Chatuge Lake was created in 1942 when the Tennessee Valley
Authority constructed a dam across the Hiwassee River. The lake has
over 133 miles of shoreline, is over 7,200 acres in size and is in
both North Carolina and Georgia. Chatuge Dam is 144 feet high and
stretches 2,850 feet across the Hiwassee River. Chatuge was
originally built to store water to help prevent flooding downstream.
A single hydropower generating unit was added in 1954.
The Weir, just north of the dam, offers picnic
tables and a launch for canoes and tubes for a trip on the Hiawassee
River to a take out area near Fires Creek Wildlife Management Area.
Call the Tennessee Valley Authority for information regarding water
conditions and release schedules at 828-837-7395.
There are three public boat ramps accessible from North
Carolina: Jackrabbitt Mountain Campground off Highway 175, Ledford
Chapel Wildlife Access Ramp on Highway 64, and Gibson Cove
Campground, on Myers Chapel Road. Contact the Clay Country Chamber
of Commerce office at 828-389-3704 for more information.
Clay County operates two campgrounds on the lake
with spaces available for tents and campers. Call 828-389-3532
evenings. Both have: public swimming areas with a sandy beach, BBQ
grills and picnic tables. Other amenities include a boat launch,
playground, ball park, pavilions and showers.
Distance: From Asheville allow 2 -21/2 hours
Address: Chatuge Lake NC 28904
Clay County Chamber of Commerce 388 Business Highway 64,
Hayesville NC 28904;
Tennessee Valley Authority/Lake Hiwassee, 221 Old Ranger Road,
Murphy NC 28906;
Nantahala National Forest, Cheoah Ranger District Office, 828-479-6431
Chatuge Cove Marina, 2397 Highway 175, Hayesville NC 28904;
Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest,
Nantahala National Forest,
Great Smoky Mountains
Directions: From Asheville take I-40 West towards Knoxville.
Take Exit 27 to merge into US Highway 74/19 West towards to
Waynesville/Murphy. In approximately 25 miles take Exit 81 to merge
onto US 23/441 towards Franklin/Dillsboro. Continue on Murphy
Highway/US 64 and after approximately 28 miles take sharp left onto
Highway 175. This will take you to the lake in the Hayesville area.