Watts Bar Lake is a popular camping destination in Tennessee, attracting visitors from all over the country. The lake is located in Roane County, stretching over 72 miles and covering an area of 39,000 acres. With its pristine waters, lush forests, and diverse wildlife, Watts Bar Lake offers a unique camping experience that is hard to find elsewhere.
There are several campgrounds around Watts Bar Lake, each offering a different experience. From secluded spots in the woods to RV-friendly sites with full hookups, there is something for everyone. Some of the most popular campgrounds include the TVA’s Watts Bar Dam Reservation Campground, the Blue Springs Marina and Campground, and the Lost Creek Campground.
- Watts Bar Lake is a popular camping destination in Tennessee, offering a unique and diverse camping experience.
- There are several campgrounds around the lake, each with its own amenities and features.
- Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities, including fishing, boating, hiking, and wildlife watching, making Watts Bar Lake an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Location of Watts Bar Lake
Watts Bar Lake is a reservoir located on the Tennessee River in eastern Tennessee. The lake stretches 72 miles from Fort Loudoun Dam to Watts Bar Dam and covers an area of approximately 39,000 acres. It is situated between the cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga, making it easily accessible from both locations.
The lake is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and lush forests, providing a picturesque backdrop for camping and outdoor activities. There are several campgrounds located around the lake, including public and private options.
The lake is also conveniently located near several state parks, including Watts Bar State Park, which offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and fishing opportunities. Other nearby parks include Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Red Clay State Historic Park, and Booker T. Washington State Park.
Overall, the location of Watts Bar Lake offers visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Tennessee while still being close to major cities and attractions.
Campgrounds Around Watts Bar Lake
Watts Bar Lake is a popular destination for camping enthusiasts, offering a variety of campgrounds to choose from. Here are some of the best campgrounds around Watts Bar Lake:
1. Watts Bar Dam Campground
Located on the banks of the Tennessee River, Watts Bar Dam Campground is a popular destination for camping and fishing. The campground has 62 sites, all with water and electric hookups, and some with sewer hookups as well. Other amenities include a boat ramp, picnic area, playground, and shower facilities.
2. TVA Kingston Campground
TVA Kingston Campground is situated on the shores of Watts Bar Lake, offering stunning views of the water and surrounding mountains. The campground has 25 sites, all with water and electric hookups, and some with sewer hookups as well. Other amenities include a boat ramp, picnic area, playground, and shower facilities.
3. Spring City RV Park
Spring City RV Park is a family-friendly campground located just a few miles from Watts Bar Lake. The campground has 35 sites, all with full hookups, including water, sewer, and electric. Other amenities include a swimming pool, playground, and laundry facilities.
4. Blue Springs Marina & RV Park
Blue Springs Marina & RV Park is a full-service marina and campground located on the banks of Watts Bar Lake. The campground has 35 sites, all with full hookups, including water, sewer, and electric. Other amenities include a boat ramp, fishing pier, picnic area, and shower facilities.
5. Sweetwater / I-75 / Exit 62 KOA
Sweetwater / I-75 / Exit 62 KOA is a popular campground located just a short drive from Watts Bar Lake. The campground has 50 sites, all with full hookups, including water, sewer, and electric. Other amenities include a swimming pool, playground, and laundry facilities.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet retreat or an action-packed adventure, Watts Bar Lake has a campground to suit your needs.
Activities at Watts Bar Lake
Watts Bar Lake is an excellent destination for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, and bluegill. Anglers can fish from the shore or take advantage of the lake’s many boat ramps and fishing piers.
Boating is a popular activity at Watts Bar Lake, thanks to its expansive size and calm waters. Visitors can rent boats, kayaks, and canoes from local marinas or bring their own. The lake is also a great spot for water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing.
Watts Bar Lake offers several hiking trails that wind through the scenic countryside. The trails range in difficulty from easy to moderate and offer stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. One of the most popular trails is the Piney River Trail, which follows the Piney River and offers opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing.
Watts Bar Lake camping offers a range of amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Whether you’re looking for a rustic camping experience or a more luxurious one, there is something for everyone.
The campgrounds offer a variety of campsites, including primitive sites, RV sites, and tent sites. All campsites have access to picnic tables and fire rings. Some sites have electrical hookups, while others do not.
Restroom facilities are available throughout the campgrounds, and some even have showers. Additionally, there are laundry facilities available for those who need them.
For those who want to stay connected, Wi-Fi is available in some areas of the campgrounds. There are also charging stations for electronic devices.
If you forget something or need to restock, the camp store has a variety of supplies available for purchase, including firewood, ice, and groceries.
Overall, Watts Bar Lake camping provides a comfortable and convenient camping experience for all types of campers.
Camping Reservations and Costs
Camping at Watts Bar Lake is a popular activity for visitors. It’s important to note that reservations are required for all campsites. The campsites can be reserved up to six months in advance.
There are two ways to make a reservation: online or by phone. The online reservation system is available 24 hours a day, while the phone reservation system is available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. It’s recommended to make a reservation as early as possible, especially during the peak season.
The cost for camping at Watts Bar Lake varies depending on the campsite and the time of year. The prices range from $15 to $35 per night. There is also a one-time reservation fee of $10 for each campsite. It’s important to note that the fees are subject to change without notice.
Visitors can pay for their camping fees online when making a reservation or at the campground upon arrival. It’s recommended to bring cash or a credit card for payment. There are no refunds for camping fees, but visitors can change their reservation dates up to two times without a fee.
Overall, camping at Watts Bar Lake is an affordable and enjoyable way to experience the beauty of the area. It’s important to plan ahead and make a reservation to secure a spot at the campground.
Wildlife at Watts Bar Lake
Watts Bar Lake is home to a diverse range of wildlife, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. Visitors can expect to encounter a variety of animals, both on land and in the water.
One of the most common animals found at Watts Bar Lake is the white-tailed deer. These graceful creatures can often be seen grazing near the shoreline or wandering through the woods. Visitors should be cautious when driving in the area, as deer are known to dart across roads unexpectedly.
Another common sight at the lake is the great blue heron. These majestic birds can often be seen wading through the shallow waters in search of fish. Visitors can also spot other water birds such as ducks, geese, and cormorants.
In addition to these animals, Watts Bar Lake is also home to a variety of fish species. Anglers can try their luck at catching bass, catfish, crappie, and more. The lake is also home to the endangered Lake Sturgeon, a prehistoric-looking fish that can grow up to six feet in length.
Visitors should always remember to respect the wildlife at Watts Bar Lake and avoid disturbing their natural habitats.
Safety Tips for Camping
Camping can be a fun and exciting way to spend time in the great outdoors. However, it’s important to keep safety in mind to ensure that your trip is enjoyable and incident-free. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind while camping:
- Always let someone know where you’ll be camping and when you plan to return. This way, if something goes wrong, someone will know where to look for you.
- Be aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards, such as steep cliffs, unstable ground, or dangerous wildlife.
- Make sure to bring plenty of water and stay hydrated. Dehydration can be a serious issue, especially in hot weather.
- Keep your campsite clean and free of food scraps and trash to avoid attracting animals.
- Store all food in airtight containers or coolers to prevent contamination and spoilage.
- Keep a first aid kit on hand and know how to use it in case of an emergency.
- Always follow fire safety guidelines and never leave a fire unattended.
- Be respectful of other campers and keep noise levels low, especially at night.
By following these safety tips, you can help ensure that your camping trip is both fun and safe.
Camping at Watts Bar Lake can be enjoyed throughout the year, but there are some seasonal considerations to keep in mind.
During the summer months, the lake is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and swimming, which can lead to crowded campgrounds. It’s recommended to make reservations in advance to ensure availability. Additionally, the heat and humidity can make camping uncomfortable, so it’s important to bring plenty of water and stay hydrated.
In the fall, the changing leaves offer a beautiful backdrop for camping, but the weather can be unpredictable. It’s important to bring warm clothing and rain gear in case of sudden temperature drops or rain showers.
Winter camping at Watts Bar Lake can be peaceful and quiet, but it’s important to come prepared for cold temperatures. It’s recommended to bring a four-season tent, warm sleeping bags, and plenty of layers. Some campgrounds may have limited facilities during the winter months, so it’s important to check ahead of time.
Spring camping can be enjoyable, but it’s important to be aware of the potential for severe weather. Tornadoes and thunderstorms can occur in the region, so it’s important to stay informed and have a plan in case of severe weather. Additionally, the spring months can bring high levels of pollen, which can be a concern for those with allergies.
Overall, camping at Watts Bar Lake can be a great experience regardless of the season, as long as visitors come prepared and aware of the potential seasonal considerations.
Local Attractions Around Watts Bar Lake
Watts Bar Lake is surrounded by a plethora of local attractions that cater to individuals of all ages. Whether you are interested in outdoor activities or prefer indoor entertainment, there is something for everyone. Here are a few of the most popular attractions that you can explore while camping at Watts Bar Lake:
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a popular tourist attraction located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The museum offers a variety of train rides that take you through the scenic beauty of the Tennessee Valley. You can choose from a variety of train rides, including the Missionary Ridge Local, the Chickamauga Turn, and the Hiwassee River Rail Adventure.
Watts Bar Dam
Watts Bar Dam is a hydroelectric dam located on the Tennessee River. The dam provides hydroelectric power to Tennessee and parts of Alabama. Visitors can take a tour of the dam and learn about the history of its construction and operation.
Rhea County Courthouse
Rhea County Courthouse is a historic courthouse located in Dayton, Tennessee. The courthouse is famous for the Scopes Monkey Trial that took place in 1925. Visitors can take a tour of the courthouse and learn about the trial and its impact on American society.
Fort Loudoun State Park
Fort Loudoun State Park is located in Vonore, Tennessee. The park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and boating. Visitors can also explore the park’s historical sites, including the reconstructed Fort Loudoun.
Lenoir City Park
Lenoir City Park is a popular park located in Lenoir City, Tennessee. The park offers a variety of amenities, including picnic areas, playgrounds, and walking trails. Visitors can also enjoy fishing and boating on the nearby lake.
Lost Sea Adventure
Lost Sea Adventure is a unique attraction located in Sweetwater, Tennessee. The attraction offers a guided tour of the largest underground lake in the United States. Visitors can explore the cave system and learn about the history of the area.
These are just a few of the many attractions that you can explore while camping at Watts Bar Lake. Whether you are interested in history, nature, or entertainment, there is something for everyone.