Tims Ford Lake, Tennessee, USA

Also known as:  Tims Ford Reservoir

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

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Looking for Tims Ford 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 Tims Ford Lake

Nestled in south central Tennessee between Tullahoma and Winchester, the clear, deep water of the Elk River meets the wooded sloped shores of Tims Ford Reservoir. The water creates inlets and coves popular with both anglers and boaters.

Evidence suggests that the area has been inhabited for over 10,000 years as a hunting and fishing ground for the middle woodland tribes. The Reservoir wasn’t formed, however, until 1970 with the completion of the Tims Ford Dam. Construction on the dam under the control of the Tennessee Valley Authority started in 1966 to provide water, hydroelectric power, and flood control for the surrounding area. In addition to the Elk River, the lake created by the dam is fed by several creeks and is ringed with inlets and coves. There are also over 5 miles of island shoreline to explore making Tims Ford Reservoir very popular with canoeist and kayakers.

Boating on the lake isn’t limited to quiet paddling. There are several full service marinas with rentals and boat ramps. Water levels fluctuate about 15 feet a year, but at over 10,000 surface acres, the lake is large and deep enough that recreation is not adversely affected. In fact, Tims Ford Reservoir is known as one of the top recreation and bass lakes in the southeast.

Anglers can fish Tims Ford Reservoir from the bank or by boat. There are several fishing tournaments held on the lake every year, and healthy populations of large mouth, small mouth, black bass and striper draw anglers from all over. The tailwaters below Tims Ford Dam are a great place to fish for catfish and brown and rainbow trout.

Accommodations around Tims Ford Reservoir include, but aren’t limited to lakeside cabins in Tims Ford State Park. The park also has campsites for tents and RV’s and a conference facility. There are over five miles of paved trails in the park suitable for biking or hiking, and a full service marina with rentals and a public boat ramp. The shores of Tims Ford Reservoir are also home to the Bear Trace Golf Course, and there are even a few restaurants that let patrons dine on the water.

There is plenty to explore in the area around Tims Ford Reservoir. Nearby Shelbyville, self proclaimed the “Tennessee Walking Horse Capitol of the World,” is home to the Tennessee Walking Horse Museum. The Tennessee Walking Horse or Walker was bred to carry plantation owners around their land. Their smooth gaits and incredible stamina makes the horses a Tennessee treasure. A completely different kind of treasure, the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee is less than an hour from Tims Ford Reservoir. Established in 1866 by Jasper Newton it is the oldest registered distillery in the United States and still proudly displays No. 1 on its label. Historic Lynchburg is also a charming town to explore. For visitors who prefer a more out of this world adventure, 37 miles south of Tims Ford Reservoir in Huntsville, Alabama, the US Space and Rocket Center has the most complete manned space flight collections in the United States and is the home of Space Camp.

Its proximity to both Woods and Normandy Reservoirs and the rich history of the surrounding area only add to the reasons to visit Tims Ford Reservoir. The fantastic fishing, exceptional amenities and beautiful scenery are reason enough to visit Tims Ford Reservoir over and over again.

Things to Do at Tims Ford Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • Museum

Fish Species Found at Tims Ford Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout

Find Places to Stay at Tims Ford Lake

If you’re considering a Tims Ford 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 Tims Ford Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Tims Ford 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.

Tims Ford Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


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