Registration Process

Tours of the facility are limited to 45 persons and each tour begins at 9 a.m. Central Time. Pre-registration is required for all tour guests, including minors.  The deadline to register is seven business days prior to scheduled tour. Personal information collected during sign-up is used for security background checks.

Sign up at:

NOTE: You must provide full name, address, phone number, driver’s license, state of issue, for every person 18 and over signed up for the tour.  If it is not provided that person will not be allowed to participate in the tour upon arrival. When signing up, each individual must have a different e-mail address or the website will not accept additional signups for additional family members. Write "None" in Driver's License box when prompted for children.

Open House Tours

Cordell Hull DamCordell Hull Lake Open House Tours (2020)

Cordell Hull Lake offers the public free guided tours of the Cordell Hull Dam Powerhouse and Lock.  Tours are TBD.

Approximately two hours in length, the tour will begin at the Cordell Hull Lake Natural Resource Management Office, near the Carthage/Turkey Creek entrance. After guest check in and a brief talk about the natural resource management side, guests will then go to the powerhouse. Guiding guests through the facilities, Corps of Engineers personnel and volunteers will provide information about Cordell Hull Lake’s unique history, project purposes, recreational opportunities, fish and wildlife benefits, as well as, an up-close look of the dam and powerhouse facilities.


Cordell Hull Lake Powerhouse, 150 Corps Lane, Carthage, Tennessee 37030.

From Carthage, Tenn., take TN-263 North for 1.1 miles. Turn right onto Corps Lane, then travel 1.5 miles. Park in the parking lot located on your right.


Cordell Hull Lake is named after one of America’s outstanding statesmen, Cordell Hull.  Cordell Hull was born in a log cabin in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains.

Hull served in the Tennessee and U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate.  He served as Secretary of State under President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 to 1944 and negotiated the “Good Neighbor” policy toward Latin America.  He was largely responsible for the creation of the United Nations.  For his efforts towards promoting world peace and harmony, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1945.

Cordell Hull Project.  Contract DACW62-70-C-0013.  DATE 30 September 1970.  View of Cordell Hull project as seen from top of bluff.In recognition of his contributions to the people of the United States and the world, the Congress of the United States named this lake in honor of one of Tennessee’s finest.

Cordell Hull Lake is located at the base of the Highland Rim on the Cumberland River in Smith, Jackson, and Clay counties of middle Tennessee.  The dam is located at river mile 313.5, about five miles upstream of the city of Carthage, Tenn. The project is one of the multipurpose projects in the Corps’ of Engineers’ coordinated plan for development of the water resources of the Cumberland River Basin.

Cordell Hull Lake was authorized by Congress through the River and Harbor Act of 1946.  Construction of the project, designed and supervised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, began in May 1963 and was completed for full beneficial use in November 1973.

The project is operated for the primary purposes of navigation, hydropower generation, and recreation.  It provided an adequate river channel depth and modern lock facilities for through river traffic from above Nashville to the head of navigation near Celina, Tennessee.  The power plant produces clean, safe, and efficient hydroelectric power.  The lake provides an abundance of recreational opportunities.

The dam impounds the Cumberland River creating 67 river miles to the backwater of Celina, Tenn., while providing 381 miles of shoreline, and drains an area of 1,372 square miles.

Tour Details and Rules

  • We ask all guests to arrive at Left Bank Parking Lot next to the Hydropower Plant at least 15 minutes prior to the tour time for check in. For directions please contact the Cordell Hull Lake Resource Manager’s Office at (615) 735-1034.
  • All facilities are ADA accessible.
  • Tour size is limited and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Only visitors with approval and confirmation will be permitted on the tour. No substitutions or additions are allowed.
  • All participants over 16 years of age must provide photo identification upon arrival for the tour.
  • Visitors may not carry packages, backpacks, or other containers during the tour.
  • Photographs and video recording of the interior of the power plant is strictly prohibited.
  • No high-heel, open heel shoes, including clogs and crocs or bare feet, will be allowed on a tour. Tennis shoes are recommended.
  • All children ages 16 and under must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or responsible adult during the tour.
  • Any increase in threat conditions can result in approved tours being cancelled with little notice. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.

Privacy Act Statement

Information is solicited in accordance with Title 10, US Code Section 552 and is used to provide information necessary in preparation for a scheduled tour of the facility and to verify positive identification of visitor. Solicited information is voluntary; however, failure to provide information may result in denied visitor access. The information provided to the Corps will not be retained digitally or by hard copy after the scheduled tour date.