Hailing cool waters from the French Broad River and Nolichucky River from North Carolina and Tennessee, Douglas Lake in East Tennessee offers days of fun on the water for visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains. It was formed by the building of Douglas Dam in 1943, put in place to control floods and provide hydroelectric power. It’s now a scenic and popular spot for water activities for those staying in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville, Wears Valley, and surrounding mountain towns.
The lake (30,400 acres of surface area) and its 550+ miles of shoreline provide plenty of room for play, from kayaking and canoeing to boating and fishing. In summer, it’s a great place to cool off from the sun. Just above Douglas Dam, find a picnic area, a boat ramp (open year-round), and a beach where you can swim and relax on your getaway.
For more information, call 1.800.TVA.LAND.
A Day of Fishing
Offering cool mountain streams and peaceful flowing rivers, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is unsurprisingly a popular destination for fishing. Douglas Lake provides even more fishing opportunities in the area, with a wide variety of fish making their home there. It has even been named among the top 5 crappie fishing lakes in the U.S. and among the top 10 in the U.S. for largemouth bass.
Fish You May Find
Crappie and Black Crappie
Largemouth, Striped, Spotted, and White Bass
Flathead and Channel Catfish
Red Breast Sunfish
April + May - Largemouth Bass
November to May - Crappie
February + March - Sauger
April to October - Bluegill
June to August (night fishing) - Bass and Crappie
While many fish can maintain their own habitats within the lake, enhancements have been made by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) over the years to create better fishing for anglers. The water level is also controlled, so it will vary throughout the year. Check before your trip to ensure you’ll have the perfect setup for a day of fishing or water fun!
Fun on the Water
Beyond fishing, enjoy water fun for the whole family. You can play around with a pontoon boat, try lakeside birdwatching, have a relaxing day sunbathing on a party boat, bring your kayak canoe and paddle around, or try a paddle board for a fun and peaceful day on the water!
Want more information about fishing spots, public boat access, and streams in the area? Check out this map for a detailed view of the area.
Douglas Lake Outfitters
If you’re not traveling with your own equipment, you can always rent what you need. From kayaks to luxury boats, find the essentials at the local outfitters nearby.
Smoky Mountain H2O Sports
At H2O Sports, they have something for everyone. Rent boats, WaveRunners, Jet Skis, Sea-Doos, kayaks, 4-person paddle boats with shades, and 150 HP pontoon boats that are ideal for waterskiing and wakeboarding! Whether you want an exciting day on the water or a relaxing day on the lake, you’ll find what you need at H2O.
If you’re looking for luxury on the water, you’ll find it here, too. Rent the Bentley pontoon boats with Bimini sun shades or the fuel-efficient Yamahas and get tubes and banana boats to go along with them. And with 25 years’ experience, they can get you started for a fun day, even if you’re a beginner on the water.
1955 Chestnut Hill Road
Douglas Lake Marina
Between the pontoon boats (4, 6, 8, and 12-passenger), bass boats, speed and ski boats, skis, tubes, and kneeboards, you’re sure to find what you need for a fun day on the water.
1199 Highway 139
The Point Resort & Marina
The full-service (and clean water certified) marina at The Point offers everything you need for a day on the water. You’ll find a store, restaurant, internet access, wet and dry slips, bathrooms and showers, and of course, boat rentals for the day.
122 Boat Dock Drive
Mountain Cove Marina
Not far from exciting Pigeon Forge in the Great Smoky Mountains, the Mountain Cove Marina has pontoon boats, Jet Skis, and paddle boards at the Billy Lush Board Shop. They’re open spring, summer, winter, and fall, so you can get out on Douglas Lake anytime you’re here.
1590 Dyke Road
Providing pontoon boat rentals and John boat rentals, Swann’s Marina is the place for those looking for a laid-back day on the water. They are also home to Millstone Restaurant and Country Store when you want a bite to eat.
2515 Swann’s Marina Road
Smokies Angling Adventures
At Smokies Angling Adventures, you can take guided fishing trips, rent pontoon boats, rent bass boats, and get tons of information about fishing at Douglas Lake (and in surrounding areas).
3520 Dockery Drive
Smoky Mountain Guides
Smoky Mountain Guides offers a range of guided tours for guests, even beyond fishing. Try wildflower hikes, interpretive history walks, and their specialty trips like Waterfalls + Wine and Adventure Photography.
Craving a bit of history and fun off the water - but still close to Douglas Lake? Make a stop in historic downtown Dandridge, named after the first First Lady (George Washington’s wife) and home to boutiques, antique stores, historic buildings, and charming restaurants. Take a self-guided tour of 21 interesting sites within walking distance, or hop in the car and check out 17 additional nearby spots. Bush’s Beans Visitor Center is also nearby, located in the original (1897) A.J. Bush & Company General Store.
Cabins after the Lake
After a fun but busy day on the lake, come back to your cozy mountain cabin. Our charming Pigeon Forge cabins offer comfy couches in front of big screen TVs, fireplaces for cool nights, rec rooms with games for more fun after the lake, and even private indoor pools if you just can’t get enough of the water!
We also have beautiful Gatlinburg cabins that are loaded with places to play and relax, along with tons of conveniences like washers and dryers, fully equipped kitchens, and Wi-Fi to keep you connected.
Book online or give us a call at 800.684.7865 to book your perfect place after a day on the water!