To commemorate the 80th anniversary of Tennessee State Parks, we've created a unique and helpful guide just for you.
80 Adventures to Celebrate 80 Years showcases 80 of our favorite outdoor adventures, making it easy to explore our natural, cultural and historic heritage. Where will your next adventure begin?
Construction of Norris Dam began in 1933 as the first project by the Tennessee Valley Authority, a Great Depression-era entity created by the federal government to control flooding and bring electricity and economic development to the Tennessee Valley. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees were sent to build the park. Many of the facilities at the park were constructed by the CCC and are still in use. Norris Dam State Park was named for Nebraska Senator George William Norris, who lobbied intensively for the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority in the early 1930s.
Located on the shores of Norris Lake with more than 800 miles of shoreline, Norris Dam State Park offers recreational boating, skiing, and fishing. The park offers a fully equipped marina with boat ramp available to the general public. House boats and pontoon boats are available for rent along with other types of boats. For boat information contact Norris Dam Marina at 865-494-8138. Norris Dam State Park sits on more than 4,000 acres located on Norris Reservoir.
The park has 19 historic CCC cabins and 10 deluxe cabins. The historic cabins were originally constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. All are located in quiet, wooded settings and are equipped with electrical appliances, cooking utensils and linens.
The park has two campgrounds. The east campground has 25 sites with water and electric hook-up and 10 primitive sites for tents only; the west campground has 50 sites with water and electric hook-up. All of the sites have a table, grill and fire pit.
The Lenoir Museum has a diverse collection of many artifacts which depict life in Southern Appalachia from 12,000 years ago to present day. The Rice Gristmill, originally constructed in 1798 in Union County, was dismantled and rebuilt on Clear Creek in 1935. The Caleb Crosby Threshing Barn was originally built on the Holston River in the 1830s and relocated to its present site in 1978. It displays old farm tools, plows and a horse drawn wagon.
Norris Dam State Park has two meeting rooms located in the west section on the park that can accommodate 10 to 75 people. These meeting rooms can be reserved up to one year in advance. The Tea Room is also a very popular venue for weddings, reunions and receptions. For more information, please contact the park office at 865-426-7461 or toll free at 1-800-543-9335.
Nearby attractions include the Museum of Appalachia. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum portrays an authentic mountain farm and pioneer village and offers cultural and historic exhibits as well as a home-style restaurant. Also nearby is Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Learn more about this popular 125,000 acre nature preserve.
Park Hiking Trail Descriptions
Norris Dam State Park is known for its hiking trails. Over 21 miles of trails provide spectacular views of Norris Lake and the surrounding hills and valleys. The park has developed detailed descriptions for each of their 15 hiking trails, complete with background details, elevation changes, length, and explanations of what you will see on the trail. Click the link below to see the full list:
Park Trail Maps
Looking for a trail map? Click the link below to see a list of the maps available at this park. The page includes all the trail maps we have available, organized by park. We have free and paid options that provide you the details you need to have your next great adventure in Tennessee.
Geo-referenced Trail Maps
Did you know that certain types of PDF maps can show your exact position on a trail? We are creating geo-referenced maps for our parks. When the map is opened with an app on your smart phone, a dot/reference point displays on the device screen at your exact location. These maps use your GPS, not your cell signal, so they work even when you do not have service. Here is what you need to access our maps: