• Surface Area: 670 Acres
Bear Creek Reservoir, also known as Big Bear, was first impounded in 1969 mostly as a flood control reservoir and holds 670 acres of water at full pool. The lake was drained in 2005. Located approximately 20 miles southwest of Russellville in Franklin County, it is one of four Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoirs operated by the Bear Creek Development Authority. The primary uses of this reservoir are flood control and recreation.
Bear Creek Reservoir is wild and scenic as no residential development mars the lakes shoreline. Camping and fishing provide the main recreational opportunities. Two public areas (Piney Point and Horseshoe Bend) provide boat ramps and campgrounds.
Bear Creek is one of four dams - the others are Upper Bear Creek, Little Bear Creek, and Cedar Creek - that provide flood control, recreational opportunities, and water supply in northwest Alabama.
The Bear Creek area is popular for all kinds of boating, including canoeing and kayaking. The Bear Creek Floatway, which flows into Bear Creek Reservoir, is a popular spot for teaching first-timers to negotiate rapids and work with the current.
Below the dam the Lower Bear Creek Canoe Trail provides a more leisurely float, running 34 miles down the creek to Pickwick Landing Dam on the Tennessee.
The scenic area is also frequented by fishermen, picnickers, birdwatchers, and sightseers.