| Lakes | Fishing | Boating

Tallest earthen dam east of the Mississippi holds back Watauga Lake

Enjoy nearby lakes, fishing, boating and waterside activities.  Watauga Lake  is the uppermost lake of the Tennessee Valley system, this lake resembles a Scandinavian fijord with its tall mountains and deep, deep valleys under water. Johnny Molloy includes full details on paddling the lake in his book on touring Tennessee’s great spots on the water.  (See chapter 36/page 213 online ). Paddling Tennessee: A Guide to 38 of the State’s Greatest Paddling Adventures.

Cherokee Forest picnic area, Watauga Lake

Watauga Lake (summer) at Cherokee Forest picnic area (Hwy.67-321)

Holston Lake -  Outdoors man  Johnny Molloy also offers an insider’s view to exploring this lake (less than 1 hour from the inn). Online Book. this section is partially deleted. You may need the actually book from Google! One place to see the lake is on Hwy. 421 AFTER you have survived both sections of the Striped Snake (Hwy. 421) between Mountain City and Bristol, TN.

Watauga River, Elizabethton, TN - The Watauga:
Imagine 4,000-5,000 fish per mils…The Watauga River near Elizabethton, TN, is a TVA tailrace full of browns, rainbow and brook trout.   Caddis hatches in spring followed by sulphurs then great  blue winged olive fall through spring.

Canoe the New River or Watauga Lake

Enjoy a canoe ride

Creek  and Tailwater Fishing

  • • South Fork of the Holston River: Weir Dam, just off U.S. 421, Bristol, Tenn.
  • Beside Hwy. 91, both in Tennessee and Virginia (a license for each required). Native fish in Tennessee; stocked by Virginia. Roaring rapids and great scenery. Now reachable from the new Laurel Creek Trail (parking adjacent to amp Ahistadi on Hwy. 91 – signs). Opening spring/summer 2013.

For gear, South Holston River Fly Shop – adjacent to the Weir and Watauga dams, Bristol, TN  423-878-2822.  Near 18 miles of trout river in Tennessee.  Virginia Creeper Fly Shop  – 276-628-3826, Hwy. 58, Abingdon, VA. Fabulous gear and guide services.

The area features stream, tail water and lake fishing. Most shops offer guided tours.

Fish Springs Marina, Hampton, TNBoating and boat rental 

New River:   Both Grayson Highlands State Park and Hungry Mother State Park in southwest Virginia offer canoe tours of the New River near Mouth of Wilson, Va., with outings that are affordable and family-friendly. 276-781-7400.

Summer tubing in the creek and small river  in Damascus, VA. Great for kids!

Watauga Lake has several boat ramps including one in the Cherokee National forest between Butler and Hampton, TN, on Hwy. 67-321. Bring your own boat, canoe or sailboat. Rentals available at Lakeshore Marina (ski and pontoon boats) and Fish Springs Marinas (pontoon boats).  Prospect Hill has parking for your boat and trailer.