The 9 Best Things to Do in Rocky Top, United States

July 26, 2017 Hana Mouser

Rocky Top (formerly Coal Creek and Lake City) is a city in Anderson and Campbell counties in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Tennessee, northwest of Knoxville. The population was 1,781 at the 2010 census. Most of the community is in Anderson County and is included in the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area. On June 26, 2014, the city officially changed its name from Lake City to Rocky Top, after a last-ditch effort by the copyright owners of the song "Rocky Top" was denied by a federal court.
Restaurants in Rocky Top

1. Norris Dam State Park

125 Village Green Cir, Rocky Top, TN 37769-5003 +1 865-426-7461
Excellent
62%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 142 reviews

Norris Dam State Park

Norris dam was the first built by the TVA in the late 1930s.

Reviewed By Leigh C - Clinton, Tennessee

I grew up in this area and spent a lot of time on Norris Lake with the family with boats and a houseboat. Lots of picnics growing up there also. We now have moved back to the area and still go to look around and visit. Just went to walk thru the cabin and camping area. You will see lots of wildlife. Great walking trails, trout fishing, and beautiful views. You can find camping areas for tents or trailers or RVs, etc., cabins (rustic) or modern cabins. Lots of attractions near b for day trips also.

2. Museum of Appalachia

2819 Andersonville Hwy, Clinton, TN 37716-6756 +1 865-494-7680
Excellent
67%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 338 reviews

Museum of Appalachia

The Museum of Appalachia is a living history museum--a pioneer mountain farm-village that lends voice to the people of Southern Appalachia through the artifacts and stories they left behind. Roam the 65-acre complex and experience a recreated Appalachian community complete with: -36 authentic log structures (including Mark Twain's Family Cabin) -Farm animals -Over 250,000 artifacts in 3 buildings, with vast collections of folk art, music memorabilia, baskets, quilts, Native American artifacts, and much more. The Museum hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including Sheep Shearing Days, July 4th Anvil Shoot, "Days of the Pioneer" Antique Show, and A Candlelight Christmas.

Reviewed By Fortyfivefifty - Boston, Massachusetts

The mission to preserve and interpret the local cultural heritage is a commendable and worthwhile endeavor, but the resources and management seem to be lacking. The ticket price might suggest that a lot of activities and visitor services are included in the experience, but this did not seem to be the case at all. Most of the historic buildings were vacant, roped off for stabilization or infrastructure issues, or totally empty. There were very few costumed interpreters on the grounds, few animals, and many of the indoor exhibits were poorly organized and run-down. Because the Museum seems to think itself quite above what it's actually worth, I decided to write a more critical review, since I expect an experience commensurate with what I paid. Had the price been a bit more humble, I would have enjoyed the experience as just a nice little small-town museum instead of feeling royally ripped-off.

3. Cove Lake State Park

110 Cove Lake Ln, Caryville, TN 37714-3800 +1 423-566-9701
Excellent
56%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 107 reviews

Cove Lake State Park

Cove Lake’s 717 acres are situated in a beautiful mountain valley on the eastern edge of the Cumberland Plateau. A paved walking/bike trail provides easy access to all park facilities. Visitors can spend the day fishing or simply sitting back and capturing the picturesque vista Cove Lake offers. In the 1920s, several groups began lobbying state and federal legislators for the construction of a dam at the confluence of the Clinch River and Cove Creek to control flooding and provide electricity to the area. The project was initially known as the Cove Creek Project, but after the Tennessee Valley Authority assumed control of the project in 1933, it became known as the Norris Project. The project was named for Nebraska senator George Norris, who had advocated the creation of TVA in the early 1930s. The construction of Norris Dam began in 1934 and the dam’s gates were closed in 1936, effectively creating the Norris Reservoir. The Tennessee Valley Authority constructed Caryville Dam to protect the town of Caryville from the Norris Reservoir, which would extend for several miles up Cove Creek. Regardless, several of the town’s structures were condemned or moved, and two highways had to be rerouted. TVA planned Cove Lake State Park as one of the Norris Project’s three demonstration recreational areas, the other two being Norris Dam State Park and Big Ridge State Park along the main reservoir to the east. The park has 106 campsites equipped with grills and picnic tables. There are also six large picnic pavilions available for rent.

Reviewed By Patricia S - Dickson, Tennessee, United States

Cove Lake State Park is quite popular with the locals if the number of T-ball teams, their coaches, parents, and siblings is any indication. One would have thought by listening to parents and coaches that future MBA players were being trained right there! It is a beautiful park with a very good playground, numerous picnic tables, both sheltered and open, and a wonderful hiking/running track. The trail is wide and paved. One just needs to be careful to avoid the numerous water fowl "droppings" along the trail! The water level was a little low for successful fishing, but the fishing area is clean and accessible and also has a nice pier from which to fish. It is a good place to stop off if one needs to stretch legs, picnic, or just relax for awhile from driving. Also a nice place to spend a morning or afternoon. A beautiful, safe place.

4. Norris Paddling Adventures

Marina Driveway, Norris Dam Marina, Norris, TN 37828
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 31 reviews

Norris Paddling Adventures

We provide self-guided rentals and discovery class in top of the line watercraft; single, fishing & tandem kayaks, hydrobikes (water bikes), canoes and Stand-Up Paddle Boards, for a 1-2 hour paddle, a 4 hr. 'half day' tour for time to picnic, swim and explore or a full day lake adventure. We welcome individuals of all ages and skill levels, including young children and pets. Our experienced staff can also provide guided excursions.

Reviewed By RimRocksCabins - Karbers Ridge Illinois

My daughter and I wanted to learn the basics of kayaking and Norris Paddling was perfect in every way. Paul is not only a great instructor but enjoyable to be around in general. Equipment was excellent, location could not be any better (Norris Lake). Was just the BEST experience. Taking my husband in a few days to see if he enjoys as much as we did. Great way to begin your kayaking adventures.

5. Little Ponderosa Zoo

629 Granite Rd, Clinton, TN 37716-5641 +1 865-457-5536
Excellent
68%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 42 reviews

Little Ponderosa Zoo

Reviewed By Konasmother - Monterey, Tennessee

Last October, my daughter took her family to visit Little Ponderosa for my oldest granddaughter’s birthday. She wants to become a veterinarian, and has been working with clinics for 5 years. The zoo features exotic animals and rescues from people who couldn’t maintain their choices, and even animals rescued from drug operations. Jack is one of those - he’s a kissing kangaroo!! December 4, 2017, the barn caught fire due to an electrical problem, and burned to the ground. Forty animals perished despite the effort of human and other animals best efforts to save them. My family took me there after the fire. I met Charlie, a canine who repeatedly entered the barn to save goats, and suffered the collapse of the roof. He had some injuries, but reportedly, will be okay. On December 30, there was a fundraiser to help with rebuilding. Then there was a memorial service at the zoo - white doves were released in honor of the lost animals, and, through tears, it was extremely moving. A monument is to be selected and placed in remembrance. This is not an ordinary zoo - the animals are there to help autistic children, they visit senior citizen homes in an attempt to lift spirits. Annually, they are part of nativity scenes. If ever in the area, try to visit this unique attraction, if only to pay your dues.

6. The Miner's Circle - Mine Explosion Graves

1030 New Clear Branch Rd, Leach Cemetery, Rocky Top, TN 37769-5624
Excellent
75%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 4 reviews

The Miner's Circle - Mine Explosion Graves

Reviewed By pathfinderwavohio - s.ohio

Site of the fifth worse mining accident in the United States. Located behind the Clear Branch Baptist Church. Marked by a large monument surrounded by circles of the tomb stones of 184 of the 214 miners who lost their lives on May 19, 1902.
The explosion kill every adult male in the town but three. It was very sad but interesting, worth a quick stop to see.

7. Appalachia Outdoor Center

2045 Norris Freeway, Norris, TN 37828 +1 865-498-3155
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Appalachia Outdoor Center

An outdoor center offering FUN Watercraft and Bike Rentals on Norris Lake, Clinch River & Norris Watershed. Also have food, drinks, firewood and much more.

Reviewed By A TripAdvisor Member

Could spend the day in the river fishing and end with a nice cold brew and some tasty food! Perfect combination for a fun day!

8. Coal Creek Miners Museum

201 S Main St, Rocky Top, TN 37769-2205 +1 865-340-3269
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 2 reviews

On display at the Coal Creek Miners Museum is the rich history of the miners that lived, worked and died in Coal Creek, Fraterville and Briceville, Tennessee. You will learn how the "free" miners fought against the convict lease system and about a community that not only survived one mining disaster but two that killed almost every man in the community and young boys too.

Reviewed By Greg W

We're not from this area. Or any of the coal mining country. So there was alot to be learned. And the curator was excellent.Full of information and enthusiastic

9. Adventure Anderson County Welcome Center

115 Welcome Ln, Clinton, TN 37716-6676 +1 865-457-4547
Excellent
0%
Good
100%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 2 reviews

Adventure Anderson County Welcome Center

Anderson County is the ideal destination if you are want to explore the outdoors, to discover American’s heritage or to just relax and enjoy scenery. You can go boating or fishing on Norris Lake. There are also over 250,000 acres of wilderness that are ideal for hiking, biking or off-roading. Anderson County also offers the opportunity to travel through 300 years of history.

Reviewed By Granmaw2-9 - Clinton, Tennessee

Not a large place but has all you need to check out our wonderful state of Tennessee! Ladies there will answer your questions & steer you to the items you need to make your vacation special.

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