Lake Nottely

Nestled in the Georgia mountains at 1776 ft. about sea level, Lake Nottely is a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir located in the mountains of Union County- Georgia’s highest county- 100 miles North of Atlanta in the town of Blairsville. Nottely is a deep water mountain lake 20 miles long and covers over 4180 acres. The dam is on the North end of the lake and water flows north into the Nottely River from the dam. Under the jurisdiction of the US Forest Service, the Chattahoochee National Forest borders 70% of the lake’s 106 miles of shoreline making Lake Nottely one of Georgia’s best kept secrets.

TVA has an app to download for tracking Lake Nottely water levels throughout the year.



The lake is divided into 2 distinct parts –
1. The Lower Lake is really a narrow river that winds back and forth
2. The Upper Lake is open with numerous islands, coves and recreational areas to explore.
Our marina was constructed in 1941 and is in the NW corner of the upper lake.

Dam History
1933 – Tennessee Valley Authority, a federally owned corporation created to help economic development in the Tennessee Valley, an area hit particularly hard by the Great Depression.

1939 – Start of World War II in Europe creates urgent demand for hydro-electric power production to aid in manufacturing of aluminum in eastern Tennessee

1940 – Hiwassee Dam constructed 20 miles downstream. Hiwasee watershed was a major cause of constant flooding in Chattanooga, TN.

July 16, 1941 – Authorization was granted to begin working on the construction of Nottely Dam at the location formerly known as the Thompson Canyon Site.

July 17, 1941 – Construction began on the dam the very next day.

December 7, 1941 – Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

January 24, 1942 – Construction of the dam completed in 191 days.

91 families and 21 miles of road were relocated because of the dam.

The rugged gorge of the upper Nottely River was a perfect location for the dam construction

Dam Construction
Earth, and rock crib with concrete ski jump overflow spillway

Project Cost – $8,000,000

Dam Measurements 184′ high and 2300′ wide

Dam Information -Lake Nottely – Full Pool – 1776 ft above sea level

Lake Nottely – Flood Gates – 1780 ft above sea leve

Lake Water Levels
The primary purpose of Lake Nottely is to provide flood water control and flood damage protection downstream. The secondary uses are power generation and recreation. The lake levels begin going down in the fall and start coming back up in April.

Full Lake May – September
Lower Lake October – April
Boating on the Lake Year Round

The Land Of The Cherokee
Native American petroglyph carvings dating back more than 1000 years are evident in Union County (Track Rock Gap).

Area History
The land was originally inhabited by the Native Americans Indians of the Cherokee Nation.

1820’s – White Settler’s discovered gold in the nearby mountains

1828 – Start of the Georgia gold rush

1830 – President Andrew Jackson instituted the Indian Removal Act mandating the forced relocation of Native Americans west of the Mississippi River.

The Trail of Tears begins as Native American inhabitants are forced to relocate under the authority of Andrew Jackson and the US Cavalry

1832 – Georgia Land Lottery – Union County founded as a result of land appointed during the Georgia Land Lottery.

1861-1865 – American Civil War