About Tims Ford Lake

Nestled in south central Tennessee between Tullahoma and Winchester, the clear, deep water of the Elk River meets the wooded sloped shores of Tims Ford Reservoir. The water creates inlets and coves popular with both anglers and boaters.

Evidence suggests that the area has been inhabited for over 10,000 years as a hunting and fishing ground for the middle woodland tribes. The Reservoir wasn’t formed, however, until 1970 with the completion of the Tims Ford Dam. Construction on the dam under the control of the Tennessee Valley Authority started in 1966 to provide water, hydroelectric power, and flood control for the surrounding area. In addition to the Elk River, the lake created by the dam is fed by several creeks and is ringed with inlets and coves. There are also over 5 miles of island shoreline to explore making Tims Ford Reservoir very popular with canoeist and kayakers.

Boating on the lake isn’t limited to quiet paddling. There are several full service marinas with rentals and boat ramps. Water levels fluctuate about 15 feet a year, but at over 10,000 surface acres, the lake is large and deep enough that recreation is not adversely affected. In fact, Tims Ford Reservoir is known as one of the top recreation and bass lakes in the southeast.

Anglers can fish Tims Ford Reservoir from the bank or by boat. There are several fishing tournaments held on the lake every year, and healthy populations of large mouth, small mouth, black bass and striper draw anglers from all over. The tailwaters below Tims Ford Dam are a great place to fish for catfish and brown and rainbow trout.

Accommodations around Tims Ford Reservoir include, but aren’t limited to lakeside cabins in Tims Ford State Park. The park also has campsites for tents and RV’s and a conference facility. There are over five miles of paved trails in the park suitable for biking or hiking, and a full service marina with rentals and a public boat ramp. The shores of Tims Ford Reservoir are also home to the Bear Trace Golf Course, and there are even a few restaurants that let patrons dine on the water.

There is plenty to explore in the area around Tims Ford Reservoir. Nearby Shelbyville, self proclaimed the “Tennessee Walking Horse Capitol of the World,” is home to the Tennessee Walking Horse Museum. The Tennessee Walking Horse or Walker was bred to carry plantation owners around their land. Their smooth gaits and incredible stamina makes the horses a Tennessee treasure. A completely different kind of treasure, the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee is less than an hour from Tims Ford Reservoir. Established in 1866 by Jasper Newton it is the oldest registered distillery in the United States and still proudly displays No. 1 on its label. Historic Lynchburg is also a charming town to explore. For visitors who prefer a more out of this world adventure, 37 miles south of Tims Ford Reservoir in Huntsville, Alabama, the US Space and Rocket Center has the most complete manned space flight collections in the United States and is the home of Space Camp.

Its proximity to both Woods and Normandy Reservoirs and the rich history of the surrounding area only add to the reasons to visit Tims Ford Reservoir. The fantastic fishing, exceptional amenities and beautiful scenery are reason enough to visit Tims Ford Reservoir over and over again.


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: TVA
Surface Area: 10,700 acres
Shoreline Length: 241 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 888 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 870 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 895 feet
Average Depth: 14 feet
Maximum Depth: 150 feet
Water Volume: 325,400 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1970
Water Residence Time: 240 days
Lake Area-Population: 7,007
Drainage Area: 529 sq. miles