Dale Hollow Lake Overview

Hey there! If you’re looking for a fantastic destination in Tennessee and Kentucky, look no further than Dale Hollow Lake. This beautiful lake is located right on the border between the two states, offering a stunning canvas for all kinds of outdoor activities and adventures. So, let’s dive into what makes Dale Hollow Lake a must-visit location for your next outdoor escapade.

Dale Hollow Lake spans 52,542 acres, giving you ample space and opportunities to immerse yourself in nature and various water-based activities. Known for its clear, pristine waters, this is the perfect place to try fishing, boating, swimming, water skiing, or even deep-water skin diving. Don’t worry if you need to become an expert in these activities, as the lake offers an inviting atmosphere for beginners and experts alike.

But wait, there’s more! Dale Hollow also provides an excellent setting for land-based activities such as camping, hiking, and picnicking. As you explore the 620 miles of natural shoreline, you’ll get to enjoy the unmatched scenic beauty of the area.

One of the unique attractions at Dale Hollow Lake is houseboating. USA Today named Dale Hollow Lake one of the “10 Great Places to Go Float Your Houseboat” nationwide. Imagine spending a relaxed vacation floating on the serene waters of the lake, taking in the lush landscape and creating unforgettable memories.

When it comes to fishing, Dale Hollow Lake is famed for being a haven for smallmouth bass fishing. Numerous fishing enthusiasts and even professionals frequent the lake to get their hands on some trophy-sized catches. With renowned fishing guides like Dave Clark, you can have a one-of-a-kind fishing experience and catch a good number of Small Mouth Bass within a few days.

In conclusion, Dale Hollow Lake offers an unmatched blend of water-based and land-based activities, making it a top choice for your next vacation. Whether you’re an adventurer, a nature lover, or simply looking for peace and tranquility, this lake has something for everyone. Remember to respect the environment and the local wildlife as you explore this fantastic destination. Happy adventuring!

Getting There

Are you excited to explore Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee? Let’s talk about how to reach this picturesque destination! Dale Hollow Lake is easily accessible from three main towns: ByrdstownCelina, and Livingston.

To reach Byrdstown, located closest to the lake, you can either fly into the nearest airport, the Nashville International Airport (BNA), and rent a car, or, you can embark on a scenic road trip. From Nashville, you’re looking at around a 2-hour drive to Byrdstown via I-40 E and TN-111 N. As you approach, you’ll witness the beautiful countryside and maybe even spot some local wildlife!

Similarly, Celina, another quaint town near the lake, can be reached by a 2-hour drive from Nashville. This route will also take you through I-40 E, but you’ll take exit 280 towards TN-84 N to get to Celina. Keep an eye out for charming little shops and eateries on your way!

Livingston is the third town you can choose for your Dale Hollow Lake adventure. A 1 hour and 45-minute drive from Nashville via I-40 E and TN-111 N/ TN-52 E will take you to Livingston. Each of these towns has its own unique character and charm, and choosing one as a base for your visit depends on your preferences and travel plans.

Make your way to the heart of the action at Dale Hollow Lake, where you can experience everything this spectacular area offers, such as water sports, hiking, camping, and so much more. So, get ready to hit the road and enjoy your unforgettable visit to Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee!

History of Dale Hollow

Have you ever wondered about the story behind the beautiful Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee? Well, let’s dive into its fascinating origins! Dale Hollow Lake was created after the completion of the Dale Hollow Dam in 1943. It’s situated on the Obey River, just 7.3 miles above its confluence with the Cumberland River.

The dam and lake were initially authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 and the River and Harbor Act of 1946. When it was completed in 1943, its primary purpose was flood control. But it didn’t end there! In 1948, 1949, and 1953, power-generating units were added, which expanded its function beyond just flood control.

Now, let’s go back a little further in time. The area where Dale Hollow Lake sits was first settled in 1808 by a government surveyor named William Dale. You guessed it – that’s where the name of the lake comes from! William’s family and descendants continued to live in the area until the dam’s construction started in 1942.

Over the years, Dale Hollow Lake has become quite the attraction for visitors and locals alike. With its crystal-clear waters and natural beauty, it’s no wonder people just can’t get enough of it! The lake is also known for its world-class fishing opportunities, particularly for smallmouth bass.

Additionally, Dale Hollow Lake is an excellent base for history buffs who want to explore the region’s historical sites, such as Cordell Hull’s birthplace and Sergeant Alvin C. York’s State Park.

So there you have it, your brief yet fascinating introduction to the rich history of Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee! Remember to take a moment to appreciate the story of this stunning natural wonder when you’re relaxing by the lakeshore or casting your fishing line into its pristine waters. Enjoy your visit!

Wildlife and Landscapes

Wildlife Viewing

At Dale Hollow Lake, you’ll immerse yourself in nature, surrounded by diverse wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for various species of birds, including waterfowl and eagles. As you explore, you might also encounter deer, squirrels, and rabbits, to name a few. Not only is it a great place for photography enthusiasts, but it’s also an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to connect with nature.

Bluffs and Forests

Dale Hollow Lake offers an abundance of picturesque landscapes. Venture through the sprawling forests covering the hills surrounding the lake and take in the breathtaking sights from the towering bluffs. The shoreline boasts impressive rocky formations featuring diverse flora and fauna. Remember to take some time to hike the numerous trails, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and unforgettable memories.

Lake Views

Comprising a surface area of over 27,000 acres, Dale Hollow Lake provides ample opportunities to appreciate the beauty of the lake itself. Whether boating, fishing or just enjoying a stroll, you’ll be captivated by the crystal-clear waters and elusive underwater scenes. Take advantage of experiencing the mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets as they reflect off the water and create a serene ambiance. Remember to bring your camera, as these moments are too precious to be forgotten.

Water Activities


Dale Hollow Lake is known for its fishing opportunities, especially for smallmouth bass. The world record-holding smallmouth bass was caught here! Anglers, grab your gear and get ready for some incredible fishing experiences.

You’ll find plenty of shad in the waters, making them an ideal bait choice. Try using a jig or other lure to tempt these feisty fish. Check the local fishing regulations and obtain a proper fishing license before casting your line.


Boating is a popular activity at Dale Hollow Lake, thanks to its 27,000 acres of water surface and 620 miles of shoreline. There are plenty of opportunities for boating adventures, from leisurely pontoon rides to thrilling speedboat escapades. You can even partake in small group clear kayak tours, a fantastic way to explore the lake.

Whether you bring your boat or rent one from a local marina, make sure to brush up on your boating safety knowledge and abide by the lake’s rules and regulations.

Water Skiing

Feel the wind in your hair and the exhilarating rush of water skiing at Dale Hollow Lake. This activity is excellent for those seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure on the water. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner; there are plenty of experienced instructors in the area who can help teach you the ropes and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


The clear waters of Dale Hollow Lake are perfect for swimming, allowing you to see your feet while submerged! With 27,700 surface acres of water to explore, you will find the ideal spot for a refreshing dip. Remember to swim safely and respect the designated swimming areas.

Enjoy your time at Dale Hollow Lake and make the most of these fantastic water activities. Always prioritize safety and adhere to all rules and regulations while exploring this beautiful region.

Outdoor Activities

If you’re looking for a great destination filled with outdoor activities, Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee is the perfect spot. This beautiful lake offers a number of recreational activities that engage all ages and interests. Let’s dive in and discover some amazing outdoor activities that Dale Hollow Lake offers!


Do you love exploring nature trails and immersing yourself in the great outdoors? Dale Hollow Lake offers a variety of hiking opportunities for all skill levels. As you wander through lush woodlands and scenic shorelines, take a moment to admire the stunning views of the lake. Remember to watch for local wildlife, as this area is home to many birds, deer, and other creatures. Lace up your hiking boots and head out on a memorable journey through the enchanting forest trails around Dale Hollow Lake.


Why not take advantage of the beautiful scenery and embrace the thrill of biking around Dale Hollow Lake? With miles of picturesque trails, both novice and experienced bikers can enjoy a leisurely ride while taking in the stunning views. Feel free to bring your bike or check out some available rental options. As you cycle through nature, enjoy the fresh air and rejuvenating atmosphere of this remarkable area.


Are you an avid hunter or looking to try your hand at the sport? The lands surrounding Dale Hollow Lake offer various hunting opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. You can pursue white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and other small game species in designated hunting areas. You’ll need to have a valid hunting license and familiarize yourself with local regulations for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Dale Hollow Lake provides a plethora of exciting outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. Immerse yourself in breathtaking natural beauty and make long-lasting memories during your time at this fantastic destination.

Resorts and Marinas

Whether you’re planning a fishing trip or a family vacation, Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee has several resorts and marinas to choose from for an unforgettable experience. In this section, we’ll explore four key marinas and what they offer.

East Port Marina

At East Port Marina, you’ll find many accommodations and amenities for a relaxing lakeside retreat. Here, you can rent a houseboat, pontoon, or fishing boat to explore the beauty of Dale Hollow Lake. With their friendly and welcoming atmosphere, East Port Marina provides excellent customer service to help make your stay enjoyable.

Mitchell Creek Marina

Mitchell Creek Marina offers a serene setting for your vacation by the lake. They are equipped with various campsites and cabins for your lodging needs. Among their rentals, you’ll find pontoons and fishing boats to help you get out on the water. Eat at their on-site restaurant, where you can enjoy lakeside dining with a view!

Sunset Marina

Sunset Marina is another popular choice for travelers, providing a wide range of accommodations. For booking rentals and availability inquiries, you can reach them at 931-864-3146. Known for exceptional customer service, Sunset Marina ensures that everything you need is available during your stay, including watercraft, dockage, and other marina rental facilities.

Dale Hollow Marina

Last but not least, Dale Hollow Marina is a family-owned and operated resort catering to all your vacation needs. With a variety of accommodations to choose from, they provide personalized service to make your stay memorable. The marina is known for its cleanliness and well-maintained facilities, ensuring a comfortable experience while enjoying your vacation on Dale Hollow Lake.

Now that you’re familiar with some top resorts and marinas, you’re ready to plan your next adventure on Dale Hollow Lake. Remember to take advantage of the amenities available at these locations and make the most out of your lakeside escape!

Camping at Dale Hollow

Lillydale Campground

Lillydale Campground and Recreation Area is a fantastic spot for camping at Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee. Right along the lake’s shoreline, this campground is perfect for campers looking for a scenic place to relax. The beautiful green hills provide just the right amount of shade for your camping adventures. Are you ready to set up your tent and enjoy some time in nature? Lillydale Campground has got you covered.

Willow Grove Campground

The Willow Grove Campground is another excellent option for camping enthusiasts who are visiting Dale Hollow Lake. This campground is well-known for its picturesque location and easy access to the lake, which is perfect for those who love spending time in the great outdoors. So, remember to bring your best camping gear and get ready for a memorable experience at this lovely campground. Just imagine waking up to the soothing sounds of nature and gazing upon the stunning lake views right from your campsite.

In summary, Lillydale Campground and Willow Grove Campground offer unique camping experiences at Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee. With plenty of shade, beautiful nature, and relaxing lakefront views, what more could you ask for in a camping trip? Choose one of these fantastic campgrounds and have the time of your life at Dale Hollow Lake.

Annual Events, Festivals, and Celebrations at Dale Hollow Lake

Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee, hosts an array of events, festivals, and celebrations throughout the year that you should look out for. These events cater to diverse interests, so there’s something for everyone. Note the following events and plan your visit to Dale Hollow Lake so you can experience all the fun!

Annual Pig Tournament: You can attend the Annual Pig Tournament on the last Saturday of February 2024. It’s a local fishing tournament that attracts anglers of all skill levels.

Town of Byrdstown 3K/5K Run/Walk: Are you into running or just love supporting a great cause? Make sure to join the Town of Byrdstown 3K/5K Run/Walk on the 4th Saturday in October 2024. This annual event benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, helping fund research to give hope to children with life-threatening diseases.

Byrdstown Christmas Celebration & Christmas Marketplace: If you’re visiting Dale Hollow Lake in December, take advantage of the Byrdstown Christmas Celebration & Christmas Marketplace on December 7, 2024. Get into the holiday spirit with festive decorations, delightful music, and a unique shopping experience. This event is perfect for getting your last-minute gifts and enjoying the camaraderie of the holiday season.

So, when you plan your visit to Dale Hollow Lake in 2024, make sure to keep these incredible events, festivals, and celebrations in mind. From fishing to storytelling, running to holiday shopping, you’ll find engaging activities and memorable experiences to enhance your trip. Enjoy the magic of Dale Hollow Lake and participate in its vibrant community events!

Renting a Houseboat

So, you’re planning your visit to the beautiful Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee and considering a unique lodging experience? Renting a houseboat is just the thing for you! Wake up on the water, enjoy a different view daily, and create unforgettable memories.

There are a few marinas offering houseboat rentals, each with a variety of boat sizes and amenities for your family getaway. Some popular options include Sunset Marina, Mitchell Creek Marina, and East Port Marina and Resort.

What to expect from your houseboat rental?

  • Be your own captain! Pilot one of these luxury vessels and navigate to over 600 miles of shoreline.
  • Fully equipped! Most houseboats have the latest features, such as gas grills, coolers, DirectTV, waterslides, and all essential housewares.
  • Convenient sizes! You can choose from three different sizes of houseboats to fit your group’s needs and preferences.

Tips for a great houseboat vacation:

  • Plan your route! With so much shoreline to explore, it’s wise to have a general plan of where you’d like to visit each day.
  • Mind the weather! Make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast. As the captain of your vessel, you need to take full responsibility for keeping your crew safe.
  • Remember to pack essential items like sunscreen, swimwear, bug spray, and of course, your camera to capture all the fantastic moments.

Ready to start your houseboat adventure on Dale Hollow Lake? Dive into your one-of-a-kind, unforgettable vacation experience. Happy sailing!

Renting a Vacation Home

So, you’ve decided to spend your vacation at the beautiful Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee, and you want to rent a vacation home. Great choice! Renting a vacation home gives you the opportunity to enjoy the comforts of a home away from home while exploring the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings. Let’s dive into finding and booking the perfect vacation home for your trip.

First, start your search by heading to popular vacation rental platforms like Airbnb or Trip101. These websites let you filter your search based on your preferences, such as the number of bedrooms, price range, amenities, and more. It’s essential to read reviews from previous guests to ensure that the vacation home meets your standards in terms of cleanliness, location, and overall quality. You can also use tennesseevacations.com or The Rental Station at Dale Hollow as additional resources during your search.

Once you’ve found your dream vacation home, it’s time to book it. Many vacation rental platforms allow you to reserve online with just a few clicks. Here are the steps for a smooth booking process:

  1. Create an account: Sign up on the vacation rental platform if you don’t already have an account.
  2. Check availability: Make sure your chosen vacation home is available for your desired travel dates.
  3. Read the terms and conditions: Get familiar with the rental policies, such as check-in and check-out times, cancellation policies, and additional fees.
  4. Complete the booking: Submit your payment information and confirm your reservation.

Remember, the sooner you book, the better your chances of securing the vacation home you have your heart set on. Many travelers plan their trips months in advance, so finalize your booking quickly.

When preparing for your stay, contact the vacation home owner or property manager to obtain information about the property and the surrounding area. They can provide valuable tips on local attractions and activities around Dale Hollow Lake, such as fishing, swimming, boating, and camping. Additionally, check for any special requirements or restrictions related to the property or the local area, such as noise restrictions or pet policies.

To sum it up, finding and booking a vacation home at Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee, can be a hassle-free experience if you know where to search and follow these simple steps. Enjoy the beautiful lake and create unforgettable memories during your stay!

Visiting Byrdstown and Celina

Byrdstown and Celina are two charming towns located near Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee, offering various activities and attractions for visitors. Are you ready to explore these hidden gems? Let’s dive right in!

Start your journey in Byrdstown, home to the Dale Hollow Lake Visitors Center. Located at 1005 Livingston Hwy, Byrdstown, TN 38549, this is the perfect place to grab more information about the lake and surrounding area. Be sure to contact the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce for a Pickett County Vacation or Relocation Packet while you’re there.

Just a short drive away is Celina, Tennessee, the southern gateway to Dale Hollow Lake. This town offers small-town charm with plenty of unique shopping and dining options. So, why stroll through their quaint shops, grab a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants, and unwind with a refreshing beverage? There’s no hurry, and you’ll feel right at home!

Outdoor enthusiasts, rejoice! Byrdstown and Celina provide access to Dale Hollow Lake, a water sports wonderland. When you visit, be sure to participate in some of the many water-based activities available, such as:

  • Fishing: Experienced guides like Dave Clark can help you land trophy-sized Small Mouth Bass, making your fishing experience one to remember.
  • Boating: Rent a boat and explore the vast waters of Dale Hollow Lake. There are numerous marinas and boat ramps to choose from.
  • Swimming: Take a refreshing dip in the lake’s crystal-clear waters.

If you’re curious about water levels, you can check the water levels for Dale Hollow Lake on the TVA website.

In summary, your visit to Byrdstown and Celina offers a delightful mix of small-town charm, outdoor activities, and unique experiences. So, grab your itinerary, have your camera ready, and set out to explore these Tennessee gems. Happy traveling!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best fishing spots at Dale Hollow Lake?

Dale Hollow Lake is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. Some popular spots to cast your line include areas where species like Small Mouth Bass, Walleye, and White Bass are abundant. Dave, a local guide who trolls the lake during the day, has seen great success in catching trophy-worthy fish. Just remember to bring your fishing gear and be ready for some serious angling!

How do I rent a houseboat?

Renting a houseboat at Dale Hollow Lake is a great way to enjoy your vacation on the water. You can contact houseboat rental agencies, such as the one mentioned in the search result, toll-free at 888-454-8825 or visit their websites to book your rental in advance. These agents are knowledgeable and friendly, ensuring you have a fantastic experience.

What camping options are available at Dale Hollow Lake?

The Dale Hollow Lake area offers various camping options for outdoor enthusiasts. Many campgrounds provide playgrounds, picnic pavilions, and boat ramps to enhance your stay. Check online for availability and reservation information to secure your preferred campground.

Are there cabin rentals?

Yes, cabin rentals are available at Dale Hollow Lake to cater to different group sizes and preferences. You can search online for rental options, reviews, and booking information to ensure you find the perfect cabin for your vacation needs.

Can I swim in Dale Hollow Lake?

Dale Hollow Lake is deemed one of the cleanest lakes in the United States, making it an ideal spot for swimming. With 620 miles of undeveloped shoreline, you’ll find a place to dip your toes and enjoy the refreshing water.

What towns are near Dale Hollow Lake?

Several towns are near Dale Hollow Lake, such as Byrdstown, TN. You can contact the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce for more information about the area, vacation, or relocation packets at 1005 Livingston Hwy, Byrdstown, TN 38549, or call (931) 864-7195. These nearby towns offer a variety of amenities, attractions, and services that can complement your vacation experience.

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