Area Notes

Center Hill Dam and Lake was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 and the River and Harbor Act of 1946. The project was completed for flood control in 1948. Center Hill Lake is located in the Cumberland River Basin, on Caney Fork River, and covers parts of DeKalb, Putman, White, and Warren Counties in Tennessee. It controls the runoff from a drainage area of 2,174 square miles. The lake is 64 miles long and has many creeks and coves where you can find privacy and solitude. Nearly all of the shoreline is undeveloped and natural. It is owned and managed by the Federal Government through the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Center Hill Lake, with its many coves, is the best the state has to offer for water skiers. The protection of the high rolling hills keeps the wind off the water and the waves to a minimum producing some of the best barefoot and slalom skiing conditions available. At dawn the lake reflects like glass and you will find the pros at one of the lake's two slalom courses. Due to the cooler water temperatures released from the dam, the Caney Fork has become one of the most productive trout fisheries in the south. Many anglers travel long distances to experience the exceptional crappie, bass, and walleye fishing on Center Hill Lake.


Center Hill Lake is one of the best fishing lakes in Tennessee according to Danny Stone, Biologist for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Center Hill Lake and the Caney Fork River downstream of the Center Hill Dam are very popular areas for fishing. Due to the cooler water temperatures released from the dam, the Caney Fork has become one of the most productive trout fisheries in the state. Other species of fish found in Center Hill Lake include black crappie, brown trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, paddlefish , rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass, walleye and white crappie.

The river is easily accessed from Interstate 40 at access areas such as Buffalo Valley, Long Branch, Happy Hollow, and Betty’s Island, all of which are located within seven minutes of interstate exit number 268 (Buffalo Valley Exit). Tennessee state fishing licenses are required for most individuals prior to fishing on Corps of Engineers waters. Licenses may be purchased at County Clerk's offices, marinas and many other commercial establishments in the area.

View the latest fishing regulations
For Center Hill Lake fishing information (updated daily):
call (931) 858-4366 or (615) 548-8581.


Center Hill Lake, the most beautiful and cleanest lake in Tennessee. Click here for a list and map of the marinas and recreation areas for the Center Hill Lake area.

Nearby Attractions

The Annual Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival, held 4th of July weekend, has been featured in National Geographic Traveler. In addition, the Jamboree has been selected as one of the “Top 20 Tourist Favorites” by Southeast Tourism Society and as one of the “Top 100 Tourist Events in North America.”

Fishing Tennessee can provide you with expert fishing knowledge on Center Hill Lake.

Fall Creek Falls State Resort Park is one of the most scenic and spectacular recreation areas in America. Its waterfalls, cascades, sparkling streams, gorges, timberland and an unmatched variety of recreation facilities and activities have made it one of the most popular parks in the Southeast.

Burgess Falls State Natural Area, located in Middle Tennessee, lies on the eastern edge of Tennessee's Highland Rim adjacent to the Cumberland Plateau. This is characterized by sheer bluffs, narrow ridges, rolling water and abundant mixed forest.

The Appalachian Center for Crafts is home to one of the finest and most diverse sales galleries in the Southeast. The Gallery represents traditional and contemporary fine craft by Craft Center faculty, resident artists, advanced students and over 100 regional artists and craftspeople.

Edgar Evins State Park encompasses approximately 6,000 acres on the shores of Center Hill Reservoir in the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee. It provides excellent recreational opportunities and accommodations on one of the most beautiful reservoirs in Tennessee.

Rock Island State Park's scenic beauty is dominated by the Great Falls of the Caney Fork River - an imposing limestone gorge (called a gulf in southern culture). It provides scenic overlooks, waterfalls and deep pools for fishing, rock-hopping and exploring.

Cumberland Caverns displays some of the largest underground rooms in eastern America. It also features waterfalls, gleaming pools, spectacular formations, and even a ¾ ton chandelier.

Nashville Attractions

The NFL's Tennessee Titans hit the field each fall at Nashville's 68,798-seat LP Field. The Titans took the NFL by storm in 1999, capturing the 1999 AFC Championship and advancing to the Super Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. The Titans play in the newly realigned AFC South along with the Indianapolis Colts, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Houston Texans.

The NHL's Nashville Predators take the ice at the Gaylord Entertainment Center from October - April. The Predators begin their sixth exciting season on Broadway as they look to put their "Fangs" into fellow Western Conference foes. Don't miss out on one of the youngest and most exciting teams in hockey, the Nashville Predators.

Nashville Sightseeing Tours offer a number of interesting bus tours of Nashville attractions such as the Hermitage, Country Music Hall of Fame, and tours by country music’s top stars homes. Great for individuals or groups, these tours are conveniently scheduled throughout the day and depart daily from under the Gaylord Opryland Magnolia Canopy.

The Country Music Hall of Fame spans an entire city block, this must-see venue features live performances, miles of memorabilia, and Elvis’ ’61 Cadillac.

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is located in a painstakingly restored Art Deco post office, this renowned gallery and interactive art center offers something for everyone.

The Nashville Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. This grand structure is a monument to a pinnacle of classical architecture.

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens is a private home and estate encompassing acres of specialty gardens, greenhouses, and landscaped vistas, and art museum.

The Hermitage is the restored Greek Revival home of President Andrew Jackson. It features an orginal slave cabin, Jackson’s tomb and family cemetery.

Feed your wild side with a trip to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. On display are over 350 animals including Bengal tigers, elephants, zebras and river otters. The zoo also features a jungle gym and petting zoo.

Belle Meade Plantation is an antebellum home preserving a century of heritage from a frontier cabin to a working farm, nursery and thoroughbred stud farm.

Belmont Mansion was built by one of America's wealthiest women, this 36-room “summer cottage” is famous for its gardens, statuary and ornate furnishings.

We had such a great time watching the wildlife in the area.

We had such a wonderful and relaxing time.…

Thank you so much for the much-needed getaway from the daily grind. We'll definitely be back soon!

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