Nov. 6 2014 Water Elevation 1949.1 feet Watauga Lake Tennessee Water Levels

Click here to learn more

Butler Weather Forecast, TN (37640)
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Watauga Lake Memorial Day 2010

Memorial Day Weekend 2010

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Watauga Lake Visitor in Puerto Rico March 2010

A local Watauga Lake visitor took a little bit of Watauga Lake (her hat) with her on a recent visit to Puerto Rico.

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More WataugaLakeMagazine articles:

The Butler Museum

Learn how and why Watauga Lake was formed and how the citizens of "Old Butler" Tennessee were changed forever. . . .

A Kayaker's View

See Watauga Lake up-close from a Kayak

Watauga Lake Triathlon

Swim over 1,000 yards in a deep lake, race in your bike over 21 miles through the mountains, THEN... run 5 miles ...


The Appalachian Trail skirts Watauga Lake and crosses it at the Dam ...

Blue Hole Falls

Just a short drive from the lake, near Elizabethton, Blue Hole Falls is a beautiful set of waterfalls ...

Pioneer Landing

Learn more about the easternmost marina on Watauga Lake ...

Watauga Dam

The dam that creates Watauga Lake ...

Jonesborough TN

Home of the International Storytelling Festival ...

Iron Mountain Inn

See this beautiful lodge with breathtaking views ...

Rat Branch Boat Ramp

This is the westernmost boat ramp on the lake ...

Watauga Point

This beautiful park is great for picnics, boating and swimming ...

The Carter Mansion

Where Tennessee history started. Learn about the Carter family ...

Doe River Gorge

See the beautiful gorge and ride the rails where the Tweetsie Train traveled ...

Gray Fossil Site

A spectacular fossil site discovered not long ago ...

Colonel Roderick Butler

Learn about the man for whom the town of Butler was named ...

Sugar Hollow Retreat

See this spectacular mountain retreat ...

Fish Springs Marina

This beautifully situated marina offers many services to lake boaters ...

Two New History Books About Local Communities

Two New Books about Butler Tennessee

Almost anyone can publish a book anymore and how great that so many writers in our area are investing the time and their talents to do so.

Linda Tester Hollaway has produced History of the Sugar Grove Baptist Church 1852-2002, filled with facts and photos of the buildings and people who have been a part of that community.

If it's family history you like, Dan Stansberry's A Visit to Duncan Hollow:The Greenwells and Their Neighbors will entertain you with the stories that have woven into his family's history.

Click here to learn more . .

Bestselling Author Sharyn McCrumb
Keeping the Story of the Battle of King's Mountain Alive

Watauga Lake Water Level

It was one of the most decisive battles of the Revolutionary War, yet many Americans have never heard of it.

The victory of the Overmountain Men at the Battle at King's Mountain in South Carolina not only helped turn the tide against the British campaign in the south but helped change the course of the Revolutionary War.

Bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb tells the story from the viewpoint of her ancestor, John Sevier, with the hope that many more Americans will learn of this important battle.

Click here to learn more . .

Lake water level held at 1943 ft. for a week
Still going to the 1940 foot level?

Watauga Lake Water Level

The water level as of November 11 was 1943.0 and has been for a week. The shore lines are starting to reveal the original boundaries of the major rivers and creeks which are the primary sources of the lake water.

At left is where the Watauga River comes into the eastern end of the lake. Most boat owners there have removed their boats and many docks are on the ground or in very shallow waters.

The TVA has posted the following message on their web page for the Watauga Reservoir:

"At the request of many property owners, TVA is currently drawing down Watauga Reservoir to facilitate private shoreline cleanup and general maintenance on permitted docks."
"The reservoir will be pulled down to approximately the 1,940-foot contour elevation (about 10 feet below normal winter pool) between now and mid-November 2013. This is similar to the draw down pattern last year when navigation safety buoys were installed."
"TVA will hold the reservoir around the 1,940-foot contour elevation for approximately four weeks, from mid-November until mid-December, and then quickly begin recovery toward normal 2014 spring/summer levels as rain and runoff permit. "
"Watauga property owners, dock owners and marina owners are encouraged to take advantage of these low water conditions to complete shoreline cleanup or permitted stabilization efforts, or general dock maintenance on previously permitted structures. As a reminder, any new shoreline work or dock alterations require prior approval from TVA. "
Watauga Lake Water Level

More Photos Gathered by Herman Tester:
Portraits of the Past III

Portraits of the Past 3 by Herman Tester

Herman Tester keeps collecting photos and publishing them in his Portraits of the Past series of books.

His third book offers even more of the personal history of people, buildings, farms and even documents from "Old Butler" and the surrounding area affected by the creation of the dam and lake in 1948 . . .

Click here to learn more . .

Portraits of the Past 3 by Herman Tester

Lake Water Level Slowly Lowered

A rainbow at "The Draft" on the eastern end of the lake on July 20 2013.

Watauga Lake Tennessee July 21 2013

The lake has been at or significantly above Full Pool since early April.

On July 21 it was down 5 feet from its historic high earlier in July.

The daily heavy rains of early July have moved on to more sun with scattered localized thunderstorms which have produced heavy rains and hail in some locations. Most locations in nearby Boone NC where the Watauga River starts received 13 inches of rain in 13 days.

TVA says that the lake is at a record high

Watauga Lake Tennessee July 7 2013

Residents and visitors gazed at an all-too familiar sight during this 4th of July holiday. Heavy, daily rains in western North Carolina and Tennesee caused the TVA to raise the water level to nearly 7 feet above full pool again. Some docks were stranded by submerged ramps and the lake took on much debris from the sudden surge of river and creek water.

This was similar to the situation earlier this year, when both nearby Boone and South Holston lakes were kept much closer to their Full Pool levels than Watauga, which was forced to sustain more worrisome water level increases.

Click here for more photos

The Watauga River in western NC near the Tennessee border is a major water source for the lake and was out of its banks on July 7:

The Watauga River source of Watauga Lake

Elk Knob State Park
Todd, NC

Elk Knob State Park Todd NC

With all the views of Grandfather Mountain but none of the crowds or expense, the new Elk Knob State Park in neighboring Watauga County North Carolina offers a great casual hiking experience along well-developed trails without all of the frills and commercialization. Thanks to the work of local citizens, the Nature Conservancy and the State of North Carolina this park offers free access to some of the best views around.

Click here to learn more . . .

Ferns along the trail in the Elk Knob State Park:

Elk Knob State Park Todd NC

Murder on Watauga Lake?
Into The Deep: A Story of Resolution by Annis Ward Jackson

Author Annis Ward Jackson

"I was born Violet Thurston Oliver, Thurston being my paternal grandmother's maiden name." So, her tale begins, one that leads to murder on the eastern end of our Watauga Lake.

In a spring when the lake water levels have remained unusually high, it's easy to see that Jackson's fictional tale is perfectly placed on the far eastern end of Watauga Lake just before the completion of Watauga Dam, known in Jackson's childhood as Butler Dam . . .

Click here to learn more . . .

The eastern end of Watauga Lake, the setting for Annis Ward Jackson's book:

Watauga Lake Eastern End

Up, Down, Up, Down . . . Way Up!

Lake water level 7 feet above Full Pool

Watauga Lake water Levels 2013

May 7, 2013: Watauga Lake has been above Full Pool since the first week of April but it shot up nearly 5 feet in one day this week after heavy rains in Tennessee and western North Carolina.

Many dock ramps are under water as well as some campers near the lake's "normal" edge.

So far, nearby TVA lakes (South Holston and Boone lakes) have not had to deal with this "excess" of water. Both remain at Flood Guide Level, which the TVA defines as :

" The flood guide line is a seasonal elevation guide that shows the amount of storage allocated in a reservoir for flood damage reduction. The operating objective is to keep the reservoir level at the dam at or below this line to be ready for flood events."

Watauga Lake water Levels 2013
Watauga Lake water Levels 2013

Hatching the Past:
Baby Dinosaurs at Gray Fossil Site

They had to start somewhere.

As this exhibit at the Gray Fossil Museum shows us, dinosaurs started in eggs, from round eggs the size of bowling balls to larger, elongated eggs.

Click here to learn more . . .

The Foscoe Mining Company

More Water Coming Our Way: The Full Watauga River in Foscoe NC

The Watauga River is the eastermnost source of water for Watauga Lake. It is formed near Grandfather Mountain not far from Boone NC. The river gains momentum as it flows down past Foscoe, a community with the best view of Grandfather Mountain in the area.

Foscoe is known by some as a "tourist trap" but actually has a history as a thriving byway for North Carolina visitors. The last section of the Blue Ridge Parkway was to cross Grandfather Mountain and while Hugh Morton, then owner of that mountain, fought off efforts to build this last segment (for environmental reasons), Parkway visitors were diverted off the nearly commercial-free Parkway to Highway 105 which shoots through Foscoe on the old Tweetsie Railroad bed. Diners, craft galleries, trout ponds, souvenir stores and gem mines flourished until the Parkway was completed in 1987.

Today, many of those businesses are still there and several housing developments have rounded out the area to a real community for residents and visitors. This road is the major connecting road between Boone and Banner Elk, a popular skiing site. Businesses in Foscoe support the local ski, fishing and rafting attractions.

Foscoe is no trap. It is an interesting little community which helps pass along the Watauga River to Watauga Lake. This week (January 30 2013), Foscoe had the area-high rainfall of nearly 6 inches which roared into our lake raising the level to above full pool for the second time this month.

The Watauga River in Foscoe NC:

The Foscoe Mining Company
Watauga Lake Boat Club

Carefree Boat Club on Watauga Lake

After a great first year on the lake, the Carefree Boat Club on Watauga Lake has made a small name change (formerly the Watauga Lake Boat Club) and they have moved to the LakeShore Marina.

Learn more about this alternative to boat ownership . . .

Above Full Pool in January

Watauga Lake in Butler Tennessee

Lake Water Level up 12 feet

Recent heavy rains have filled the rivers and streams feeding into Watauga Lake. The lake water level has risen 12 feet this week and is is more than 2 feet above Full Pool.

According to the TVA website:

"The flood guide line is a seasonal elevation guide that shows the amount of storage allocated in a reservoir for flood damage reduction. The operating objective is to keep the reservoir level at the dam at or below this line to be ready for flood events.

The reservoir level may rise above the flood guide as a result of large inflows, but the level is lowered to the flood guide as soon as it can be done without increasing downstream flood damage."

The January Flood Guide level for Watauga Lake is 1952.0 feet.

On January 18 the National Weather Service issued a forecast for dry weather through next week.

Watauga Lake Winery in Butler Tennessee

Sneak Preview: Watauga Lake Winery

A singularly unique Johnson County business has opened in the Watauga Lake area. Linda and Wayne Gay have started a vineyard and opened a fully-licensed winery in the restored old Dry Run Elementary School.

The Gays have given visitors a look at their building and a taste of their wines this fall and, next April, will open for their first full year of wine sales.

Click here to learn more . . .

Nov 28 2012 Watauga Lake Tennessee

                   December 9, 2012 on Watauga Lake

Nov 28 2012 Watauga Lake Tennessee

Lake water level down nearly 6 feet in November

The water level is down to 1946.5 on November 28, considerably below last year's level but well above the low November levels of 2007 and 2008. After plenty of rain through September, the region dried out in October and November.

Portrait of the Past 2 by Herman Tester

The Land Of Oz
Beech Mountain, NC

It was once the largest tourist attraction in the state of North Carolina and, some say, the second largest in the southeast U.S. Just 20 miles away from the lake by the ski resort at Beech Mountain, The Land of Oz opens up just one weekend each year for a look into the past and the enduring fantasy of the Wizard of Oz. . .

Click here to learn more . . .

Portrait of the Past 2 by Herman Tester

Portrait of the Past II
The Second in the Series by Herman Tester

Herman Tester has published a second book of photos of the area before and after the building of the dam . . .

Click here to learn more . . .

Watauga Lake September 2012

Fall is Here        

Crisp air arrived a bit early and made for a beautiful September weekend. The lake water level was up above 1953 after recent heavy rains.

Watauga Lake 4th of July 2012

4th of July 2012

This year's hot weather made the swimming, boating and fishing more refreshing and fun than ever. Visitors and residents enjoyed fireworks, picnics and just-plain cooling off in the lake.

Click here to learn more . . .

Portrait of the Past by Herman Tester

Portrait of the Past
A New Book by Herman Tester

The members of the Butler Museum are the chroniclers of local history around here and Herman Tester is on point to get their stories in print.

His latest book is a photo album of mostly pre-World War II and pre-Watauga Lake life in Butler Tennessee . . .

Click here to learn more . . .

Watauga Lake May 2012

Summer at the Lake Begins this Weekend      

The 2012 summer season at the lake begins this weekend. The weather forecast is good and the lake is above full pool, a great beginning for visitors and residents.

Watauga Lake Boat Club

Watauga Lake
Boat Club

Offered as an cost effective alternative to boat ownership, the Watauga Lake Boat Club is forming at the Cove Ridge Marina. Founder Doug Sams says the club will offer not only a better financial deal than boat ownership but access to a variety of boats both here and in 2 dozen other marinas in the mid-Atlantic and southeast.

Click here to learn more . . .

Lake Shore Marina Watauga Lake

Easter 2012 on the lake

After a week of heavy spring rains, the lake water level was up to 1958.0 feet on Easter Sunday morning, just 1 foot below full pool. The weekend offered a dramatic deep-blue sky and light-cool breezes, perfect for Easter egg hunts and local church and family celebrations.

A Look Around the Lake in February       

Lake Shore Marina Watauga Lake

After a mild winter, now two-thirds over, a drive around the lake shows the local communities and landmarks which have endured through good economies and bad, still offering the beauty and peacefulness most residents and visitors came to the lake for in the first place . . .

Learn more . . .

Beautiful Summer Weekend at Mallard Cove    

Mallard Cove Marina 2011 Watauga Lake

Old Butler Days 2011       

Old Butler Days 2011 Watauga Lake

Old Butler Days celebrates the original town of Butler that was moved when the Watauga Dam was built and the lake created. Local residents and visitors meet each year on the grounds of the Butler Museum for an old-fashioned good time.

Learn more . . .

Fourth of July 2011 Watauga Lake

Fourth of July 2011 Watauga Lake       

The Fourth of July is all about having fun. No stress. Just picnics, swimming, boating, grilling and playing. What better place than Watauga Lake to share these activities with friends and family?

Learn more . . .

A Celebration at the Butler Museum

Butler Museum Stout Store dedication

A joyous crowd met on the grounds of the Butler Museum on Saturday May 28. The W.S. Stout store, formerly in Old Butler and, later, Pine Orchard, was presented to the public in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Hot dogs, popcorn and stories of the past made for a great re-birth of this historical building.

The museum is also celebrating its 10th year . . .

Learn more . . .

Easter 2011 on Watauga Lake

Easter Weekend on the Lake

Sunny, eighty degrees and the lake at full pool. This was the formula for a early, great boating weekend on the lake.

While local residents hunted for Easter eggs and prepared for Easter Sunday activities, boaters were putting their boats in the lake, many for the first time this year.

Learn more . . .

s St. Marys Frescoes Ashe County NC

St. Mary's Episcopal Church in West Jefferson NC: Ben Long's "Mystery of Faith" Fresco

In the 1970s North Carolina artist Ben Long created 2 paintings and one fresco in a small Episcopal church in the Beaver Creek area near West Jefferson and not far from Boone North Carolina. The works transformed the church and it now receives thousands of visitors each year . . .

Learn more . . .

The Frescoes of the Holy Trinity Church in
Glendale Springs NC

Glendale Springs Frescoes near Boone North Carolina

In the summer of 1980, North Carolina artist Ben Long painted the fresco of "The Last Supper" at Holy Trinity Church in Glendale Springs, near the Blue Ridge Parkway in the northern mountains of North Carolina.

The church now receives tens of thousands of visitors each year . . .

Read more . . .

The Overmountain Men at Kings Mountain

Kings Mountain Military Park

The Revolutionary War was not just fought in New England. Several important battles were fought in the south, probably most notably the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7 1780. The story and the site of this battle are well preserved at the Kings Mountain Military Park near the North Carolina/South Carolina border.

Learn more . . .

Moses Cone Park

Moses Cone Park near Watauga Lake

In nearby Blowing Rock NC, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, stands the Moses Cone Mansion with its breathtaking views of the rural landscape and mountains beyond. Moses Cone was a textile industrialist who bought 3500 acres in the mountains and built a home.

Learn more . . .

Old Butler Days 2010

Old Butler Days 2010 on Watauga Lake

A large crowd turned out for the 2010 Old Butler Days on the grounds of Babe Curtis Park at the Butler Museum.

Learn more . . .

Fourth of July 2010 on Watauga Lake

Fourth of July 2010

It was a beautiful 4th of July weekend and residents and visitors celebrated with a boat parade, fireworks and picnics.

The Fourth brings out more boats than any other day of the year and many of them join in the parade which starts at the dam.

Learn more . . .

2010 Watauga Lake Tennessee Clean Up

2010 Watauga Lake Clean Up
and Celebration

Clean up a clean lake? Organizers of this "First Annual" lake clean up believe that this is how local citizens can keep the Watauga Lake area such a special place . . .

Learn more . . .

Fathers Day 2010 on Watauga Lake

Fathers Day 2010 on Watauga Lake

Near perfect weather made this a great weekend for boating at the lake. The lakes and marinas were filled with boaters and campers.

Relief from recent thunderstorms, downpours and humidity helped to make this the busiest weekend so far this year.

Learn more . . .

20th Annual Native American Cultural Festival at Sycamore Shoals

20th Annual Native American Cultural Festival at Sycamore Shoals

From June 4th to June 6th, the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park hosted the 20th annual Native American Cultural Festival. The event was filled with lectures, dances and exhibitions and, this year, beautiful weather on the grounds of Sycamore Shoals.

Learn more . . .

New Series: Comparing TVA Lakes and Towns

Part 1: The Douglas Dam, Douglas Lake and Dandridge TN

Warriors Path State Park in Kingsport Tennessee

One dam was urgently needed, the other delayed. One town was saved, the other was torn down and moved. What made the outcomes for Douglas Lake and Dandridge Tennessee so different than those of Watauga Lake and Butler Tennessee?

World War II, the atomic bomb and Eleanor Roosevelt . . .

Learn more . . .

Warriors' Path State Park in Kingsport TN    

Warriors Path State Park in Kingsport Tennessee

In about an hour, visitors to Watauga Lake can be at the Warriors' Path State Park in nearby Kingsport. This park is particularly great for children because it includes "Darrell's Dream", a boundless playground for children of all abilities . . .

Learn more . . .

Gray Fossil Site and Museum

Dinosaur Revolution at the Gray Fossil Site

You think you know about dinosaurs? The Dinosaur Revolution exhibit at the Gray Fossil Site will test your knowledge in a maze of activities and quizzes.

The show lasts through May 16.

Learn more . . .

Overmountain Weavers Guild 2010 Spring Show

Overmountain Weavers' Guild 2010 Spring Show

The Overmountain Weavers' Guild was established in 1972 in Kingsport Tennessee. Their Early Spring Show is held at the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in Elizabethton.

This years' show gave visitors a thorough understanding of the processes and artistry that lead to the one-of-a-kind garments and accessories produced by members of this guild.

Learn more . . .

Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC            

George Vanderbilt created in the 1890s what is still billed as the "largest private home in America" in nearby Asheville, North Carolina. While many of the Vanderbilt homes were torn down in the 1900s, the Biltmore House remains as a monument to the Gilded Age, when powerful industrialists made and spent fortunes in just a few decades.

Just 2 hours from the lake, a visit to the Biltmore Estate can make an easy day trip year 'round.

Learn more about the Vanderbilt family and the Biltmore Estate . . .

First Snow   

Wild Turkeys in Sugar Grove NC December 2009

December 2009

The region received its first snowfall of the season on December 5.

Just across the Tennessee/North Carolina border in nearby Sugar Grove NC this flock of wild turkeys was easy to spot against the snow.

November Weekend on the Lake   

Fish Springs Marina November 2009 Fish Springs Marina November 2009

November 2009

The second weekend of November brought clear blue skies and warming temperatures, the perfect elements for a great day on the lake. Pictured here, Fish Springs Marina in the November sun.

With heavier than usual Fall rains including the remnants of the storm Ida during the first week of November, the lake water level is higher than at any time during 2008.

The Butler Museum has a new addition. The W. S. Stout Store was originally 1 ¼ mile from Old Butler. Just before Watauga Dam was completed in 1948 it was moved to a location between the relocated town of Butler and Mountain City on Highway 67.

On November 4 of this year it was moved again back to the place where the memories of "Old Butler" are kept alive.

Click here to learn more . .

Fall Color on the Blue Ridge Parkway     

The Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock NC

The temperatures are falling and the leaves are changing throughout the region. This photo was taken on October 16, 2009 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock NC, about 1 hour east of Watauga Lake.

Watauga Lake Triathlon 2009

Watauga Lake Triathlon 2009

The 5th annual Watauga Lake Triathlon was held on a dry morning in the midst of a rainy week. Campers at Pioneer Landing were in a great position to watch the 1000 meter swim . . .

Click here to learn more . .

Labor Day Vacation at Watauga Lake Tennessee

Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park

Davy Crockett achieved national fame during his lifetime. He was a U.S. Congressman and one of the heroes who died at the Alamo. But he began life simply near the banks of the Nolichuckey River near the present day Limestone Tennessee . . .

Click here to learn more . .

Labor Day Vacation at Watauga Lake Tennessee

Labor Day 2009 at the Lake

This year's Labor Day weekend capped off a summer of relief from the past years' drought with lake water levels more than 8 feet above last year's Labor Day level.

The beautiful weather was great for boating, swimming and visiting area sites.

Click here to learn more . .

The Captains Table Restaurant on Watauga Lake Tennessee

The Captain´s Table Restaurant

The Captain's Table Restaurant is part of a full-service resort which also includes Watauga Lake Motel and Cabins and the Lakeshore Marina. The restaurant's good food and service make it a favorite for visitors and locals.

Click here to learn more . .

The Veterans Memorial at the Butler Museum Tennessee

The Dedication of the Veterans´ Memorial at the Butler Museum

On Sunday August 9 members of the Butler Museum dedicated a new Veterans´ Memorial on the grounds of the museum. The Memorial honors Butler Tennessee area veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Click here to learn more . .

Appalachian Trail Days in
Damascus Virginia

Appalachian Trail Days in Damascus Virginia

The Appalachian Trail cuts right through Damascus Virginia near the middle of the Trail's route from Maine to Georgia. Each year Damascus celebrates the Appalachian Trail along with other trails in the area at the Appalachian Trail Days festival . . .

Read more . . .

Trade Days Festival in Trade TN

Trade Days Festival 2009 near Watauga Lake Tennessee

The 21st annual Trade Days Festival was held June 26 - 28 this year. Trade Tennessee is a very small town with a rich history. The Trade Gap is where pioneers such as Daniel Boone started their treks west and Trade is where Native Americans and pioneers conducted business.

Click here to learn more . .

2009 Watauga Lake 4th of July Boat Parade

Watauga Lake Tennessee 2009 Boat Parade

The busiest and most festive day on the lake, this year's boat parade had a great turnout of boats on the lake and visitors in the parks. The good weather and a full lake gave all much to celebrate . .

See more photos . . .

Bayview Family Campground & Marina    

Bayview Family Campground and Marina on Watauga Lake Tennessee

Bayview Family Campground and Marina is located in Butler, the heart of the Watauga Lake area. Its owners are preserving the lake experience they found while growing up in the area . .

Read more . . .

Sugar Hollow Lodge & Retreat

Lodgers at Sugar Hollow Retreat near Watauga Lake Tennessee

Sugar Hollow Retreat is just off Highway 321 in Elk Mills and near Watauga Lake. Its lodge, houses and 300 acres make it an ideal retreat for groups . .

Read more . . .

The Butler Museum 2009 Season

New Map Display at the Butler Museum Tennessee

The Butler Museum opened for its 2009 season on Saturday May 16. Museum Board members, local authors and others gathered to begin another year of tours to locals and visitors.

Learn more . . .

Looking Back at the Watauga River Bridge:
1948 vs. May 2009 at Full Pool

1948 photo courtesy of Dan & Deanna Livorsi and Mary Kay Potter
Watauga River Bridge 1948 on Watauga Lake Tennessee
Watauga River Bridge on Watauga Lake Tennessee

                  What is Full Pool? Click here to learn more . . .

"May 8 TVA update: South Holston and Watauga reservoirs were above their normal elevations for this time of year at the end of last week and were expected to rise 1 foot before returning to flood guide this week. Itís been three years since these reservoirs have reached these levels." ~ weekly drought update

                  . . . Click here to see photos

Jonesborough TN near Watauga Lake Tennessee

The Parson's Table    
in Jonesborough TN    

May 2009

The Parson's Table grew famous over the last 30 years as a popular restaurant in beautiful and historic Jonesborough Tennessee. Today, this building that started in 1870 as The First Christian Church houses a new catering and banquet business started by enthusiastic new owners.

Learn more about the Parson's Table . . .

Trade Tennessee Grist Mill

Trade Tennessee near Watauga Lake Tennessee
April 2009

Just a brief drive from Watauga Lake, step back in time to a world where most communities had their own grist mills to grind local grains. Trade Tennessee was the first town in Tennessee and was the entry point to the west for many, including Daniel Boone . . .

Learn more . . .

Photos from 1948:
The Watauga River Bridge

Watauga River Bridge over Watauga Lake Tennessee
January 27, 2009

After World War II, final preparations were made for the completion of the Watauga Dam and the creation of Watauga Lake. The changing landscape required new roads and bridges. Local resident Mary Kay Potter shares some photos of the building of the Watauga River Bridge near present-day Pioneer Landing . . .

Learn more . . .

60th Anniversary: December, 1948
the Gates of Watauga Dam are Closed

The Watauga Dam on Watauga Lake Tennessee
December 1, 2008

The building of the Watauga Dam at Cardens Bluff on the Watauga River and thus the creation of Watauga Lake was approved in December 1941. But, because of World War II, the project was not completed until 7 years later. Learn about the conditions that led to the building of the Dam and the sacrifice made by local citizens . . .

Learn more . . .

Need to take your boat out for the Winter?

Little Milligan Boat Ramp on Watauga Lake Tennessee
November 28, 2008

The following locations have boat ramps available to the public . . .

  • Little Milligan Boat Ramp ($2 day use fee) (Forest Service)
  • Lakeshore Marina ($4 fee) (423) 725-2223
  • Fish Springs Marina ($4 fee) (423) 768-2336

Damascus Virginia near Watauga Lake Tennessee

Damascus, Virginia
& the Virginia Creeper Trail

November , 2008

Not far from Watauga Lake, 3 states and many trails converge near a town rich in history and natural beauty. Damascus, Virginia is a great place to spend a day hiking or bicycling . . .

Learn more about Damascus, Virginia and the Virginia Creeper Trail . . .

Watauga Lake Triathlon

2008 Jonesborough
Storytelling Festival

October 3-5 , 2008

The 36th annual Jonesborough International Storytelling Festival will be held October 3 - 5 in historic Jonesborough, Tennessee. The festival is recognized as one of the Top 100 Events in North America.

Learn more about Jonesborough and the International Storytelling Center . . .

Watauga Lake Triathlon

2008 Watauga Lake Triathlon

September 13 , 2008

The 4th annual Watauga Lake Triathlon was held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 13 at the Sugar Grove Church . . .

See photos & learn more . . .

Boating on Watauga Lake Tennessee

Boating on Watauga Lake

August, 2008

Watauga Lake is a truly special place for boating, fishing, and swimming. . .

Click here to learn more. . . .

Old Butler Days at Watauga Lake Tennessee

Old Butler Days

August 8-9 2008

The 2008 Old Butler Days began at 5 p.m. on Friday. Events include a car show, contests and much food and music. Saturday's events begin with a parade at 10 a.m. . .

Click here to see photos from last year. . . .

Watauga Kayak

Watauga Kayak on the Watauga River near Watauga Lake Tennessee
July 2008

Experience the Watauga River below the Wilbur Dam in an exciting and beautiful ride on a raft or a kayak with Watauga Kayak. See the Bee Cliffs while racing through the Bee Cliff Rapids and float along this most historic and scenic river . . .

Read more . . . .

Roan Mountain Tennessee

Roan Mountain Tennessee near Watauga Lake

Roan Mountain is one of the most visited places in the area during the summer months.

See photos of the famous rhododendron gardens, hiking trails and more . . .


Learn more . . . 

2008 Fourth of July at the Lake

Watauga Lake 2008 4th of July Boat Parade

Visitors and residents around the lake celebrated the Fourth of July with the annual boat parade, picnics, ball games and spectacular fireworks.

The late afternoon rain arrived just after the Boat Parade and before the evening picnics and fireworks.


Click here to see photos of this year's activities. . . 

Pappy's Marina on Pirates' Cove

2010 update: This marina has been sold and the new owners have named it Tilawa Marina. Click here to learn more.

Pappys Marina on Pirates Cove on Watauga Lake Tennessee

Pappy's Marina has been updated and refreshed by new owner Doug Bittner. The new look and exciting plans make Pappy's Marina on Pirates' Cove a place for all on the lake to visit.

Click here to learn more . . .

Pioneer Landing, A Treasure on Watauga Lake

Iris Festival 2008 in Greeneville TN neat Watauga Lake Tennessee

Pioneer Landing is the easternmost marina on Watauga Lake and its unique location makes it one of the most accessible.

See photos and learn more about this special part of the lake and the area's history . . .

Click here to learn more . . .

Iris Festival 2008 in Greeneville Tennessee

Iris Festival 2008 in Greeneville TN neat Watauga Lake Tennessee

The two-day annual Iris Festival was held this year in Greeneville, Tennessee on May 17th and 18th.

This beautiful blue-sky weekend was the perfect backdrop for this celebration of Spring flowers and the historic town of Greeneville, Tennessee . . .

Click here to learn more . . .

Memorial Day 2008 at Watauga Lake

Memorial Day 2008 at Watauga Lake

Watauga Lake Tennessee was a great place to celebrate Memorial Day. Beautiful blue skies and warm temperatures made for ideal boating, swimming and sunning.

Visitors at Pioneer Landing (shown above) began their summer season by catching up with old friends and with owners Dan and Deanna Livorsi. Some Pioneer Landing camper-site renters have been staying at this beautiful location on the lake for over 15 years.

Click here to learn more . . .

The Watauga Lake Triathlon and Watauga Lake Experience September 12 - 13 2008

Watauga Lake Hats and T-shirts

The dates have been set for the 4th annual Watauga Lake Triathlon and the 2nd annual Watauga Lake Experience. The Triathlon will take place on Saturday the 13th and the events of the Watauga Lake Experience will take place on Friday the 12th and Saturday . . ..

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Tennessee Honors Old Butler with
Historical Marker

            New Tennessee State Old Butler Historic Marker in Butler Tennessee Watauga Lake Tennessee

After considerable work with the Board of the Watauga Academy and Butler Museum, the State of Tennessee honored Old Butler and the Watauga Academy with an historical marker in a beautiful setting just above the new Butler, Tennessee. . .

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Craig's Coffee House in Mountain City

            Craigs Coffee House in Mountain City Watauga Lake Tennessee

Craig's Coffee House is the way to start your day. The congenial atmosphere of this Mountain City coffee house and restaurant is irresistible to local residents and visitors alike . . .

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Watauga Lake Day Trip:
Blue Hole Falls

            Blue Hole Falls near Watauga Lake Tennessee

Blue Hole Falls is an easy drive from any part of Watauga Lake. Just 10 miles from nearby Elizabethton and easily accessible from the parking area, the Blue Hole Falls area is a great half-day adventure in the area . . .

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New at the Gray Fossil Museum
Sue the T-Rex Dinosaur

Click here to learn more

Watauga Lake Day Trip:
The Gray Tennessee Fossil Site and Museum

            The Gray Fossil Site & Museum near Watauga Lake Tennessee

Just 20 - 30 minutes from Watauga Lake in Gray, Tennessee is one of the richest fossil sites in the eastern United States. The site, known as the Gray Fossil Site, was discovered in May, 2000 while Tennessee DOT workers were widening a road.

In August, 2007 East Tennessee State University opened the Natural History Museum at the Gray Fossil Site. It is a bright, colorful museum with hands-on exhibits and tours led by knowledgeable guides, many of whom work at the site . . .

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The Appalachian Trail on Watauga Lake     

            The Appalachian Trail near Watauga Lake Tennessee

Walk the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia? Well, many do but if you are looking for a much shorter trip along that scenic trail, try the day hikes available at Watauga Lake and find unique views of the lake while hiking one of the most famous trails in the world. . .

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2007 Doe River Gorge Fall Train Excursion     

         2007 Shady Valley Tennessee Cranberry Festival near Watauga Lake

Follow the track of the old Tweetsie Railroad through the beautiful Doe River Gorge near Elizabethton Tennessee and Watauga Lake.

You will ride along the path that was partially hand cut in the 1880s to bring the train that opened up travel to many mountain people . . .

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2007 Shady Valley Cranberry Festival     

         2007 Shady Valley Tennessee Cranberry Festival near Watauga Lake

The annual Cranberry Festival was held in the beautiful mountain valley town of Shady Valley Tennessee on October 12 and 13. The festival celebrates the over 10,000 acres of cranberry bogs which used to cover the valley . . .

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A New Book about the History of the
Watauga Lake Area

Butler Old New and Carderview by Herman Tester

Johnson County native and former high school teacher and administrator Herman Tester has published a new book about the unique history of Butler, Old Butler and the Watauga Lake area. . .

Read more . . .

Watauga Lake Marinas and Restaurants

Kayaks at Cove Ridge Marina and Grill on Watauga Lake Tennessee


Watauga Lake offers several full service marinas for use by boaters on the lake. Most offer boat rentals, marine gas, dock space, supplies and food.

The area also has a variety of full-service restaurants, grills and snack bars located on or near the lake where visitors and locals meet.

Read more . . .