Douglas Lake, TN
Douglas Lake, TN has something to do for all outdoor experience levels. Whether you're looking to have a family picnic or you're an experienced angler, this peaceful spot is perfect for you. Here you can enjoy fishing and boating and more while staying near all the fun attractions in Pigeon Forge.
In this post you'll get an overview of all the fun things to do at Douglas Lake. Also known as Douglas Reservoir, this lake boasts more than 1.7 million visitors each year and was even featured in Bassmaster Magazine as one of the top 100 lakes to fish for largemouth bass. In addition, it also boasts a designated swimming area, equipment and boat rentals, a campsite with water and electricity, trails where you can enjoy a hike out in nature, as well as places to birdwatch.
About Douglas Lake
The lake itself was formed by the addition of the Douglas Dam in the early 1940s due to high energy demands at the peak of WWII. The 1,705-foot Douglas Dam was constructed in just one year and holds the record for the fastest assembly of a structure of its kind. The lake spans about 28,000 acres and sources its water from the French Broad River and portions of the Pigeon Rivers. Located near the Douglas Dam are two campgrounds, the marina, the boat ramp, and a swimming area.
Fishing and Boating
If you love fishing, Douglas Lake is the place for you! In addition to being named one of the top 100 spots for largemouth bass, the lake is carefully curated as an ideal ecosystem for many of species of fish. These include both large and smallmouth black bass, white bass, catfish, crappies, sauger, and walleye. There are plenty of spots to fish from the bank, as well as opportunities to rent a boat for your fishing trip.
Before you head out, here are a few things to check:
- Make sure you have an updated fishing license. As with most non-private lakes and ponds, a license is required. Licenses are generally inexpensive and can be purchased online from the state government's website, as well as convenience stores, sporting goods shops, and at some boat docks.
- Make sure you look up the size limit and maximum number of fish allowed for each species. In order to keep a balanced ecosystem, the fish population is carefully monitored to ensure the lake remains healthy and well stocked.
You'll also have opportunity to rent a boat and boating equipment at Douglas Lake. Some of your options include ski boats, 24–foot pontoon boats with the capacity for 16, paddle boats, kayaks, pass boats, and jet skis.
Tennessee law requires anyone born after January 1st, 1989 to pass their boater safety course and carry their boater education card with them. If this applies to you, you'll need to study and take an exam with a representative of the Wildlife Resource Agency. If you were born before or on January 1st, 1989, you can pass an online course to get your Temporary Boater Education Certificate.
Camping, Swimming, and Picnicking
On the western side of the lake you'll find Douglas Dam Headwater Campground. This scenic space has over 60 campsites where you'll have access to water and electricity. Nearby there's a sectioned off swimming area where you can bring the kids for an afternoon of fun in the summertime. This sand beach runs along the shoreline and is open to the public for use during the day. Behind the camping and swimming areas are picnic tables where you can bring along a packed lunch to enjoy with your family, as well as flush toilets for your convenience.
Hiking and Birdwatching
Behind the beach is a 30 acre stretch of forest with trails where you can enjoy hiking. Here you can follow the trails for scenic views of the Douglas Dam or other natural wonders like limestone sinkholes, fields of native plants, and beautiful forest scenery. There are also plenty of great spots for avid birdwatchers to view water birds like Pied Billed Grebes, migrating seabirds like the Double Crested Cormorant, as well as native and migrating songbirds like warblers, sparrows, and more. With a mixed habitat of water, fields, and forest, this is a perfect spot to go birdwatching.
Your Visit to Douglas Lake Near Pigeon Forge
Now that you know what activities this popular outdoor spot offers, grab your fishing pole, binoculars, hiking boots, or picnic basket and head out for a day of fun. If you're currently planning your upcoming vacation to the Pigeon Forge area, make sure to check out our nearby cabins. We've got rentals for couples, families, groups, and more, so you're sure to find the perfect getaway for your stay.
Written by Clare Wiker