Norris Dam State Park sits on more than 4,000 acres surrounding Norris Lake and offers recreational boating, fishing, trails that are perfect for hiking and biking, a variety of programs and more. It is the ideal place in East Tennessee for camping and enjoying the great outdoors. The park has RV and primitive campsites as well as a variety of cabins to choose from. Whether you plan a camping trip or just come for the day, here’s our list of the top 4 things to do at Norris Dam State Park.
Participate in a program. Norris Dam State Park offers a variety of interactive programs throughout the year. The best thing is you don’t have to be a camper to enjoy them. Everyone is welcome! The programs include the Secret Life of Snakes, Guided Hikes, Tour the Dam, Bats Alive, Norris Lake Cruises and more. The programs are educational and great for all ages. To see a full list of the programs currently being offered, visit https://tnstateparks.com/parks/events/norris-dam/#/?park=norris-dam.
Visit Norris Paddling Adventures. While you’re at Norris Dam State Park, head down to Norris Dam Marina and visit Norris Paddling Adventures. You’ll get to try your hand at a variety of water-sports including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hydrobiking, and more. Paddle over to one of Norris Lake’s beautiful private coves and enjoy an afternoon on the water. Paddlers will also get to enjoy an up close view of Norris Dam from the water. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Visit the Lenoir Museum and Complex. The Lenoir Museum Cultural Complex is a must-see for park visitors. The complex includes the Lenoir Pioneer Museum which includes Appalachian artifacts and exhibits, a pre-dam pictorial history and more. There is also an 18th Century Rice Grist Mill and Crosby Threshing Barn that you can walk through and explore. There are picnic tables around the complex, so it’s a great place to have lunch and enjoy the beautiful scenery. We also recommend having your camera ready! There are many picture perfect spots to take advantage of.
Trails. Whether you are a hiker, biker or prefer a leisurely stroll, Norris Dam State Park has the trails you’ve been looking for. With over 15 different trails, you can spend hours and hours exploring! The trails range in length from ½ mile to 5 miles and vary in degrees of difficulty, so there really is something for everyone. Mountain biking is allowed on 11 of the trails, covering approximately 22 miles. We recommend getting a trail map before you begin your hike or biking adventure. After you hit the trails, be sure to stop by Clinch River Brewing and grab a bite to eat and a delicious craft beer or cider! You’ll love the outdoor beer garden and trout pond.
So, pack up that tent, load up the RV or reserve a cabin and spend a weekend at Norris Dam State Park! It is the perfect place to maintain social distancing, enjoy the beauty of East Tennessee and take in the fresh mountain air.