Spring has officially arrived and the Tennessee Valley Authority will be opening visitor centers on Saturday, April 1, at its first dam, its tallest dam, its longest dam and several other facilities around the Tennessee Valley.
The public can visit centers at TVA’s tallest dam, Fontana, which towers 480 feet and forms part of the Appalachian Trail, near Bryson City, N.C.; Norris, TVA’s first dam that was completed in 1936 along with a planned community that became a national model, near Knoxville; and Kentucky Dam, TVA’s longest dam at more than 8,800 feet that forms the largest reservoir in the eastern United States, near Paducah, Ken.
In addition, informative display panels at Wilson and Guntersville dams in Alabama are accessible by the public year-round, as is the Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage facility visitor center near Chattanooga and visitor centers at both South Holston and Fort Patrick Henry dams in northeast Tennessee.
Each offers information about TVA history, how it operates its electric system and how it manages the Tennessee River and its tributaries.
TVA retiree volunteers serve as guides at Raccoon Mountain, Fontana, Norris and Kentucky to answer questions about TVA, the history of the facilities and the surrounding areas.
- Fontana Dam, located off N.C. Highway 28 near the Tennessee border, is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through August and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.September and October.
- Norris Dam, located off Interstate 75, Exit 122 north of Knoxville, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April through November.
- Raccoon Mountain/Laurel Point, located off Raccoon Mountain Road near U.S. Highway 64/72 west of Chattanooga, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.through October and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November through March.
- Kentucky Dam, located off U.S. Highway 62 east coming from Paducah, Ky., or west from Clarksville, Tenn., operates 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., from April through October.
- Wilson Dam, located off Reservation Road in Muscle Shoals, is accessible year-around.
- Guntersville Dam, located off Snow Point Rd. (CR-50), is accessible year-around.
- South Holston Dam, located on South View Dam Drive, Bristol, Tenn., is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April through October; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.November through March.
- Fort Patrick Henry, located off Interstate 81, Exit 59, is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April through October; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March.
Visitor centers close for major holidays and in times of severe weather. TVA’s website frequently posts closure information.
For more information about TVA and its 83-year mission of service to the Tennessee Valley, click here.