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Camping at Watauga Point Recreation Area

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Overview of Watauga Point Recreation Area

Watauga Point Recreation Area is a scenic area situated in the Cherokee National Forest near the Watauga Lake in the northeastern part of Tennessee. It's a place where visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities surrounded by the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains and the forested landscape.


Picnicking: Watauga Point offers picnic areas with tables and grills, perfect for family gatherings or a quiet lunch in nature.

Hiking: There are several hiking trails accessible from the Recreation Area, offering hikes ranging from easy to challenging. These trails often provide beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and Watauga Lake.

Fishing: Watauga Lake is known for its quality fishing opportunities, with species such as trout, bass, and walleye. A valid Tennessee fishing license is required for fishing.

Boating: The lake is also popular for boating. There are boat ramps available in the vicinity (not directly within Watauga Point), so visitors can enjoy water sports or simply relax on the water.

Wildlife Watching: The Cherokee National Forest is home to an array of wildlife. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts can look out for various bird species, deer, and other wildlife.


Watauga Point Recreation Area offers basic facilities including:

  • Picnic tables
  • Grills
  • Access to restrooms
  • Paved parking area

Access and Fees

There is no entrance fee required to access Watauga Point Recreation Area, making it an affordable destination for outdoor recreation. The site is generally open from sunrise to sunset, but hours may vary by season, so it's advisable to check current operating times before planning a visit.

Camping Information

Currently, there is no camping available directly at Watauga Point Recreation Area. However, there are campgrounds nearby within the Cherokee National Forest where visitors can camp. It's important to check for the closest campgrounds and to understand their specific rules and regulations if you're planning to camp.

Safety and Regulations

  • Fire Safety: Be cautious with fires and only use designated grills or fire pits.
  • Wildlife: Do not feed the wildlife. Store food securely to avoid attracting animals.
  • Leave No Trace: Pack out all trash and belongings.
  • Swimming: If swimming in Watauga Lake, be mindful of boat traffic and wear life jackets as appropriate.

Local Climate and Weather Preparation

The weather can change rapidly in the mountains, so it’s essential to be prepared for varying conditions. Check the weather forecast prior to visiting and dress in layers to accommodate cool mornings or evenings and potentially warm afternoons.


To reach Watauga Point Recreation Area, you'll typically navigate to TN-321/US-321 near Hampton, Tennessee. Detailed directions should be sourced from a reliable map or navigation system since the area's remote location may affect GPS reliability.

Contact Information

Before going, it’s wise to contact the Cherokee National Forest’s local ranger district for the latest information on conditions, fire hazards, or any restrictions. They can provide the most current advice and tips for a safe and enjoyable visit.

Watauga Ranger District:
+1 423-735-1500

Remember always to check the most up-to-date information as conditions and regulations can change.

Location of Watauga Point Recreation Area
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