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Recreation on Undeveloped TVA Public Lands

TVA owns and manages approximately 293,000 acres of land Valley-wide. Of this total, about 229,000 acres are available for dispersed, or informal, recreation, which is recreation that occurs away from developed sites with modern facilities. Popular dispersed recreation activities include hunting, camping, hiking, birdwatching, and mountain biking.

The following regulations apply to the use of undeveloped TVA lands, unless otherwise posted:

  • Camping stays are limited to a maximum of 14 days within any 30-day period. After 14 days, campers must move at least one river mile before reestablishing a campsite.
  • Unattended camping vehicles and equipment may not be left overnight.
  • Consumption of alcohol on undeveloped TVA land is governed by local ordinances unless otherwise posted.
  • Cutting, damaging, pulling up, or driving nails into trees, shrubs, or other vegetation is prohibited.
  • Hanging lanterns on trees is prohibited (the heat from a lantern will eventually kill a tree).
  • Leaving trash or litter on TVA property is prohibited.
  • Recreational use of motorized vehicles on undeveloped TVA land, including within reservoir drawdown zones, is prohibited.
  • Campfires must be completely extinguished before leaving the area.
  • The operation or use of any noise-producing device in such a manner as to unreasonably disturb, annoy, or endanger others is prohibited.
  • The excavation, removal, damage, alteration, or defacement of archaeological resources is a felony offense prohibited by federal law.
  • Hunting and fishing are permitted in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. Unless posted otherwise, hunting is prohibited on TVA dam reservations; power plant reservations; and power substations. Hunting is also prohibited in developed recreation areas, such as campgrounds and day-use areas; and wildlife sanctuaries.
  • Unless otherwise posted, possession and use of firearms and other weapons is permissible subject to all applicable state regulations on undeveloped lands.

To the extent permitted by law, TVA disclaims liability for any injury to any person or property, or loss of life or property, related to use of TVA land for recreation activities.

Our partners

TVA values its land and water stewardship partners. Through the public support of individuals and the cooperation of organizations, we deliver quality dispersed recreation opportunities on public lands.

We partner year-round with user groups, community groups, and state and federal partners on projects such as river clean-ups, wildlife habitat enhancement initiatives, trail building, removal of invasive exotic plants, improving access to public lands, and general maintenance activities.

TVA strives to strengthen its partnerships in providing dispersed recreation opportunities. If your organization is interested in becoming a TVA partner in recreation, contact our Public Lands Information Center.

Public lands are in your hands

Public Lands Information Center

A single source for answers to your questions about shoreline land use, permitting procedures, water quality, recreation, and other issues related to the environment.

Call 800-882-5263 or ask a question online


Leave No Trace logo

TVA is a partner in Leave No Trace, a national and international environmental education program. The program goals include increasing awareness of potential environmental impacts that may occur during outdoor activities and providing information about ways to minimize impacts while enjoying the outdoors. The Leave No Trace Program goals align with TVA’s focus on providing recreation opportunities on public lands, responsible natural resource management and environmental stewardship.   

Leave No Trace website



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