Friday, August 25, 2017

RV Trip to Dale Hollow Lake

As I’ve traveled back and forth on I-40, I’ve noticed the signs for Dale Hollow Lake many times, but other than it was north, I knew nothing about it.  So when our FMCA chapter, planned a rally for the Corp Of Engineers campground just below the dam, I knew we had to go if we could fit into the campground.  After a little research about the sites, we quickly made our reservations.

Dale Hollow is an impoundment of the Obey River (of which I had never heard) and is shared between TN & KY.  The dam is located in Clay County, TN very near the county seat of Celina and the river below the dam is only 7 miles long before it dumps into the Cumberland River.  The lake is north and a little east of Cookeville, TN.

The dam was completed by the Army Corp of Engineers in 1943 for power and flood control at a cost of $28 million - I can't imagine what it would be today since we have military planes that cost about a billion for one plane.

Just below the dam is the 78 site campground sitting along the Obey River with around 20 being riverfront sites.  We had a riverfront site although the road was between us.  The sites were very large with plenty of room between them.  This was our site #25.

The morning mist from the cold water meeting the very humid morning air.  If you look closely at the right side of the shot, you can see the riverbank across the river but it soon went away when the dam began generating power and the low tree branches were touching the water. 

These guys obviously have their priorities in order for where they should spend their money - a few hundred dollars for lodging and many thousand for a boat.

The roads were a little small for our rig but we managed to get in and out without difficulty.  We knew there would be no sewer hook-up and little chance of getting TV, so they were not a problem but our one complaint was the terrible tasting water.  If you come here, fill your fresh water tank with some good water.

The campground facilities and grounds were well maintained.

Also below the dam and alongside the campground was the Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery.  Most hatcheries I’ve seen are state run but "Dale Hollow NFH was established to mitigate for fishery resources which were lost due to the construction of federal water development projects in the Southeast. This is accomplished by stocking rainbow, brown, lake, and brook trout in waters impacted by federal dams."

Here is an overhead shot from the web and a couple of mine.  Note the netting over the area which I assume is to prevent fish loving fowl from doing their meal shopping in the fish tanks.

While there is not much else to do in the area, if you want to fish, play on the lake or just relax, I would recommend this campground.  And in the future I will be looking a lot harder to find COE campgrounds for our travels.

We ate at four restaurants and the first three were just okay then on our final morning, we found Doris' Diner and had a very good breakfast.  As we were leaving they were putting out the lunch buffet and the fried chicken looked outstanding.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


8/14-8/18/17 Trip Dates


  1. Looks like a nice peaceful area that we would enjoy, thanks for taking us along.

  2. That is one massive dam. I love the look of the sites... nice grass & trees. It's too bad the water was terrible. We had the best luck with the Canadian water in the National Parks there. It was so delicious!

  3. It's always nice to find a weekend getaway so close to home. The boat people made me chuckle.

  4. This place is simply magnificent, Larry! Your pictures make me wanna go so bad there!

  5. We've been there... Met G's daughter and hubby there for dinner one Sunday in their lodge restaurant.... Had a great meal there IF I remember..... Have you been to Barren River State Park in KY? It's another neat little state park .. We would take G's mom and dad there sometimes.....

    Praying for the flooding in Texas and at my son's home now... He's already gone through way too much this month... Prayers for Mark.


  6. I don't think I've ever been there either Larry - but it looks beautiful. Lovely campground for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Looks like another fun getaway!


  8. Looks like a pretty area and I love the shot of the morning mist! Everything sounds great except for the water :)


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