THE SCENIC LAKES AND RIVERS THAT SURROUND KNOXVILLE ARE KNOWN AS "THE GREAT LAKES OF THE SOUTH"
There are seven large lakes and rivers that enhance the natural beauty of the valley. The rivers include the Tennessee River, Clinch River, Holston River, French Broad River and Little Tennessee River. The TVA lakes offer 3,700 miles of shoreline and include Fort Loudoun Lake, Tellico Lake, Watts Bar Lake, Melton Hill Lake, Cherokee Lake, Norris Lake and Douglas Lake.
Norris Lake, Douglas Lake and Cherokee Lake are reservoir lakes. These three lakes are held low during the winter months to maintain the lake and river elevations from November to April. The remaining four lakes are navigable from Knoxville to the Gulf of Mexico. The series of dams and locks provides flood control, recreational water levels and abundant shoreline for parks and lake front communities.