Planned as an extension to the adjacent Fort Loudoun Lake, Tellico Dam diverts its water through a short canal into Fort Loudoun, thus linking the two reservoirs in their joint functions of flood control, power production and navigation. Tellico Lake stretches 33 miles along the Little Tennessee River into the mountains of east Tennessee, providing provides 357 miles of shoreline and 15,560 acres of water surface for recreation activities. Construction of Tellico Dam was completed in 1979. The dam is 129 feet high and reaches 3,238 feet across the Little Tennessee River. There are several recreation areas along the lake's shoreline that feature boat ramps, day-use areas, fishing areas, and campgrounds. One of these, the Fort Loudon State Historic Park, hosts the reconstruction of the original Fort Loudoun, which was built by the British during the French and Indian War. Another nearby historic attraction adjacent to the Park is the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, honoring the Cherokee genius that invented the Cherokee alphabet.
Fishing: The Tellico is a cool water impoundment due to the cold water inflows from Chilhowee Lake and the Tellico River. Since the reservoir is relatively infertile, it does not support high densities of fish. Some of the most common game fish include largemouth and smallmouth bass, white crappie, bluegill, rainbow trout, and walleye. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has issued an advisory against the consumption of catfish due to PCB and mercury contamination. more information
Paddling: For a paddle with an historic theme, put-in at the Fort Loudoun State Park to paddle around the island stopping at the Tellico Blockhouse and at the Sequoyah Museum.