About Norris Lake
Whether you are a Skier, Fisherman, Sightseer, Golfer or Sunbather, Norris Lake has it all. Norris Lake was created by the construction of the Norris Dam in 1936. This hydroelectric project was the Tennessee Valley Authority’s first. The lakes beautiful blue-green waters span more than 800 miles of shoreline covering 34,000 acres. Norris’ boundaries extend up the Clinch and the Powell Rivers which feed Norris with clear, pristine waters. It’s an ideal environment for sportsmen and vacationers alike.
WaterSki Magazine Ranks Norris Lake Number 5 Out of Ten as the Best Lakes to Water Ski.
Should this be a typical year in the Smoky Mountains National Park, more than 10 million camera-toting, wide-brim-hat wearing folks will drop by. They’ll ride the aerial tram in Gatlinburg, poke at the hand-made brooms in Cherokee, ride the go-kart circuit in Pigeon Forge and use mountain bikes, kyaks and hiking shoes to see parts of the Nathahala Forest. There will be more than twice as many people visiting this park than any other in the U.S. (the Grand Canyon ranks second with less than five million visitors). Fortunately, not even a fraction will test the nearby lakes that combine some of the best skiing and scenery east of the Mississippi.
“We look big on the map,” says Mike Stone, owner of the Norris Dam Marina, “but you won’t find us unless you’re looking really hard because of the hills and trees.”
Within two hours of the national park are Tellico Lake (where Mastercraft and Supra test all their boats), Cherokee Lake and Douglas Lake. But the public inboard fraternity will tell you that Norris Lake, with its network of narrow creeks and coves that total 1,100 miles of shoreline and 22 marinas, is the place where skiers need to be. The west side of the lake in particular, is devoid of tourists and teeming with inboard owners. It stays calm enough to be home base for a pack of barefooting regulars while just up Cove Creek is a slalom course and jump ramp maintained by the local ski club. All this on a leaked that is annually ranked among the 10 cleanest in the world.
With swarms of tourists marching through the national park, everyone is bound to experience hip checks and bodily aroma. The nearby lakes will serve as a cool retreat from the throng. By Waterski Magazine July 2000 Issue.
Norris Lake is located in Cumberland Gap and the Historic Wilderness Trail marked by Daniel Boone. Along the 800 miles of shoreline, there are two state wildlife management areas, three state parks, boat docks, county parks, and public access areas.
Norris extends 56 miles up the Powell River and 72 miles up the Clinch River. The lake has a surface area of more than 34,000 acres and over 800 miles of shoreline.
Norris Dam was the first dam built by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and created Norris Lake. A hydroelectric dam whose construction was completed in 1936 and is 265 feet high and 1,860 feet long.
Norris Lake is well known to anglers for its trophy-size bass and walleye as well as black crappie. The 13-mile stretch of the Clinch River below Norris Dam is a scenic float trip and a renowned trout stream.