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TENNESSEE WILDLIFE VIEWING TRAIL » East Tennessee
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Dale Hollow Lake

Site Directions: From I-40, take exit 280 and travel north on Hwy 56 through Gainsboro. Turn north onto Hwy 53 and proceed through Celina and follow signs to the resource managers office.
Dale Hollow Lake Dam -
Lat-Long: 36.5374, -85.45118
Hours: daylight hours, fish hatchery hours are 7:30am-3:30pm daily.
Seasonality: year round
Fees: none

Site Description: Dale Hollow Lake is a federally-managed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project consisting of 52,000 contiguous acres of upland forest and open water habitat. Over 80% of the forests and waters lie within Tennessee. Fifty percent (26,000 acres) of the project consists primarily of steep gradient, mature oak-hickory and beech-maple forests. The upland forest is contiguous and surrounds 26,000 acres of open water lake habitat. There are 620 miles of shoreline. Over 90% of lake shorelines remain in a pristine, forested, and undisturbed natural condition. The vast majority of the mature upland forest, which have not been timbered in over 60 years are located in Tennessee. There is very limited shoreline development (less than 5%) with the exception of 5 major campgrounds/outdoor recreation areas and 14 commercial marinas that are limited to sites previously designated in the lake Master Plan. Over 90% of the shorelines remain in a natural riparian condition. The steep forested hillsides and natural shorelines will continue to be managed and protected in their natural condition. This settling and management philosophy is unique to Dale Hollow in the Cumberland and Tennessee River Valleys.


Wildlife to Watch: The forests surrounding the lake support a diverse complement of woodland species including Neotropical migrants to include such species as Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Blue-winged Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Pine Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Ovenbird, and Hooded Warbler. Cerulean Warbler, a species of high conservation concern in Tennessee, breeds in some areas around the lake. A few pairs of Bald Eagles nest here. In winter, the second highest concentration of eagles can be seen here, behind Reelfoot Lake. Common Loon, American Coot, and Horned Grebe are common to abundant in winter. Waterfowl also abound, including Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ring-necked Duck, and Goldeneye.

NOTE: Please refer to TWRA Hunting Guide about hunting seasons and public access dates. Access dates vary by site.


For more information:

Tennessee Ornithological Society - Audubon Important Bird Area web page

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers web page

Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery

Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau Nature Trail


Submit your data to eBird and help us build a list of birds seen at this site


Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas.