Open House Tours

Join Us on a J. Percy Priest Dam Tour

J. Percy Priest Dam spillingNASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 22, 2018) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District at J. Percy Priest Dam & Reservoir is offering two free guided tours of the J. Percy Priest Hydroelectric Dam in celebration of the reservoir's 50th anniversary.  Dam tours will be held Friday, June 29, 2018 at 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m.  There is a limit of 25 people per tour.

Approximately 45 minutes in length, the tours are scheduled to begin at the gated area outside J. Percy Priest Dam in Nashville, Tenn. After guest check-in and a brief introduction, Corps of Engineers personnel will provide registered participants with an up-close look at the powerhouse facilities.

Pre-registration is required for all tour guests (including minors).  The deadline to register is Friday, June 22, 2018; however, the Corps anticipates these tours to reach maximum capacity well before June.

Personal information collected during sign-up is used for security background checks.

Sign up at

NOTE: You must provide full name, address, phone number, drivers 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.

Tour Details and Rules

  • 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.
  • 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 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 canceled with little notice.  We regret any inconvenience this may cause.
  • An e-mail will be sent to anyone signed up for a tour if for any reason a tour is canceled.
  • All guests should arrive at the gate next to the Hydropower Plant at least 15 minutes prior to the tour time for check in.
  • All facilities are NOT ADA accessible.  Every effort will made to accommodate any need that is known in advance of the tour.
  • Photographs and video recording of the interior of the power plant is strictly prohibited.


J. Percy Priest Dam tour is located at: 3778 Bell Road, Nashville, TN 37214

From Nashville, take I-40 East to Exit 219 - Stewarts Ferry Pike. Take a right on Stewarts Ferry Pike and travel approximately one half mile to Bell Road. Turn left on Bell Road.  Then take the first immediate left to below J. Percy Priest Dam where the tour will begin.


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the dedication of J. Percy Priest Dam and Reservoir.  On June 29, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson made a visit to Nashville, Tenn., to honor the late Congressman J. Percy Priest by dedicating his namesake project on the Stones River.  Attendance at the event numbered over 4,000.

Construction of J. Percy Priest Dam began in June 1963 and was completed in December 1967.  Originally named the Stewarts Ferry Reservoir, the project was renamed in 1958 to celebrate the accomplishments of James Percy Priest.  Priest was a high school teacher, coach and reporter/editor for the Nashville Tennessean before he was elected to Congress. He represented Nashville and Davidson County from 1940 until his death in 1956.

The dam houses one hydroelectric generator that produces an average annual energy output of 70 million kilowatt hours and has contributed significantly in reducing the frequency and severity of flooding in the Cumberland Valley. Supplemental benefits of the 14,200 acre lake and surrounding 19,011 acres of land include water supply to local municipalities and fish and wildlife management.  Recreation also remains a primary benefit.

In honor of the historic dedication event, the J. Percy Priest Lake staff would like to invite the public to an anniversary ceremony on Friday, June 29, 2018.  This ceremony is 10 a.m. CDT below the dam and is expected to last approximately one hour.

In addition to the commemoration ceremony, the J. Percy Priest Lake Visitor Center located at 3737 Bell Road in Nashville is open Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily.  Not normally open on the weekends, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to invite the public to see the great displays and learn more about the lake from the Visitor Center exhibits and staff.

Privacy Act Statement

Information is solicited in accordance with Title 10, U.S. 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 visitors. Solicited information is voluntary; however, failure to provide information may result in denied visitor access. The information provided to the Corps of Engineers will not be retained digitally or by hard copy after the scheduled tour date.