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Guntersville Lake

Coordinates: 34°25′23″N 086°23′32″W / 34.42306°N 86.39222°W / 34.42306; -86.39222
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Guntersville Lake
Guntersville Lake
Location of Guntersville Lake in Alabama, USA.
Location of Guntersville Lake in Alabama, USA.
Guntersville Lake
Location of Guntersville Lake in Alabama, USA.
Location of Guntersville Lake in Alabama, USA.
Guntersville Lake
Location of the lake in Alabama
LocationJackson / Marshall counties, Alabama, United States
Coordinates34°25′23″N 086°23′32″W / 34.42306°N 86.39222°W / 34.42306; -86.39222
Lake typereservoir
Primary inflowsTennessee River
Primary outflowsTennessee River
Basin countriesUnited States
Max. length75 mi (121 km)
Surface area69,000 acres (28,000 ha)

Guntersville Lake (generally referred to locally as Lake Guntersville) is an artificial lake in northern Alabama between Bridgeport and Guntersville.


The lake stretches 75 miles (121 km) from Guntersville Dam to Nickajack Dam. It is Alabama's largest lake at 69,100 acres (279.6 km2).[1]

It is separated by the Guntersville Dam from Wheeler Lake, which is 68,300 acres (276.4 km2) and the second largest lake. Both lakes are part of the Tennessee River.


The lake was created by Guntersville Dam along the Tennessee River. Both the lake and the dam received their names from the town of Guntersville, which received its name from an early settler of the area, John Gunter.

As far back as 1824, the Tennessee River was a nationwide inland waterway problem. With narrow canals, increased traffic, and larger freight carriers, in addition to flooding problems and sparse electricity, it was clear that a successful river development program should embrace power, navigation and flood control.

The Tennessee Valley Act[2] called for development of 640 miles of Tennessee River from Paducah, Kentucky to Knoxville, Tennessee. Since many of the earliest settlers built their homes along the river, many Guntersville area families and farms were displaced. Alabama's largest archeological project excavated dozens of Indian sites before the area was flooded in January 1939.

As a result of the Tennessee Valley Act and the creation of the lake, Guntersville has seen improved agriculture, energy, industry and recreation. Known for its hiking, camping, fishing, boating activities and scenery, Alabama's Lake City is repeatedly noted as a top spot for bass fishing[3] and one of the top lake towns[4] to live in America.

In the 1950s, German scientists brought to the United States under Operation Paperclip who lived in Huntsville, Alabama purchased houses by the lake.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Guntersville Lake". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2006-05-02.
  2. ^ "Our History". TVA.com. Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  3. ^ Fishidy. "Best Places to Fish in Alabama: Guntersville Lake | Bass Pro Shops". BassPro 1 Source. Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  4. ^ "The most beautiful lake towns in America". The Active Times. 2020-09-04. Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  5. ^ Laney, Monique (2015). German Rocketeers in the Heart of Dixie: Making Sense of the Nazi Past During the Civil Rights Era. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-300-19803-4.

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