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Mist on the lake at Cove Lake SP

Plan Your Visit.

Hours of Operation
8 a.m. until sunset

Map of the park

Cove Lake is located in East Tennessee's Campbell County, 30 miles northwest of Knoxville, on U.S. 25W and I-75 between LaFollette and Lake City. From I-75, take Exit #134, travel 1/2 miles on Veterans Memorial Highway and take the first left turn. The park lies within the city limits of Caryville, Tennessee.

The campground and swimming pool at the park are accessible to persons with a disability.

Park Activities

Biking Boating Camping Fishing Hiking Trails Picnic Facilities Swimming

Points of Interest

  Norris Dam State Park
  Indian Mountain State Park
  Big South Fork Nat'l Rec. Area
  Cumberland Gap Nat'l Historic Area/Park
Cove Lake State Park's 673 acres are situated in a beautiful mountain valley setting on the eastern edge of the Cumberland Mountains. There are scenic nature trails and bike trails leading through the open grasslands and woodlands. In the winter, several hundred Canada Geese make this lakeshore their feeding ground. Nearby is the Devil's Race Track whose steep pinnacle rock affords a panoramic view.


There is a 3.5 mile paved hiking trail that is also used for biking. There is no mountain biking in the park. Mountain bikers can visit nearby Cross Mountain which is only 5 miles from Cove Lake.


Rowboats and pedal boats are available for rent on the lake, but no personally owned boats are permitted. No gas powered motors are allowed but you may bring your own electric trolling motor to put on the fishing boats. Boat rental is year-round.

Tennessee Boating Regulations (exit TDEC)


The Cove Lake visitor is served with 100 campsites. All sites are equipped with water and electrical hookups, and most with grills and tables. A dump station is available, as are two modern bathhouses containing hot showers, commodes, and lavatories. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Stay limit is two weeks. Tents are allowed on all the campsites.

For more camping information call 423-566-9701.


Year-round fishing is permitted on 210-acre Cove Lake. There is no park fee for fishing but a valid temporary or annual Tennessee fishing license is necessary for persons over 15. Bass and bluegill are the best sporting fish in the lake, but good catches of crappie always tempt the angler. Fishing is allowed from anywhere on the banks of the lake.

Tennessee Fishing Regulations (exit TDEC)
Tennessee State Parks fishing policies

Hiking Trails

There is a 3.5 mile paved hiking trail that is also used for biking. There is no mountain biking in the park. Mountain bikers can visit nearby Cross Mountain which is only 5 miles from Cove Lake.

Meeting Facility

There is one indoor pavilion that can be used for meetings, weddings, rehearsal dinners, family reunions, church picnics and wedding receptions. It is equipped with a full size kitchen and central heat and air. Snacks are not provided but a leased restaurant is located next door. The pavilion can accommodate up to 100 people.

Indoor Pavilion Brochure

Picnic Facilities

There are 112 picnic tables and grills to serve the Cove Lake day-user. Most sites are located adjacent to the lake. Six large picnic pavilions are provided for family reunions and other large group use. Playgrounds, playfields, restrooms and water are conveniently located to serve picnickers. Picnic areas are not covered but they are situated in shady locations.

Three of the pavilions can seat up to 50 people and three can seat 60-65 people. Pavilions may be reserved up to one year in advance.Unreserved pavillions are available on a first come-first serve basis.


Rickard Ridge BBQ at Cove LakeRickard Ridge BBQ at Cove Lake is now open. Hours of operation are Monday - Thursday 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Friday & Saturday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Sunday 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Restaurant features BBQ pork, Ribs, Chicken, Black Angus Burgers, and Catfish. Combo platters, sandwiches, appetizers, fresh salads, and desserts are also offered daily. Group take-out specials, catering, and wedding packages are also available. For more information please call 423-907-8202.


The outdoor swimming pool complex is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and offers an Olympic-sized swimming pool, kiddy pool, and restrooms. The charge is $3.00 per person, children 2 years and under are free. If you are camping at Cove Lake and show your receipt, the charge is $2.00 per person.  Operating hours are 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily.

Other Activities

Cove Lake visitors can enjoy badminton, shuffleboard, horseshoes, field games, volleyball, playgrounds, ping-pong, tennis, and many other activities including a paved walking and bicycling trail. Recreation equipment is available on a free checkout system at the boat dock in the summer months or in the park office during the winter months.

Tour Buses

Tour buses are welcome.