The rain season is upon us in Northeast Tennessee which means spring is right around the corner! Rivers are flowing, waterfalls are overflowing, lakes are filling up, and everything is turning green with vibrant life. Pisces season runs through March 20th and invites inner reflection with the last month of winter and transition into spring.
Tennessee is experiencing spurts of 60 & 70 degree days, as we come out of the pandemic winter months. Soak up some Vitamin D rays, and make the most of this warmer weather even if it means chasing waterfalls on a rainy day. And it's okay to stick to the rivers and lakes that you're used to.
From local favorites to hidden gems, Northeast Tennessee is filled with adventures leading to waterfalls. Depending on the rainfall, these falls can seem totally different throughout the seasons. Winter brings ice, and springtime brings the laurel leaves to life as their green ambience encompasses the beautiful flow of these heavenly falls.
See one, see many, see them all. Bag these waterfalls in a day or two, and keep the trails clean so everyone can enjoy them.
Watauga Lake is surrounded by rolling mountains and sections of the Appalachian Trail. It makes for a great day of paddling and fishing, along with seasonal camping at select pull-offs. There are several great swimming spots for families and leashed pets, offering pristine lake views and boating marinas for rentals and lunch.
South Holston Lake is a 7,580 acre lake operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and runs from Tennessee into Virginia. Fly fishing is super popular below the dam in the shallow areas of the river, and boaters float above in the resorvoir. For what it's worth, this is the third-largest earthen dam in the world, composed of massive earth and rock. 60% of the shoreline is bordered by the Cherokee National Forest offering a mecca of hiking and recreation opportunities.
Boone Lake is a warm weather haven for disc golfers, mountain bikers, boaters, and marina goers. With access points at Winged Deer Park, this makes for a great day spent in the park having lunch by the lake or dipping your feet in after a mountain bike ride across the street.
The Nolichucky River flows from Western North Carolina into Tennessee. Most recently, the Noli was running water levels straddling 2,000- 3,000 cfs. This river is peaceful and fierce with big-splash rapids like Jaws & Quarter Mile on the upper and Radio Tower on the lower. Reserve a guided trip with the local USA Raft Adventure Resort and spend some time social distancing in nature this spring and summer.
Pack a picnic at Big Rock or dust off the camper and stay at a site by the river near Jonesborough. With plenty of hiking, kayaking, and adventure in the mountains all around you~ once you get outside, you'll be happy you did.
"More days like this, please." - Dobby Grace, while fetching stick on the Nolichucky.
Please practice Leave No Trace ethics when visiting public recreation areas, like our trailheads, lakes, and rivers. Check out Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association's "Leaders for a Litter-Free Tennessee" here on how community locals are making a difference to preserve outdoor recreation.
Fly fish the Watauga River in Elizabethton.
Whitewater at Doe River .
Know your limits, and hire a guide when necessary.
Traveler. Writer. Mom.