Norris Dam State Park RV & Campground Guide

Tennessee

Norris Dam is the pilot project that served as a model for the Tennessee Valley Authority series of dams. Built in 1956, the dam created Norris Reservoir, a 53,875-square-mile lake with 809 miles of shoreline. Norris Dam State Park occupies a small section of that immense shoreline near the dam itself. The park is in two sections, with the eastern portion being the oldest, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. The west portion, developed in the 1970s, includes a modern campground, a boat ramp, a marina, the Lenoir Museum Cultural Complex, and hiking trails. Norris, TN, which was created to house and maintain workers constructing the dam during the 1930s, is the nearest community, with larger towns and cities like Knoxville and Oak Ridge not far off. 

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Weather
Spring 38-78 F
Summer 63-87 F
Fall 37-81 F
Winter 29-52 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Norris Dam State Park

Using an RV to camp at Norris Dam State Park is the most comfortable way to enjoy a stay at one of Tennessee's premier campgrounds. There are so many things to see and do at the park that days fill quickly. Returning to the comfort provided by an RV at the end of an eventful day helps a family relax and get ready for the planned events that fill the next day. Check out RVshare to find the best RV for your needs.

Norris Dam State Park Campground

Norris Dam State Park Campground offers 75 back-in RV campsites. Rigs up to 40 feet in length are welcome in the campground. The park features added amenities like a swimming pool, a boat ramp for lake access, a marina, a museum, and many hiking trails that overlook the lake. A playground and outdoor ball courts give kids plenty of space to expend pent-up energy. The fishing on the lake is legendary, with striped bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, and trout providing the most fun for avid anglers.

  • Water Hookup: Yes
  • Electric Hookup: 30/50 amps
  • Sewer Hookup: No, but a dump station is on the site
  • Wi-Fi Available: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, fire rings, picnic tables
  • Fee: $21 to $40 per night

Mountain Lake Marina and Campground

Mountain Lake Marina and Campground provide access to 168 RV campsites, 19 of which are pull-throughs. Each campsite is 20 feet in width and 40 feet in length. The campground supports a swimming pool, a wading pool, a playground, a boat ramp, and a marina. Visitors can launch boats up to 38 feet in length at the ramp. For those without boats, there is a concessionaire that rents boats, kayaks, and canoes. The campground is partially ADA accessible. During the peak seasons, the campground provides a restaurant and ice cream shop.

  • Water Hookup: Yes
  • Electric Hookup: 30/50 amp
  • Sewer Hookup: Yes
  • Wi-Fi Available: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, fire rings, picnic tables, dump station, laundry facilities
  • Fee: $35 to $45 per night

Volunteer Park RV Campground

Volunteer Park RV Campground offers 124 RV campsites, of which 85 are available for temporary visits. Thirty-five of the temporary sites have pull-through capability. Each campsite is 24 feet wide and 50 feet long. The campground supports a swimming pool and a wading pool. A playground, basketball court, and horseshoe pits are available for family fun. Most of the sites are shaded. A rec hall provides indoor entertainment with pool tables, a game arcade, and a foosball table. The camp store keeps plenty of RV supplies in storage, along with ice, firewood, and groceries. Metered LP gas is available at the store, and a self-service RV wash is next door. Cable TV is piped into each campsite.

  • Water Hookup: Yes
  • Electric Hookup: 30/50
  • Sewer Hookup: Yes
  • Wi-Fi Available: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, fire rings, picnic tables, laundry facility, dump station
  • Fee: $40 to $45 per night

RV Rentals Near Norris Dam State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Norris Dam State Park

Inside Norris Dam State Park

Norris Dam State Park provides 15 trails ranging from 0.5 miles to five miles in length that vary in intensity from easy to difficult. Five of the tracks are shared with horseback riders, and 11 are available to mountain bikers. These trails travel along ridgetops, dip into hollows, and run beside the lakeshore, providing excellent birding and wildlife observation platforms that draw visitors to this park. The lake gives visitors the option to enjoy water sports, fish, or simply run the reservoir for its fun. The Lenoir Museum Cultural Center provides personal information on early settlers' work and living conditions in the Norris Lake region.

Outside Norris Dam State Park

Since its creation in 1936, Norris Reservoir has influenced the surrounding area. Norris, a community set up by the government to house the Norris Dam employees, still exists. Many of the once poor communities now flourish with intriguing businesses like restaurants, sports shops, and shopping centers. The entire area enjoys the economic impact of the thousands of visitors to Norris Dam State Park each year. 

Restaurants

Springs Dock Resort Restaurant

Start your day with a hearty breakfast at the Springs Dock Resort Restaurant. Their cuisine includes an upgraded American traditional breakfast. Try their sausage and egg sandwich for a meal that will stick with you until lunch.

Type: American

Location: 1652 Alder Springs Road, La Follette, TN 37766

Shanghai Resort Restaurant

The Shanghai Resort Restaurant provides an eclectic lunch menu for visitors to the area of Norris Reservoir. Choose from quesadillas, pizza, or good old-fashioned American hamburgers for a lunch that will please the palate.

Type: American

Location: 1042 Shanghai Road, La Follette, TN 37766

McCloud Mountain Restaurant

There is nothing like having dinner on top of a mountain. At McCloud Mountain Restaurant you get the view along with a fine meal. Try the amazing free-range elk steak dinner for a taste your palate will remember for a lifetime.

Type: American

Location: 1220 McCloud's Trail, Duff, TN 37729

Clinch River Brewing

To finish off your day, visit Clinch River Brewing for a brief snack or some sweet stuff. Their desserts, like the white chocolate bread pudding or the fried churro, are an excellent way to end the day.

Type: American

Location: 2045 Norris Freeway, Norris, TN 37828

Shopping

West Town Mall

The West Town Mall features 118 stores under one roof. Some stores are local businesses, but most, like Dick's Sporting Goods and American Eagle Outfitters, are recognizable national brands.

Location: 7500 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919

Nostalgia

When it comes time to search for souvenirs to commemorate your trip to Norris Dam State Park, make sure to drop by Nostalgia and have a look around an eclectic antique shop. This store searches for, finds, and presents antiques from around the world.

Location: 5214 Homberg Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919

Sightseeing

Museum of Appalachia

The Museum of Appalachia is a 65-acre restoration project depicting the life of the first colonial settlers to venture into the Tennessee area. The museum building provides artifacts dating from 1400 years ago to the present day, while real-life people live as they would have if they were members of the first exploratory ventures into the region.

Location: 2819 Andersonville Highway, Clinton, TN 37716

James White Fort

The James White Fort is one of the most visited historical sites in Knoxville, TN. It is a reconstruction of the original home of James White, the founder of Knoxville. The fortifications indicate the necessity for protection from Native American aggression that repeatedly occurred in this area of the frontier.

Location: 205 East Hill Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37915

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Within view of the highest hills at Norris Dam State Park is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Though over 60 miles away, the impressive range of peaks that make up the national park are visible on days when the storied fogs that give the park its name dissipate to reveal the area's majesty.

Location: 107 Park Headquarters Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

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How to Get to
Norris Dam State Park

The nearest significant city to Norris Dam State Park is Knoxville, TN. To approach Norris Dam State Park from Knoxville, get onto Interstate 275 North (I-275 N) and go for 1.1 miles. Continue straight to merge onto Interstate 75 North (I-75 N). Stay on I-75 N for 20 miles until you reach Exit 128. Take exit 128 to the right to get onto United States Highway 441 (US-441). Travel on US-441 for 6.9 miles, then turn left onto Village Green Circle. Follow Village Green Circle for 0.5 miles until you reach Norris Dam State Park.

Entering Norris Dam State Park

Norris Dam State Park is a day-use area that is open from dawn to dusk.

Entry fee : $0

You'll make memories that last a lifetime when you take an RV adventure to Norris Dam State Park. If you don't have an RV of your own, rent one with RVshare! If you share your trip photos on social media, be sure to tag us, or send them to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on our blog.