PeopleEscape the Scorching Summer in Carter County, Tennessee

Escape the Scorching Summer in Carter County, Tennessee


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Escape the Summer Heat in​ Carter County, Tennessee

If you’re tired of the scorching summer heat but still want to​ enjoy the great outdoors, look no⁤ further than the mountains of Carter County, Tennessee. This hidden gem offers a plethora ‌of options for outdoor enthusiasts, from scenic trails at⁤ high elevations to refreshing swimming spots. With two rivers, ⁢a pristine lake surrounded ‌by national forestland, and a variety of accommodations, ⁢Carter County is the ultimate summer destination.

Roan Mountain State Park: Your Base Camp

Roan ‍Mountain State‍ Park is the perfect base camp for your summer adventure. With over thirty cabins available for rent and options for tent ⁣and RV camping, you can choose the accommodation that suits your needs. From the park, take a short drive up the mountain to Carvers‌ Gap, where the Appalachian Trail crosses the highway.

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At Carvers Gap, you have two options for hiking. Head north and ⁤traverse the famous ⁤Roan Balds, known for their breathtaking⁤ beauty. This section of the Appalachian Trail offers stunning panoramic views that will leave you in awe. Alternatively, you can hike south through dense spruce-fir‌ forest and pass by the Roan High Knob shelter, the highest elevation shelter along the entire Appalachian Trail.

Pro tip: After⁤ a ‌long day of hiking, treat yourself to the mouthwatering wood-fired pizza at Smoky Mountain ⁢Bakers. ⁤It’s the perfect way ⁤to refuel and ​satisfy ⁢your hunger.

Watauga Lake: ‌A Refreshing Oasis

If you’re looking to cool off and enjoy some water activities, Watauga Lake is the place to be. Rent a boat from one of the marinas or grab a kayak or paddleboard to explore the tranquil waters ⁤and picturesque wooded shoreline. If you prefer to⁢ stay on land, you can still admire ⁤the beauty⁣ of the lake by ⁣hiking along the Appalachian Trail, which runs along the edge of the lake from its southernmost point and crosses the Watauga Dam.

For a ⁤scenic adventure,⁤ embark on the six-mile out-and-back hike along the Appalachian Trail. Along the ⁤way,​ you’ll catch glimpses of the sparkling lake, making it‍ a truly memorable experience.

Trout Fishing in Carter County

Trout fishing‌ is a beloved pastime in ⁤Carter County, and the Watauga River is the star ⁤of the ​show.⁤ Known for its trophy section,⁤ this river provides ample opportunities for anglers to test their skills. But the Watauga River is not the only fishing spot in⁣ town. The⁢ Doe River also offers excellent fishing, with the Doe River⁢ Fishing Trail providing ‌public access points to over eight miles⁣ of the river. Anglers can also explore the fishing opportunities in Roan Mountain State Park.

Discovering Waterfalls on Hiking Trails

If hiking is more your style, Carter County has some breathtaking trails ⁢that lead to stunning waterfalls. One popular option is​ the Appalachian Trail to Laurel Falls. This 40-foot-tall ‍and 50-foot-wide waterfall can be reached‌ via a ⁢2.5-mile round trip hike from the Dennis Cove trailhead or a 5.5-mile round trip hike from the ⁣Laurel Falls trailhead ​along Highway 321. Another option is the Blue Hole Falls, a smaller but equally beautiful triple waterfall that requires less than a half-mile round trip hike.


Enjoying the ‌Tweetsie Trail

For those who prefer biking, the Tweetsie Trail ‍is a must-visit. This ten-mile-long crushed gravel rail-trail stretches from Johnson⁣ City to Elizabethton, offering a scenic route for cyclists of all ages. If you don’t have a bike, don’t worry! Bike rentals are available⁤ at Pedals on Rails in Elizabethton, making it easy for everyone to enjoy this picturesque trail.

Explore the ‍Hampton Watershed Trail System

If you’re a nature⁣ enthusiast or an avid mountain biker, ⁣the Hampton Watershed ⁢trail system is a must-visit destination. Nestled in the heart of Carter County, Tennessee, this trail system offers a thrilling outdoor experience for all skill levels. With 6 miles of trails ranging from easy to advanced, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

A Trail for Every Skill Level

Whether ‌you’re a beginner looking for a leisurely hike or an experienced mountain biker ⁣seeking an adrenaline rush, the Hampton Watershed trail system has you covered. The trails are well-maintained and offer ⁣a variety of terrains, including gentle slopes, challenging‌ climbs, and thrilling ⁣descents. ⁣You’ll be ‌surrounded by breathtaking views of⁣ the Appalachian Mountains as ⁤you navigate through the lush ⁤forests and meandering streams.

Immerse‌ Yourself in Nature

As you explore the ‍trails, you’ll have​ the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty ⁢of nature. The Hampton Watershed is home to a diverse range of⁣ flora​ and fauna, including towering trees, vibrant ‌wildflowers, and elusive wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled‌ for deer, squirrels, and a variety of‍ bird species.‍ Don’t forget to bring ​your camera to capture the stunning landscapes⁢ and memorable ⁣moments.

Discover Downtown Elizabethton

After a day of‌ adventure on the trails, downtown Elizabethton welcomes you with its⁢ small-town ⁤charm‍ and vibrant atmosphere. Take a stroll through ‍the historic streets and admire the architecture that​ reflects the ​town’s rich heritage.‌ One of the highlights is‍ the covered bridge, a ⁣true gem built in 1882. It’s a perfect spot⁣ for a photo op and a glimpse⁢ into the town’s ​past.

A Culinary Delight

When it comes to dining, Elizabethton offers a wide‌ range of options to satisfy your taste buds. From cozy cafes to family-owned​ restaurants, you’ll find a variety of cuisines to choose⁤ from. Indulge ​in delicious Southern ⁣comfort food, savor mouthwatering barbecue, or‌ try ⁣some ⁣local specialties. After dinner, treat yourself to‌ a ​sweet dessert or a refreshing ice cream cone.

Unwind ‍with ‍Local​ Brews and​ Live Music

After a long day of outdoor activities, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a cold, locally brewed beer. Appalachian Sun Brewery and Riverside Taphouse are popular ​spots ⁢where you can unwind and enjoy a wide selection of craft beers. If you’re lucky, you might even catch some⁢ live music at Covered Bridge‌ Park or one of the downtown restaurants. It’s ⁢the⁢ perfect way to end your day on a high note.

Plan Your Adventure

Ready to embark on your next adventure in Carter County? Visit ​ to learn more about the Hampton Watershed trail system and start planning your trip. Explore ​the trails, discover​ the charm of downtown Elizabethton, and create unforgettable memories in ​this hidden gem of Tennessee. Get ready for an experience that ‌will leave you wanting to come back for more.

Photo: Brian Stansberry, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Tomas Hulman
Tomas Hulman
Tomas was born in Slovakia and went from being an untradeable computer scientist to first a fuel trader and later an algo trader who created strategies for automated stock trading. Now he is working with two eco-oriented projects and grinding his teeth for a big project in the media industry. You'll be hearing more from him...


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