Tellico Dam and Tellico Lake are part of an extension of the Fort Loudon project. The dam diverts water from the Little Tennessee River to Fort Loudon Lake rather than creating electricity. The Dam created a navigational waterway up the Little Tennessee River and offers access to barges heading up the river. Tellico and Fort Loudon lakes are connected by a canal thus making a lock unnecessary. Such a canal creates the potential for limitless long distance cruising – making it possible to boat to 21 states, the Gulf of Mexico or the Great Lakes. Tellico Lake consists of 15,860 acres of surface, 373 miles of shoreline and a 2627 square mile watershed. It is located 30 minutes southwest of Knoxville and only minutes from Maryville and Lenoir City.