Surrounded by gentle, rolling farmland, Cherokee Lake is 59 miles long and covers 30,300 acres at full pool. The peaceful landscape of the lake is enhanced by the impressive Clinch Mountain Range, which frames the lake to the northwest.
Named for the tribe of Native Americans who once inhabited the area, the lake basin historically was a great Indian warpath followed by Daniel Boone. Constructed in the 1940’s by the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Cherokee Lake dam is 175 feet high and stretches 6,760 feet, or well over a mile, from one end to the other.
Cherokee Lake’s 463 miles of winding shoreline is popular with both anglers and boaters. On the shores of the lake, Panther Creek State Park offers camping, boating, fishing and swimming along with a great trail system for hikers, runners, mountain bikers and equestrians.
Fishing: Cherokee Lake has a prolific forage base of threadfin shad, gizzard shad and alewife. The primary game fish species are black bass, striped bass, crappie, walleye, sauger, sunfish, white bass and catfish. Fishing around the dam will produce striped bass in the summer months. During the winter when the water level drops, largemouth bass can be caught amongst the rock outcroppings. Click for more information.
Paddling: Contour the shoreline or explore one of the many islands where you can enjoy stretching your legs along with a picnic lunch. During the summer months, River Sports Outfitters rents canoes, kayaks & SUP boards at Panther Creek State Park on the weekends.
Trails: There are several TVA trails around the lake, including one paved trail near the dam. Click to view the Trail Map. A section of the lake abuts Panther Creek State Park, which features 30 plus miles of trail. Click to view the Panther Creek State Park Trails. The 1.7 mile Johnson Ridge Trail is also a popular ramble through the lush Tennessee forest.