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Chickamauga Lake is a fabulous outdoor recreation water body. It is located in southeast Tennessee some twenty miles from Chattanooga and provides over 810 miles of shoreline to enjoy. Originally developed for flood control and power generation, Chickamauga Lake is heavily used for recreational tourism. Its very diverse outdoor recreational offerings for both summer and winter include water sports, boating, sailing, hiking, biking, camping, fishing, wildlife viewing, golf, and swimming . Its popularity is evidenced by the millions of yearly visitors - all seeking out the great outdoor experiences which the Lake provides.
Chickamauga Dam and Reservoir Project was a New Deal Project established to create more consistent navigation, flood control, hydroelectric power generation and recreation on the Tennessee River. The Dam is part of the TVA system with construction starting in 1936 and completed in 1940. Prior to its construction, the City of Chattanooga faced one of the most serious flooding problems in the U.S. Today, Chickamauga Dam and Lake have brought economic improvement, a wonderful recreation addition to Tennessee and a river safely used for barge traffic. The 59 mile long reservoir was created by damming the Tennessee and Hiwassee Rivers. Chickamauga Dam stretches over a mile long and power generation comes from turbines generating 160,000 kilowatts of electricity.
Chickamauga Lake provides a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities. There are more than 35 boat ramps, 15 marinas and two full service State Parks (Harrison Bay and Booker T. Washington). A proliferation of campgrounds, both developed and primitive, surround the reservoir including mini-campsites, providing gorgeous locations for the boater/camper. There are hundreds of camping sites, numerous picnic and recreation areas, playgrounds, and swimming areas around the reservoir. The marinas provide slips for boating along with food and fuel and some provide complete lines of boat rentals. Harrison Bay State Park even sports an 18 hole golf course to PGA standards.
Sport fishing in Chickamauga Lake is the black basses, black crappie, crappie, large and smallmouth bass and spotted bass. The usual perch and bluegill afford lots of fun for the young anglers. Seven developed hiking trails add to outdoor enjoyment of the Lake's area and more than ten developed swimming areas add frosting to the enjoyment cake. Wildlife viewing is enhanced by a significant variety of bird and other animal species, including the seldom seen sandhill crane. For the geocachers among us, there are hundreds of caches located in the area - some are very easy to find. That GPS receiver will add to your enjoyment while you're out hiking!
Chickamauga Lake is truly an outdoor enthusiasts location, in a gorgeous scenic setting. If you are planning to be in southeast Tennessee, you must stop there and partake of its offerings - you won't be sorry.
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