Lake Hiwassee is surrounded by the Nantahala & Cherokee National Forest, and offers spectacular scenery. Lake Hiwassee is primarily fed by the Hiwassee, Nottely, and Valley rivers. The lake covers 6,090 acres with almost 180 miles of shoreline; it measures 22 miles long and more than 200 feet deep in places.
The Tennessee Valley Authority dam, also named Hiwassee, was completed in 1940 for flood control and electric power. At 307 feet, it is the highest overspill dam in the world, the dam stretches 1,376 across the Hiwassee River. As its waters head west, Lake Hiwassee feeds into Appalachia Lake. In conjunction with Lake Chatuge, these three lakes along the Tusquittee River are collectively referred to as the Chain of Lakes, offering boating, water-skiing, swimming, and fishing opportunities against a peaceful mountain landscape.
Boater, canoer, and kayakers will find easy access to the water at the Hanging Dog Recreation Area on Lake Hiwassee with a campground, picnic area, hiking trails, and a boat launching ramp.