Located on the east bank of Chickamauga Lake, Harrison Bay State Park is north of Chattanooga. In 1938 the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began development of what it named Harrison Island Park as a recreation demonstration area for whites; to the south was the Booker T. Washington Park for African Americans. Later that year, the Authority leased 1,432 acres to the state for the development of a state park. State park officials found that the TVA had done little to develop visitor facilities, but over the next four years, the state worked with Civilian Conservation Corps Company 4495 to build picnic areas, boat docks, swimming areas, maintenance buildings and roads. In the middle of this construction in 1940, the TVA reclaimed a bit of its land and signed a new state lease for 1,235 acres. The park opened to the public in 1942, but like its segregated neighbor to the south, Harrison Bay would not be completed until the 1950s.
Today the park contains one of the best marinas on any TVA lake and a full array of recreational facilities. In 1998 the park opened a Jack Nicklaus-designed Bear Trace Golf Course.