Tucked into the mountains of Northeast Tennessee, Carter County is Tennessee’s Mountain Playground. With beautiful Watauga Lake, the Watauga and Doe rivers, and stunning mountain vistas you’ll see why it’s perfect for a weekend getaway. Below you’ll find just a taste of what Carter County has to offer, visit www.tourcartercounty.com to learn more.
Roan Mountain State Park is a great place to start your adventure. With tent and RV camping as well as cabins for rent it makes a perfect base camp exploring the mountains. With miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing in the Doe River, a swimming pool and more, you’ll find plenty to do without even leaving the park.
A short drive up the mountain you’ll find one of the Appalachian Trail’s most popular sections which runs across the balds of the Roan Highlands. After hiking through a fragrant evergreen forest, you’ll take in stunning panoramic views from the top of the balds. If you visit Roan in the summer, be sure to stop by the world’s largest natural rhododendron garden which usually reaches its peak bloom in June creating a sea of pink flowers.
By your second day you may be ready to cool off in the water. Watauga Lake and the Watauga River which flows from it are the perfect solution. Surrounded by mountains and the Cherokee National Forest the lake is a pristine escape. Sailing, fishing and kayaking are all popular ways to enjoy Watauga Lake and the Watauga River is home to some of the best trout fishing in the southeast. If you prefer whitewater, other sections of the river are also ideal for rafting and kayaking.
If you’re still in the mood for more of the outdoors, visit Off the Grid Mountain Adventures for ziplining and go kart racing, take a hike to one of the many local waterfalls or go for a bike ride on the Tweetsie Trail, a 10 mile crushed gravel rail trail which runs from Johnson City through Elizabethton along the route of the former ET&WNC Railroad.
There is plenty to do in town in Elizabethton as well. If you’re ready for a break from exploring nature, enjoy shopping and strolling through Elizabethton’s charming downtown. See Sycamore Shoals State Park’s full size reconstruction of the 18th century Fort Watauga and a museum highlighting the nationally significant events which took place in the area, such as the founding of the Watauga Association and the mustering of the Overmountain Men.
If spending a weekend exploring the outdoors is your idea of fun, then Carter County, TN is the place for you. Start planning your adventure today at www.tourcartercounty.com.