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Reasons To Visit Watauga Lake and The Cherokee National Forest

Reasons To Visit Watauga Lake and The Cherokee National Forest

The Best Part of Living in East Tennessee

Today we are talking all about Watauga Lake! When we first moved to Elizabethton we were so excited to be so close to Watauga Lake that we brought our supper up there almost every night for the first few weeks we lived here. We just couldn’t get enough of having that kind of beauty in our back yard. Almost ten years later, and we still frequent Watauga Lake!

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So for Day Fourteen of Our Thirty Days of Gratitude Challenge, we are celebrating Watauga Lake and the Cherokee National Forest which surrounds it. 

Ride to Watauga Lake

Watauga Lake Is Beautiful All Year Long

We don’t just visit Watauga Lake in the Spring and Summer but instead, we find reasons to go all year long. T and I were on our way up to the lake last January when I had to pull over to capture this scene. See, even the ride to the lake is gorgeous!

Fly Fishing at the Lake

In the Fall it’s fun to stop at the bridge and watch the people fly fishing like this fisherman here. This moment was also captured in the Fall.

Winding road to Watauga Lake

Wildlife encounters are frequent at Watauga Lake and it’s surrounding forests!

The road on the way up to Watauga Lake is winding and you have to take your time because these mountains are teeming with wildlife. More than once we have had to stop and wait for deer to cross.

Deer at Watauga Lake

But deer are not the only wildlife you can count on encountering up at the lake.

Geese at Watauga Lake

Just look at these love birds we captured watching the sunset together.

Love Birds at Watauga Lake

The Views Around The Lake Are Breath Taking

As lovely as it is, wildlife isn’t the only draw up to the lake. The mountain views are lovely all year long!

Views at Watauga Lake

And it doesn’t matter what time of day you show up. The morning is beautiful!

Morning at Watauga Lake

But watching the day turn into night there is also stunning.

Summer sunset at Watauga Lake

Watauga Lake Offers Good Family Fun

We love to go up there on the Fourth of July and watch the boat parade during the day and the fireworks celebrations at night.

Fourth of July Fireworks at Watauga Lake

My Dad and my brother-in-law love fishing at Little Wilbur. T went fishing one time up there but he didn’t have the patience for such things.

Little Wilbur at Watauga Lake

He would rather be hiking or searching the shoreline for driftwood. Even on cold winter mornings, he is ready to go see what he can find.

Little Wilbur at Watauga Lake

Me, I would rather go sit here and listen to the waterfall while I read a good book on a warm Spring day.

Watauga Lake Waterfalls

But we both could spend all day at our favorite little sandy beach.

Beach by the LookOut

Even in the winter, if you can manage the ride, a trip to the lake is beautiful!

Ice at Watauga Lake

You can clearly see that Watauga Lake is beautiful all year long. Whether you like being out on the water, or fishing along the shores, or walking the trails around it looking for driftwood or wildlife, this place is a beautiful place to be. And I am grateful for it.

Do you have a favorite place that makes your home extra special? If so, tell us about it in the comments section below. And if not, you gotta go find one. Everyone needs a place to get away to that is close to home and helps them relax. It may not be a lake.  Maybe it’s a park, or a coffee shop, or a yoga studio, or a museum, or an aquarium, perhaps a book store? Wherever it is, I encourage you to seek it out and make it yours.

Be blessed,


Watauga Lake Area

Highly developed recreation areas along Watauga Lake provide facilities for fishing, picnicking, swimming and boat launching. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail runs through the area’s backcountry. Camp on the lakeshore at Cardens Bluff or in the backcountry along Laurel Fork Creek at Dennis Cove.

Watauga Lake, Tennessee: Insiders’ Vacation Guide 2019

Watauga Lake, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest in northeastern Tennessee, enjoys the most stunningly beautiful lake and mountain views in the ‘Volunteer State’. Started in 1942 and finally dammed on the last day of 1948, Watauga Lake is the TVA’s highest-elevated reservoir in Tennessee.

Thanks for visiting Geez, Gwen today! We are so glad you found us! We are not believers in coincidence so we are confident you are here for a reason! Perhaps we can offer you tasty recipes? Maybe our inspirational quotes are just what you need in your life! Perhaps you’ve been wondering where to take that family vacation? Maybe you want to know the truth about what us homeschoolers really do all day! Maybe you love photography and see it as an art, just like me! Whatever it is, it’s clearly Destiny at its finest! Don’t let this opening door of opportunity slam shut! Run through by subscribing to our newsletter?

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Watauga Lake in Tennessee

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