Parksville Lake, Tennessee, USA
Also known as: Lake Ocoee, Ocoee Lake
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Parksville Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!
Topics we cover in this article:
- All About Parksville Lake
- Things to Do
- Fish Species
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Parksville Lake Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Shop Parksville Lake Gifts
Looking for Parksville Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.
All About Parksville Lake
Parksville Lake, also known as Ocoee Reservoir, is one of three reservoirs in Polk County near Cleveland,TN. Together the reservoirs run through some of the most beautiful country in Tennessee and provide visitors with plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures.
Parksville Lake is the largest of the three reservoirs, and it is impounded by the Ocoee No. 1 Dam on the Ocoee River. The other two are Ocoee No. 2 and 3. Completed in 1911 by the Tennessee Electric Power Company, the dam was built on the Great Smoky Fault and was one of the first hydroelectric projects in the area. The Tennessee Valley Authority acquired Ocoee No.1 and 2 in 1939 and built Ocoee No. 3 in 1942 to produce power for WWII.
In addition to supplying reliable power through three plants below the three dams, the Ocoee River is one of the ten best whitewater rivers in the country. There is exceptional whitewater below Ocoee No. 2. There is a five mile long wooden flume that carries water from Dam No. 2 to Powerhouse No. 2. The flume is on the National Register of Historic Places. When the flume was closed for repair, the TVA released water directly into the riverbed creating exceptional whitewater. After the flume was fixed, the TVA made arrangements to periodically release water to maintain the popular whitewater condition. The Ocoee Whitewater Center is below Ocoee No.3 Dam. The 1,500 foot long Center was the site of the 1996 Olympic Slalom Canoe/Kayak Event. Today there are several outfitters that can supply rafting trips for visitors.
Those preferring quieter water will find plenty on Parksville Lake. With almost 2,000 acres of water and several creeks feeding the lake, there are plenty of places to paddle and boat. Anglers will find lots of fish to challenge them including black, largemouth, and spotted bass. There are several public boat ramps and a marina, along with designated swimming and picnic areas.
Most of the land surrounding Parksville Lake and the other two reservoirs is managed by the US Forest Service as part of Cherokee National Forest. Tennessee’s only national forest, Cherokee National Forest covers about 630,000 acres and is Tennessee’s largest tract of public land. The forest was created in 1936 when President Roosevelt combined parts of two national forests and a division of a third. The Civilian Conservation Corps was instrumental in bringing back the parts of the forest that suffered from too much logging and intensive farming.
The Ocoee Scenic Byway travels through Cherokee National Forest and past Parksville Lake. The first National Forest Byway in the nation, it is 19 miles of US Hwy 64 and 7 miles of Forest Service Road 77. It’s a beautiful way to explore the forest and lake and extends to the Old Copper Road. Wagons used the road to transport to transport copper ore down the Ocoee River Gorge to the railroad in Cleveland.
The name Ocoee is Cherokee for “apricot vine place.” It is a name as colorful and interesting as the area around the river and dams that are named for it. Whether you prefer the excitement of whitewater or the calmer exploration of auto touring, Parksville Lake and the surrounding area is sure to have something to please everyone.
Things to Do at Parksville Lake
- Vacation Rentals
- National Forest
Fish Species Found at Parksville Lake
- Black Bass
- Spotted Bass
Find Places to Stay at Parksville Lake
If you’re considering a Parksville 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 Parksville Lake Vacation
If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Parksville Lake lodging partners.
- VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
- Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com 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.
- Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com 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.
Parksville Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: TVA
Surface Area: 1,930 acres
Shoreline Length: 109 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 824 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 820 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 837 feet
Maximum Depth: 45 feet
Water Volume: 52,270 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1911
Water Residence Time: 28 days
Lake Area-Population: 3,477
Drainage Area: 595 sq. miles
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