GREAT NEWS! Norris Dam State Park will be receiving a new bath house in the west campground to replace the unit that burned down September 2015. The bad news, the WEST campground will not have a shower house during the installation period. Work will begin November 1, 2017 and will continue for approximately 6 weeks. Water and electricity will still be available at each camping site. Port-a-johns will be on site for restrooms. THE EAST CAMPGROUND WILL BE UNDER NORMAL OPERATIONS. Pardon our dust as we improve your State Park.
Interpretive Programs and Events
The Lenoir Museum Cultural Complex is a must-see for park visitors. The complex includes the Lenoir Pioneer Museum, an 18th Century Rice Grist Mill and Crosby Threshing Barn. Exhibits include Appalachian artifacts and a pre-dam pictorial account of the area submerged by the lake. Tours available by request.
Caleb Crosby Threshing Barn
Oxen once generated the threshing machine inside the main building. The barn stood for about 100 years along the north side of the Holston River. The land was to be flooded by the building of Cherokee Dam, so the family donated the barn to the National Park Service. The barn remained there dismantled for 34 years. In 1978, the barn was reconstructed at its present site.
18th Century Rice Grist Mill
Originally constructed in 1798 along Lost Creek, this mill was operated by four generations of the Rice family. The mill has had many changes throughout its history. At times, the mill was also rigged to power a sawmill, a cotton gin, a trip hammer and even to operate a dynamo that supplied electrical lights for the Rice home in 1899.
Will G. and Helen H. Lenoir Museum
Will G. Lenoir donated much of the contents of the Museum to the State of Tennessee for permanent display. Mr. Lenoir collected for more than 60 years with a desire that the rapidly changing times not wipe out an appreciation of the hard work and ingenuity that were a part of the everyday life that was disappearing. It was not only the item, but also the stories of the people behind them he cared about. Mr. Lenoir enjoyed sharing his stories with Museum visitors until his death at 97.
Antique Barrel Organ
When you visit the Lenoir Museum, make sure and get a close look at this antique barrel organ. During restoration, a German newspaper dated 1826 was found inside. The organ plays ten different tunes with 110 wood pipes to make the music. Also, with the turning of one hand crank, four stages of figures perform. In all, 44 figures are in action. These figures include dancers dancing, a clown clowning, foot soldiers marching, a woman churning butter and a blacksmith hard at work.
Annual Events - View our event calendar for details.
March/April - Spring Wildflower Hikes: Each spring, park staff lead trail hikes along the cool Clinch River, on one of the most diverse pathways of wildflower concentrations in the region.
October - Pickin' in the Park: Get your toes tapping with old time bluegrass bands at the park’s outdoor amphitheater. Free. Food and drink available.
October - Fall Color Pontoon Boat Trips: Join us as we venture along the shores of Norris Lake via pontoon boat ride and view this beautiful display of nature’s artistry. Each boat ride lasts approximately one hour and will depart from the Norris Dam Marina. Park Rangers will narrate your trip with tree identification and park history. Registration is required by contacting the park office after Labor Day to sign up for a trip.
December - Holiday Homecoming: This annual event is a family favorite. Walk through time discovering old time traditions representing Tennessee Holiday Homecomings. Local groups and communities help create a winter villiage of festivities. Activities include live animal demonstrations, historical depictions of Appalachian life, horse-drawn wagon rides, old-time music, and holiday treats.