norris Lake is also stocked for crappie and walleye. The lake also supports healthy populations of rockfish and bass. The Tennessee state record brown trout was caught in the Clinch River below Norris Dam.

With its miles of shoreline, secluded coves, beautiful water and diverse history along with everything Knoxville has to offer, Norris Lake is sure to become a favorite getaway.

Custom Norris Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Norris Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • Museum

Fish species found at Norris Lake

  • Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Crappie
  • Perch
  • Striped Bass
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Norris Lake

The Norris Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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.

Norris Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Norris Lake statistics & helpful links

divider

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Advertise your Norris Lake vacation rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer homeowners and property managers the opportunity to to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily for accommodations. If you’d like additional details, please contact our advertising team here.

divider

Looking for the Norris Lake forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Spread the word! Share our Norris Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!