Center Hill Lake - Smithville, TN

Center Hill Lake Swimming

Center Hill Lake is an 18,220 acre lake that features 255 miles of shoreline. The lake was created by the construction of a dam across the Caney Fork River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction in 1942 and completed construction in 1948. The lake is located near Smithville, Tennessee which is about an hour drive east of Nashville, TN. Center Hill Lake offers a wide range of activities for water and outdoor enthusiasts.

Recreational Activities

Recreational activities at Center Hill Lake include, boating, camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife watching, scuba diving, swimming, sailing, wakeboarding, jet skiing, water skiing, hiking and biking.

Boat Ramps and Marinas

For boaters there are a number of marinas and boat ramps located throughout the lake that provide easy access to the waters of Center Hill Lake. Most of the commercial marinas also feature ship stores for stocking up on fuel and supplies that might be needed for your day on the water. Some marinas also feature on-site restaurants that offer take-out and seated dining. Special social events are also held at various marinas throughout the year. If you don't own a boat but would like to spend time on the water pontoon party boats, house boats, ski boats, and jet skis are available for rent at most marina locations.

Camping and Lodging

Center Hill Lake offers numerous lodging options including primitive camping, developed campgrounds, rental cabins, and houseboat rentals. There are also motels and bed and breakfast options available with close proximity to the lake. If you are looking to picnic at the lake Picnic Shelters are available for rent at campgrounds and recreational access areas. Most developed campground locations amenities include water and electrical hookups, restrooms, showers, fresh water, and dump stations.


Fishing at Center Hill Lake is one of the favorite activities of lake visitors of all ages. All fisherman age 13 or older are required to have a valid Tennessee State fishing license. Fish from bass to bluegill can are caught year round and can be caught from the shoreline or from a boat. Fishing boats are available for rent at a number of the lake marinas. Professional fishing guides are also available for hire.

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is allowed at Center Hill Lake. Please remember that if you are scuba diving at Center Hill all divers are required display a Diver Down flag in the area where they are diving.