Melton Hill Lake received it's name from a high knob located about two miles from the dam. High atop this hill resides a mapping station established in 1884 by the U.S. Coast Guard and Geodetic Survey. Melton Hill Dam Recreation Area around the reservoir and dam offers year-round camping plus sheltered picnic tables and pavilions. The dam was completed in 1963 and stands 103 feet high. It stretches 1,020 feet across the Clinch River. The reservoir provides nearly 193 miles of shoreline and 5,470 acres of water surface for recreation. Melton Hill is the only dam in the tributary reservoir system with a navigation lock and is considered a run-of-river reservoir, meaning that water is passed through the reservoir without being stored long term. The water level fluctuates about four feet on a daily basis.
Bicycling: Melton Hill Dam Reservation and Melton Hill Park both offer the cyclists start locations for scenic back road cycling adventures. Much of the neighboring area embraces rolling farmland with quiet backroads that are relatively traffic free. In the city of Oak Ridge, the Melton Lake Greenway contours the lake and .
Fishing: Predominant fish are musky, striped bass, hybrid striped bass, white crappie, largemouth bass, and skipjack herring. The state record was caught in 1998 at the warmwater discharge at Bull Run Steam Plant, which is probably the most intensely fished section of the lake for all species. Another productive and popular spot is on the tailwaters below the dam, but you'll find both largemouths and smallmouths throughout the lake. Spring and fall crappie fishing is one of Melton Hill Lake's better-kept fishing secrets. more information
Paddling: At the dam, paddlers can put in from either of the two boat ramps available, one above and one below. This gives paddlers access to both Watts Bar Lake and Melton Hill Lake. On the eastern edge of Oak Ridge, Melton Hill Lake is nationally know as one of the best 2,000 meter rowing courses in the US. Oak Ridge's Melton Hill Park is home to the Oak Ridge Rowing Association which hosts a number of regattas including the US Rowing National Championships. Oak Ridge is one of only three cities to host this prestigious event since 1983. Every March to April, thousands of rowers join them for Spring Training — check out our events calendar so you'll be sure to attend! Another scenic blueway access is from the boat dock at Knox County's Melton Hill Park. The boat launch under the Edgemoor Bridge provides 5 miles of shoreline around Haw Ridge Park and alongside the new section of the Melton Lake Greenway into Oak Ridge. (Haw Ridge Canoe Trail)
Trails: There are several trails and trail systems that connect to sections of Melton Hill Lake in various locations. Near the dam, the Melton Hill Dam Reservation Trail offers a 0.75 miles one-way trail through the woods. At Melton Hill Park there are almost 3 miles of cross-country trails along with a paved greenway. In Oak Ridge, the TVA Worthington Cemetery Trail offers a 0.5 mile loop at Elza Gate Park. Haw Ridge Park's 30-mile trail system skirts the lake's 5 mile shoreline.