Dale Hollow Lake

Dale Hollow Dam

The Nashville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers welcomes you to Dale Hollow Lake. Dale Hollow Dam and Lake was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 and the River and Harbor Act of 1946. The project was completed for flood control in 1943. Power generating units were added in 1948, 1949, and 1953. The project was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and built by private contractors under the supervision of the Corps. The dam, powerplant and reservoir are operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District.

Dale Hollow is a vacation destination that borders the Tennessee-Kentucky state line and each year the lake provides recreational opportunities to millions of visitors. Surrounded by a thick expanse of forest, the clear blue lake creates a stunning scenic backdrop for a variety of water and land recreational activities.  The temperate climate and relatively long recreation season, allows visitors to have many opportunities to fish, hunt, camp, picnic, boat, canoe, hike, scuba dive, ride horseback, and enjoy the great outdoors.



Monday-Friday 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
540 Dale Hollow Dam Road Celina, TN 38551
(931) 243-3136


  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Special Events

Additional Attractions

Links of Interest


Camping & Group Picnic Shelters
Registration Center hours are:
Mon. & Thurs. 11 am to 5 pm
Tues. & Wed. CLOSED
Fri. & Sat. 10 am to 7 pm
Sun. 12 noon to 6 pm

*If the Registration Center is closed when you arrive please select a non-reserved site and return to register for your stay during the hours listed above.

Firewood Alert: Dale Hollow 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. The policy can be viewed from our main website or at Dontmovefirewood.org under the listings for the state of Tennessee.

Dale Hollow Dam Campground is open for the 2022 recreation season April 1 through October 31.  Gates close 2:30pm CST on November 1st. The campground is located directly below Dale Hollow Dam. The campground features 72 level single party campsites, three group camping (double party) sites and one large group picnic shelter. There are an abundance of amenities including electric hookups, drinking water, flush toilets, and a dump station.
Lillydale Campground is open for the 2022 recreation season April 29 through September 26. The campground features 112 single party campsites and one group island tent camping (double party) site; 14 of which are unique island camping.  There are an abundance of amenities including electric hookups, drinking water, flush toilets, and a dump station. The nearby day use provides one large group picnic shelter.  Two boat ramps, two volleyball courts, two swimming beaches and a 7.5 mile one-way trail provide additional recreational opportunities.
Obey River Campground is open for the 2022 recreation season April 15 through October 31. The campground provides the largest camping area at the lake, as well as the largest and most visited swimming beach.  Obey River Park Campground features 123 single party campsites; four group camping (double party) sites and two large group picnic shelters. There are an abundance of amenities including electric hookups, drinking water, flush toilets, and a dump station.
Willow Grove Campground is open for the 2022 recreation season May 20 through September 6.  The campground features 81 single party campsites, one group camping (double party) campsite and one large group picnic shelter.  There are an abundance of amenities including electric hookups, drinking water, flush toilets, and a dump station. A swimming beach, volleyball court, playground and a 7.5 mile one-way trail provide additional recreational opportunities.
Primitive Camping  on Dale Hollow Lake is a unique series of 31 locations with a total of over 70 individually designated family campsites dispersed over 620 miles of shoreline.  Campsites are located in both the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. Most designated tent sites are accessible only by boat; while a few can be reached by country road.  Each location is designated and marked and has a vault or pit type toilet and a ground grill or fire circle.  All areas are considered “pack it in-pack it out” locations with minimal services. Campers are expected to bring plenty of water and garbage bags.  These sites must be reserved before use. 

The Corps of Engineers manages several day use areas on Center Hill Lake. Some shelters may be reserved (for a fee) up to 365 days in advance.  Reservations may be made through the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS).  When a shelter is not reserved, it is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The following areas provide ramp access: Moody’s Access, Compton Bottom, Gum Grove, Gunnels Camp, Keisling Bottom, Plank Yard, Wolf River Bridge, and Jones Chapel. There are no fees to use these areas. To reserve a shelter, contact the National Recreation Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777.

Dale Hollow’s forested shoreline stretches for 620 miles and includes 27,700 surface acres of pristine waters. Fifteen commercial marinas, situated at various locations on the lake, provide easy access and supplies for boaters. A few limited, and posted spots, are restricted to overnight stays.
Dale Hollow Lake is a Designated No Discharge Zone The States of Kentucky and Tennessee have determined the protection and enhancement of the quality of the waters within Dale Hollow Lake require greater environmental protection. These States have agreed to completely prohibit the discharge from all vessels any sewage, whether treated or not, into these waters. View EPA determination.

 As the number of boaters visiting Dale Hollow Lake have increased in recent years, the Corps of Engineers encourages visitors to wear life jackets, pay close attention at all times, abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages, and become familiar with the rules of the water and basic boating regulations. You may contact the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency or Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources concerning boating regulations and boating safety information.

Fishing & Hunting

Dale Hollow Lake is renowned for water purity and fishing. In addition to yielding the world record Smallmouth Bass, Dale Hollow has produced many outstanding catches of other fish. Fishing licenses are required in both Kentucky and Tennessee. A reciprocal fishing agreement provides for sport fishing licenses from either state to be valid in the Wolf River, including Illwill Creek, beginning at the state line as it crosses the Wolf River at its mouth where it joins the Obey River. Special permits are required in each state for trout fishing. Licenses may be purchased at County Clerk's offices, marinas, and other commercial establishments in each state. For up-to-date fishing information, lake elevations, and generation schedules visit the Dale Hollow Lake Facebook page. For the most up to date information on generation releases and lake levels, please visit: TVA's Lake Information or call 1-800-238-2264, press 4, then 37, then press the # key.

*Please note:  Water release schedules often change without notice due to unanticipated changes in weather conditions and power system requirements. Use caution near dams. A large amount of water may be discharged without warning at any time. Your safety depends on obeying all posted safety regulations and warnings. 

Hunting is permitted on public property.  Hunting licenses are required in both Kentucky and Tennessee.  Special permits are required in each state for hunting certain game such as deer and waterfowl. Check state laws for complete information. Licenses may be purchased at County Clerk's offices, marinas and many other commercial establishments in each state.

Scuba & Swimming 

Scuba diving is allowed at Dale Hollow Lake. Divers must display a "Diver Down" flag in the area where they are diving. Boaters should be alert to the "Diver Down" flag and keep a safe distance away. The nearby sunken foundation of the historic Willow Grove School House provides a popular destination for scuba divers. Divers also explore Diver’s Rock at the outlet of Sulphur Creek, the springhouse near the Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park, the steep banks of Ashburn Creek, and the cliffs of Pleasant Grove.

The Corps of Engineers does provide designated swimming areas with adjoining sand beach with restrooms nearby at Obey River Day Use, Lillydale Campground and Day Use, and Willow Grove Campground. Pets, glass containers, and alcoholic beverages are prohibited in beach areas.  Day use areas have a $5 per vehicle user fee charge.


Red Oak Ridge Trail Located 8 miles north of Celina, Tenn., off highway 53, Red Oak Ridge hosts 18 miles of beautiful and scenic trails developed for horseback riding. Primitive camping permits are required for overnight stays. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited and coggins papers required. Follow the signs toward Holly Creek Marina and Red Oak Ridge. Click Here for a trail map of Red Oak Ridge.

Accordion Bluff Hiking Trail This is a one way 7.5-mile stretch of scenic trail connecting Lillydale and Willow Grove Campgrounds, both located approximately 20 miles north of Livingston, Tenn. NOTICE:  Allow approximately 6 to 7 hours for a quick pace hike of the trail. For a more leisurely walk, allow 8 to 10 hours. Click Here for a trail map of Accordion Bluff.

Dale Hollow Photo Contest

Attention all shutterbugs! The Corps of Engineers at Dale Hollow Lake invites you to enter your pictures in our photo contest! As you are out enjoying the lake, be sure to have your camera handy to capture the fun and memories of your visit, the beauty only Dale Hollow can offer, and anything else that shows why you love it here!  Submit your digital photographs by following the Contest Rules below. Entrants whose photos are selected will receive two nights camping on Dale Hollow Lake.

Contest Rules:
By entering or participating in the Contest, Contestants agree to be bound by these official rules.

Who May Enter:
Any photographer who is at least 18 years of age and a legal resident of the United States.

  1. Employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or any other agency or organization affiliated with the contest, and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents etc.) and persons living in the same household of each, are not eligible to participate in the contest.
  2. Photographers who derive 5% or more of their income from taking photographs are also ineligible.

What to Enter:
The submission period will end at midnight on October 31st of the current year. Submissions must include contest judging categories (categories are listed in brackets).

Boating & Water Safety (water sports, life jacket wear) [BoatWS]

Fall, Winter & Spring Scenic [WinScenic]

Family Fun (people shots) [FamFun]

Flora & Fauna (flowers, plants, animals, birds) [FF]

General (any category, any season) [Gen]

Hunters & Anglers (people hunting and fishing) [HunAng]

Recreation (marinas, camping, day use areas) [Rec]

Photographs containing nudity, obscenity, profanity, pornography, violence, and anything that is lewd or offensive in nature, or otherwise inappropriate images will be excluded from the contest.  Images that are in violation of Title 36, the Rules that govern public use on Corps of Engineers properties will also not be accepted. The U.S. Government reserves the right at its sole discretion to reject and disqualify any images that are considered inappropriate or depicting unsafe activities.
No alteration or manipulation of photographs is permitted except for cropping, red eye removal, and/or adjustment of contrast and brightness. 

How to Enter:
Photos must be submitted by email in a jpeg (.jpg) format, with a maximum file size 3 MB.
The e-mail must contain appropriate contact information for the entrant, and must contain at a minimum, full name, address, and phone number of the entrant.
Identification of the location at which the photograph was taken is strongly recommended. Choose your judging category and name the file accordingly.  Each photo entered must be named using the following format:
Category Code, Number of Photo Entered, First Name, Last Name, City, State, Zip Code. 
For example, entering a photograph under the Boating & Water Safety category the file name will be entered as:   BoatWS1JohnDoeAnytownTN38551.jpg

Any photos received not using the naming format will be entered under the General category. The subject line of the e-mail should indicate the category in which the photograph is being entered.  A maximum of three photos per entrant will be allowed.  If submitting via a cell phone in which the file name cannot be edited, please enter the required category and file name in the text portion of the message. Any personal information that is submitted by the contestants will be for Corps of Engineer internal use only and for the sole purpose of this photo contest.  Contestant entry information will not be shared with any other parties. 

Each photo must be an original photo personally taken by the entrant on Dale Hollow Lake and not have any name or business title placed on the photo. A credit will be provided under all images used on the web page.  Entrants should include how they want their name to appear in the credit line. Descriptions or titles, if any, used with the photos are in the government’s sole discretion.

Entry Deadlines:
Entries for each category must be submitted midnight Central time on the 31st of October of the current year to be considered for that term of the contest. 

Judging and Prizes:
All photographs will be judged on the basis of how well the photo captures the positive experience of Dale Hollow Lake.  Judging criteria will include the overall quality and composition of the photo.   All decisions by the judges will be final and binding.  Winning photographs will be announced on the Dale Hollow Lake Facebook pages, and in other related media outlets.  Winning entries in each category will receive a coupon for two free night’s camping at Dale Hollow Dam, Lillydale, Obey River or Willow Grove campgrounds and Dale Hollow Primitive Camping.  Coupons are not valid for any other location and cannot be used in coordination with reservations made through the Recreation One Stop/www.Recreation.gov reservation platform.  Camping coupon and instructions for redemption will be sent by postal mail.  Camping coupons will be valid for one year from date of issue. 

The submitted images must be the photographer’s original work.  The photographer certifies that the images submitted have never been copyrighted or, if copyrighted, that the photographer is the copyright owner.  The photographer must be the sole owner of the copyright of any image submitted.  The submission of the photograph is your guarantee that you are the author and copyright holder of such photograph.   Photographs from the public domain are excluded from the contest.  Copyright of the images will remain the property of the photographer.

All photographs must have been taken at Dale Hollow Lake.

It is the sole responsibility of the submitting photographer to obtain a written release from any recognizable person in a submitted photo.  Submittal of the photograph is the entrant’s warranty that the photograph does not infringe on any third party’s rights, and that written permission has been received by the entrant from any third party whose image appears in the photograph.

By submitting a photo in this contest, you give the U.S. Government the right to use or display the photo on U.S. Government web pages and publications, as well as the web pages and publications of associated organizations without payment, compensation or other consideration to the contestant.   Entrant also gives the government the right to edit, resize, convert, and recompress the photo for viewing convenience and/or faster loading.  The submitted photograph may be used singly or in combination with other photographs.
All photos entered in this contest will become the property of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and will not be returned. The entrant of the photos grants the Corps the right to display the photos online, and to use the photos in print or online marketing.

In the event that the ownership of a photograph submitted is challenged in any manner by any person, the Government may disqualify that photograph and will discontinue its use.All aerial photos must comply with the Nashville District drone policy.  For more information click here.

Volunteer Status:
By submitting photos for this contest entrant recognizes that they are acting as a volunteer. Volunteers are not considered Federal Employees for any purposes other than tort claims and injury compensation.  Volunteer service is not creditable for leave accrual or any other benefit.  However, volunteer service is creditable work experience.