Q: Can I have a campfire on shoreline of Cordell Hull Lake?
A: Title 36, Chapter 3, Section 327.10(b) states that “Fires shall be contained in fireplaces, grills, or other facilities designated for this purpose.” Open burning along the shoreline, including within pits constructed of shoreline rock are generally prohibited. Portable grills and similar devices are allowed. Gathering of dead wood on the ground for an authorized fire is allowed, but no live vegetation or standing dead timber shall be cut. Never leave your fire unattended!
Q: Are there any trails on Cordell Hull lake that I can walk, hike, run, bike or ride horse back?
A: Yes! Visit our trails page and see the variety of trails Cordell Hull Lake has to offer.
Q: Can I camp anywhere I want to at Cordell Hull Lake?
A: Camping at Cordell Hull Lake is only permitted in designated camping areas. Defeated Creek Campground, Salt Lick Creek Campground and the Primitive Camping area at the Horse Trail and Two Prong are the only designated camping areas at Cordell Hull Lake.
Q: Can I place brush, stakes, Christmas trees, etc. in the lake for attracting fish?
A: Yes, however you must apply for a free permit and follow some guidelines. You may not cut live vegetation or standing dead trees for your attractor material. You must install your attractor at or below elevation 475 feet above sea level (under water at minimum pool). You may not use pressure-treated wood. For more information contact the Resource Manager’s Office at (615) 735-1034 or visit our fishing page.
Q: Can I surface collect for arrowheads or geodes? Can I dig for artifacts?
A: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a responsibility for ensuring that properties of a cultural, historical, or traditional nature located on Corps lands are preserved and managed appropriately. Removal of any artifact, prehistoric or historic, from Federal lands is a violation of both Federal regulations and Federal law. Conviction for digging for artifacts can result in both substantial financial penalty which could be as much as a $250,000.00 and incarceration of up to five years. It is all of our responsibilities to ensure that the cultural resources present on Cordell Hull Lake are protected. To prevent the destruction of these sensitive resources and prevent possible prosecution, please leave any artifact found where you see it.
Q: Can I use metal fence posts, tires or modified docks to moor my boat?
A: Title 36, The Rules and Regulations that Govern Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects, Section 327.20, Unauthorized Structures states that the placement of any structure, including, but not limited to, docks, of any kind upon project lands or waters is prohibited. Devices driven into the ground such as metal fence posts to assist with moorage is also prohibited. History has shown that such items are usually left behind and become a hazard to boaters and swimmers during periods of high water. Tires and old carpets continue to litter our shoreline and are undesirable. Portable rubber mats, floats, and anchors are permissible forms of moorage devices. All moorage devices must be removed from project waters upon departure.
Q: Can I use my metal detector around the lake?
A: That depends. According to an official memorandum of policy from the Directorate of Civil Works and dated March 10, 1989, metal detectors are allowed under certain conditions. The use of metal detectors will be allowed on public beaches or other previously disturbed areas that do not contain or would not reasonably be expected to contain archaeological, historical, or paleontological resources. Nonidentifiable items, such as coins of nominal value ($25.00 or less) do not need to be deposited with the natural resource manager or ranger. Identifiable items (rings, watches, etc.) or items or greater than nominal value will be deposited with the natural resource manager or ranger. Digging shall be limited to hand tools that can be used by one hand only. Hand tools shall be limited to 4 inches wide and 12 inches long. All trash uncovered must be removed and placed in an approved trash receptacle. All soil disturbed or displaced shall be returned to its original state. In addition, we would ask that any such approved use of metal detectors take place during times when it will not interfere with the public’s recreational use of an area, i.e. not on busy weekends at beaches and recreation areas.
Q: Does Cordell Hull Lake have a Visitors Center?
A: Yes! We are located just before you get to the lock and dam at 71 Corps Lane. We are open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except Federal Holidays. Please come and visit us. For more information, call (615) 735-1034. From Nashville take I-40 East to Exit 258. From Knoxville take I-40 West to exit 258. From the Interstate 40 go North on State Route 53 approximately 7 Miles to the first stop light. Turn right onto Turkey Creek Road, follow road around to the left. Go approximately 2 miles and turn right at the sign that says, “Cordell Hull Dam and Lake”. The Resource Manager’s Office/Visitor Center is the only building on the right side of the road.
Q: Does the Corps of Engineers charge day use fees at Cordell Hull Lake?
A: We do charge day use fees at selected recreation areas. The areas on Cordell Hull Lake charging these fees are Defeated Creek Day Use Area, Wartrace Creek Day Use Area and Roaring River Day Use Area. These areas offer sand swimming beaches, playgrounds, launching ramps, bathrooms, picnic sites, and picnic shelters. The use fee’s are $5.00 per vehicle and $2.00 per walk in. Current Golden Age/Access passport holders or individuals possessing the new America the Beautiful Interagency Senior or Access Pass gain free entry. Day Use Annual Passes are available for $40.00. For more information about day use fees and annual passes, click here.
A: We do charge day use fees at selected recreation areas. The areas on Cordell Hull Lake charging these fees are Defeated Creek Day Use Area, Wartrace Creek Day Use Area and Roaring River Day Use Area. These areas offer sand swimming beaches, playgrounds, launching ramps, bathrooms, picnic sites, and picnic shelters. The use fee’s are $5.00 per vehicle and $2.00 per walk in. Current Golden Age/Access passport holders or individuals possessing the new America the Beautiful Interagency Senior or Access Pass gain free entry. Day Use Annual Passes are available for $40.00.
Q: How big is Cordell Hull Lake’s Dam?
A: The dam is 93 feet tall and 1306 feet wide.
Q: How big is Cordell Hull Lake?
A: At normal pool elevation, 504 feet above mean sea level, the water covers 11,960 acres; at maximum pool level, Elevation 508 feet above mean sea level, the water has a surface area of 13,920 acres. The water extends 72 miles upstream, has 381 miles of shoreline, and drains an area of 1,372 square miles. At normal pool elevation, 504 feet above mean sea level, the land consists of 26,703 acres. At Cordell Hull Lake there is a total of 38,633 acres.
Q: How much electricity does Cordell Hull Lake produce yearly?
A: The Power Plant produces approximately 350 million kilowatts of electricity per year.
Q: I am planning a boating trip on Cordell Hull, and need to know where marina services are provided. Who do I contact?
A: There are two commercial marinas on Cordell Hull Lake, and each provide services such as boat rentals, cabin rentals, fuel, snacks, a restaurant, and other customer needs. Contact the marina nearest you for a list of services:
Defeated Creek Marina – (615) 774-3131 or visit their website here.
Wildwood Marina – (931) 653-4360 or visit their website here.
Q: I have a houseboat that I keep at a marina: Can I live on my boat?
A: No. Title 36 Rules and Regulations prohibits occupancy of vessels for full or part time residence.
Q: What is the average depth and temperature of Cordell Hull Lake?
A: The average depth is 20.0 feet. The elevation of the lake varies from a winter low of about 499 feet above mean sea level to a summer recreation pool of 504 feet above mean sea level to a flood storage capacity of to a flood storage capacity of 508.0 feet above mean sea level. The warmest water temperature at Cordell Hull can get up to, 79 degrees Fahrenheit and the coolest temperature can get as low as, 33 degrees Fahrenheit. Do note depending on the location of the lake the temperatures will vary.
Q: What is the deepest part of the lake?
A: The deepest part of Cordell Hull Lake is in the main river channel, just above the Power House at approximately 90’.
Q: What is the firewood policy?
A: Firewood Alert: Cordell Hull Lake is included as a firewood quarantine area. When camping or picnicking at this recreation area, purchase your firewood from a vendor who sells certified heat-treated firewood. Don't bring firewood from home. To help prevent the spread of the Emerald ash borer and other forest pests, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is prohibiting firewood that is non certified heat-treated firewood.
Visit the Nashville District firewood policy, Firewoodscout.org or Dontmovefirewood.org for further information.
Q: What Rules and Regulations govern the land and waters of the lake?
A: The Rules and Regulations governing public use of the Corps of Engineers water resources development projects are contained in Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Visitors are bound by these regulations. Punishment of not more than six months imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than $5,000 may be issued to violators. A copy of Title 36 Rules and Regulations is available from the Cordell Hull Lake Visitor’s Center at the Resource Manager’s Office or accessed online here.
For additional questions please contact the Natural Resource Management Office at 615-735-1034 Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM until 4:00 PM Central Time.