Discover the Tranquil Beauty of Norris Lake, East Tennessee’s Gem

Norris Lake, situated in the beautiful hills of East Tennessee, offers many vacation rental options for travelers seeking a perfect getaway. Known for crystal clear waters, Norris Lake stretches over 34,000 acres, providing abundant serenity and outdoor activities. From cozy lakefront cabins to spacious house rentals, an accommodation option suits every preference and group size.

Its convenient location and accessibility make Norris Lake a favorite destination for families, friends, and couples. With a wide range of highly-rated vacation rentals, visitors can relax while enjoying the bustling marinas, well-maintained golf courses, and fantastic dining experiences nearby. The possibilities for adventure are endless, including boating, fishing, hiking, and more.

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Top 3 Facts About Norris Lake in Tennessee

01

Pioneer in the TVA System

Norris Lake holds the distinction of being the first lake created in the Tennessee Valley Authority system, built in 1934, and boasts an impressive 880 miles of shoreline.

02

Remarkable Depth and Clarity

Not only is Norris Lake the deepest in the TVA system, but it also stands out for its crystal-clear waters with 25 feet visibility, contributing to its 96% purity rating.

03

A Hub for State Parks and Recreation

Unique among lakes, Norris Lake is encompassed by three state parks–Cove Lake State Park, Big Ridge State Park, and Norris Dam State Park, offering a rich array of recreational activities.

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Must-See Attractions

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Museum of Appalachia

Speciality Museums

Located in Clinton, this outdoor living history museum offers an authentic glimpse into the lives of the early settlers and features a collection of over 250,000 artifacts, including folk art, music memorabilia, and Native American artifacts. If you’re in town over a holiday, don’t miss their unique events like the July 4th Anvil Shoot and the Candlelight Christmas, which offer a deeper understanding and appreciation of Appalachian culture.

Windrock Park

Off-Road Bike Park

With over 300 miles of trails set in 73,000 acres of stunning East Tennessee wilderness, Windrock Park caters to all levels of off-road enthusiasts, whether you’re looking for a heart-pounding adventure or a leisurely ride through nature. Other attractions here include the Buffalo Mountain Windmill Farm, lodging options including yurts, a mountain bike park, and numerous events throughout the year.

Norris Dam State Park

State Park

Situated on the serene shores of Norris Lake, Norris Dam State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and boating. Explore the rich history of the Norris Dam with a visit to the park’s visitor center, and enjoy the natural beauty that spans across the park’s landscape.

Annual Events and Festivals

July, 2024

Norris Lake Music Festival

The vibrant Norris Lake Music Festival is a highlight of summer at Norris Lake. Spend a weekend basking in the sun, enjoying an array of live music performances, indulging in delicious food from local vendors, and delighting in various family-friendly activities. Remember to bring along your sunscreen, a hat, and a comfortable chair to make the most of the outdoor festivities.

July 4, 2024

Norris Lake Boat Parade

Celebrate the Fourth of July in style with the Norris Lake Boat Parade, a much-anticipated annual tradition. Witness a colorful array of boats decked out in patriotic decor as they form a spectacular parade along the waters of the lake. Don’t forget your camera to capture this unique and picturesque celebration.

April & May, 2024

Sheep Shearing Days

Welcome spring at the Museum of Appalachia with the traditional Sheep Shearing Days. This event offers a glimpse into pioneer life, featuring sheep shearing, herding demonstrations, interactive children’s programs, and the opportunity to meet a variety of animals. Alongside these activities, you can enjoy historic demonstrations, live music, a tour of the museum, and a selection of food vendors.

Top Hiking Trails

River Bluff Trail

125 Village Green Cir, Rocky Top, TN 37769

Located in Norris Dam State Park, the River Bluff Trail is a perfect hike if you’re eager to get in some fitness during your vacation. The trail itself is 3 miles (4.8 km) long, and you can expect it to take about an hour and a half to complete. Along the way, you’ll meander through the River Bluff TVA Small Wild Area and take in lovely views of the Clinch River. And if you have your four-legged friend along, they’re welcome too!

Songbird Trail

125 Village Green Cir, Rocky Top, TN 37769

Stretching 2.5 miles (4 km) long, the Songbird Trail is a serene loop that promises an easy and accessible adventure for hikers of all ages and abilities, including those with wheelchairs or strollers. This trail features gentle terrain and beautiful riverside views and offers a quiet, peaceful environment perfect for a short outing. Plus, the lack of elevation gain makes it an excellent choice for a family adventure. Or, toss on your running shoes and head out for a morning run here!

Observation Point Trail

125 Village Green Cir, Rocky Top, TN 37769

For a more challenging hike, take on the 2-mile (3.1 km) Observation Point Trail, which offers a rewarding ascent of 100 meters. Your journey begins at a charming playground and meanders through a local neighborhood before passing through a lush wooded area. The trail ends at a serene gazebo, complete with picnic tables and benches, providing the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the stunning views of Norris Dam.

Best Golf Courses

Woodlake Golf and Lodge

330 Woodlake Blvd, Tazewell, TN

Nestled amidst the picturesque setting of Norris Lake, Woodlake Golf and Lodge offers an 18-hole, par 72 Championship Course that Golf Digest celebrated as one of the “Best New Courses in America” in 2000. While playing, golfers are treated to breathtaking views of Norris Lake and the surrounding mountains, making it an absolute hidden gem for golf enthusiasts.

The Greens at Deerfield

161 Clubhouse Dr, LaFollette, TN

The Greens at Deerfield is a 6,700-yard, par 71 championship golf course known for its dramatic elevation changes and holes that play over Norris Lake. Established in 1995, this course has been a long favorite of locals for its stunning lake views and a layout that tests your skills at every turn. One of the highlights is the signature 16th hole, a par 4 with a dramatic 300-foot drop from the tee, making The Greens at Deerfield not only a challenging course but also a visually spectacular one​​.

Three Ridges Golf Course

6101 Wise Springs Rd, Knoxville, TN

Located in Knoxville, near Norris Lake, the Three Ridges Golf Course is a public golf facility set against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains. Recognized by Golf Digest as one of the “Best Places To Play,” this course was designed by Ault, Clark, and Associates and features bentgrass greens and Bermuda tees and fairways. With 63 strategically placed bunkers, the course offers a balanced challenge for golfers of all skill levels and has hosted several notable events, including the Knox County Amateur Championship and the National Golf Association Tournament.

Water Sports

Stardust Marina

Rentals

Discover the joys of lake life at Stardust Marina, which perfectly mixes a full-service marina with dining and entertainment. Enjoy boat rentals for a day on the water, dine at the scenic Harbor Grill, and catch live music on summer Saturdays. It’s the perfect blend of adventure and leisure, especially with its many amenities on offer.

Jumping Bridge

Local’s favorite

Embrace the thrill at Cedar Creek Jumping Bridge, a local hotspot for adrenaline enthusiasts. Located near Springs Dock and Deerfield Cove marinas, this bridge is easy to get to, and once you park up, you can leap off the bridge into refreshing waters meandering slowly past below. Just remember to prioritize safety with life jackets and sunscreen so your daring plunge is both exhilarating and plenty safe.

Norris Paddling Adventures

PAddle rentals

Choose between a kayak, hydro bike, canoe, and stand-up paddleboard, and embark on a wonderful water excursion with Norris Paddling Adventures. Offering both self-guided rentals and expert-led tours, this experience caters to all skill levels and ages. In addition, you can choose between a full-day exploration or a quick one-hour introduction, and if you have a water-loving pet with you, bring them along, too!

Winter Activities

Norris Winter Festival

The Norris Winter Festival is a delightful event filled with crafts, artisans, food, music, and more. It’s an ideal occasion to experience local culture and community spirit in a festive winter setting. This annual event, held in early December, is a must-visit for anyone looking to enjoy the season’s spirit in a charming atmosphere near Norris Lake​​.

Winter Fishing & Boating

Even during the cooler winter months, Norris Lake remains a vibrant destination for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is known for its abundant populations of crappie, walleye, and catfish, offering a unique fishing experience amidst a serene winter backdrop. Additionally, boating during the off-season provides a tranquil way to explore the lake’s beauty—and great deals on rentals are always a bonus.

Winter Hiking

While Norris Lake sees relatively mild winters, the surrounding mountains look stunning with their winter coats on, making hiking an even more breathtaking experience. With their varying levels of difficulty, Big Ridge State Park and the Cumberland Trail cater to all hikers and provide a chance to explore the Appalachian Mountains’ stunning natural beauty.

Where to Eat

Clinch River Brewing

$ – $$ • Beers, Burgers & More

VEGA Cafe & Smokehaus

$ – $$ • Southern Comfort Food

Harrison’s Grill & Bar

$ – $$ • American

Where to Shop

Watermelon Sugar Boutique

Clothing Store

Country-Fried Charm Boutique

Women’s Clothing

Where My Heart Leads Thrifty Boutique

Clothings & Homegoods

Where to Sleep

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Tips on Renting a Vacation Home on Norris Lake

Location Preferences

Decide whether you prefer a secluded spot for tranquility or a location closer to popular marinas and attractions for easy access to activities. For outdoor enthusiasts, look for rentals near hiking trails and state parks to enjoy the natural beauty of East Tennessee.

Water Activities

Norris Lake is known for its boating, fishing, and water sports. Ensure your rental is conveniently located to enjoy these activities and consider rentals with boat access or docks.

Accommodation Type

Choose from various options, such as cabins, houseboats, or lakeside houses. Consider the size and amenities that best suit your group’s needs.

Seasonal Considerations

Norris Lake has different charms across seasons. Summer offers full access to lake activities, while off-peak seasons provide quieter stays and potentially lower rates.

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Going Deeper on Norris Lake

Norris’ origins trace back to the 1930s, emerging as a planned community designed to house about 1,400 people. Influenced by the English garden city movement of the 1890s, its unique layout featured winding roads, homes with unconventional orientations, and regional vernacular architecture. This design pioneered greenbelt principles, and the town boasted some of the nation’s first all-electric homes.

The establishment of Norris was orchestrated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. The community primarily accommodated workers involved in constructing the TVA’s inaugural hydroelectric project, Norris Dam.

In 1948, the town transitioned from its original purpose when it was sold at a public auction to private investors and eventually, in 1953, to a local corporation of Norris residents. The town’s evolution from a project featuring the world’s first all-electric milk-producing plant and Tennessee’s first complete system of dial telephones to a town of distinctive charm, reflects its unique blend of history, natural beauty, and a strong sense of community.

Frequently Asked Questions About Norris Lake

Various rental options are available at Norris Lake, such as houses, cabins, and condos. Some popular choices include Norris Lake Vacation Rentals and Vacasa’s Norris Lake Rentals. These options offer a range of amenities like air conditioning, parking, and spectacular lake views to ensure a comfortable and memorable stay.

Yes, some rental properties on Norris Lake come with pool access. You can filter your search for Norris Lake rentals to include properties with pools using booking websites or contacting the property owners directly.

Some Tennessee lake house rentals come with boats or offer boat rental services. During your search for Norris Lake vacation rentals, look for listings that mention boat availability or contact the owners to inquire about renting a boat along with the property.

Long-term rentals are available at Norris Lake. You can find houses, condos, and cabins to accommodate your extended stay. When searching for a long-term rental, contact the property owners or rental agencies to discuss rates and availability specifically for extended stays. Some properties might offer discounted rates for extended periods.

The lake is ideal for activities like boating, fishing, and water skiing, offering diverse recreational options. Additionally, its surrounding trails provide scenic hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Known for its abundant fish populations, Norris Lake is a favorite among anglers for bass, walleye, and crappie fishing. The lake’s diverse aquatic habitats support a rich fishing experience.

The lake is not only clean and clear but also maintains a safe environment for swimming, attracting families and water enthusiasts. Its numerous coves and beaches offer ideal spots for a refreshing swim.

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