Cherokee Dam is on the Holston River in East Tennessee, 52 miles upstream from the point at which the Holston and French Broad rivers converge to form the Tennessee River.
Cherokee Reservoir is named for the tribe of Native Americans who once inhabited the area. The Great Indian Warpath, once followed by Daniel Boone, crossed the basin now filled by the reservoir.
Cherokee Reservoir is a popular recreation destination. Along its shoreline are public access areas, county and municipal parks, commercial boat docks and resorts, a state park and a state wildlife management area. There are many tent and trailer sites for campers.
Fishing is popular at Cherokee. The reservoir’s fish population is very similar to that found in other East Tennessee reservoirs—black bass, sauger, walleye, crappie, various sunfish and the usual rough-fish species.
Cherokee was built to generate hydroelectric power during the World War II emergency, but it also plays an important role as one of the chain of TVA-managed reservoirs that have prevented billions of dollars in flood damage over the years.