Area Status: Open

Watauga Point Picnic Area is located on the southern shore of Watauga Lake in Carter County. Large shade trees scattered throughout grassy areas provide a park setting for picnicking and sunbathing. In addition to picnic facilities, there is a gravel trail that loops through the nearby forest. A large pavilion and large shady area with tables are available to rent for your family gatherings or other events. There is not a designated swim area.  Swimming is at your own risk.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Watauga Point Recreation Area is still open, but only on a first-come first serve basis.  Please note the BATHROOMS ARE CLOSED and have been winterized for the season, and bathrooms plan to open on 4/1/2024, weather dependent.  Reservations for the covered pavilion and the Shady Area will begin on 4/1/2024. 
Operational Hours: The area is open between dawn and dusk.  Bathrooms and sinks are CLOSED and have been winterized for the season.  Bathrooms plan to open on 4/1/2024, weather dependent.  Reservations for the covered pavilion and the Shady Area will begin on 4/1/2024. 
Reservations: Logo
Area Amenities: Accessible, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
Fees: There is no day-use fee charged at this site. To reserve the covered pavilion or the Shady area, for $30 each per day, contact
Open Season: 4/1/2024 - 10/15/2024
  • Watauga Point is for Day-use only, from sunrise to sunset.  No overnight camping.
  • Alcohol is prohibited.
  • No burning of plastic or other non-wood products except charcoal in grills.
  • Pets must be on a maximum 6 ft. leash at all times, and pick up after them. 
  • Food storage restrictions apply at all areas on the Cherokee National Forest. All food and beverages must be stored in an approved bear-proof container or your locked vehicle at all times unless being eaten, prepared, or transported. 
  • It is your responsibility to read, know, understand, and follow all specific rules and regulations which are also posted at the day-use area.  
Closest Towns: Elizabethton, TN and Hampton, TN
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush Toilets
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

Directions: From Elizabethton, take US 19E/321 south for five miles to Hampton. Turn left on US 321/TN 67 south for five miles, then turn left into Watauga Point.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



A picnic area with large shade trees helps keep you cool from the summer sun.

No. of Sites There are 41 picnic tables.
Reservation Info The pavilion, and grassy area, can each be reserved for $30 a day by calling 877-444-6777, or by going online at

Group Picnicking

Looking for a place for a group picnic? A portion of Watauga Point can be reserved for one-day group gatherings. Make your reservations at


Picnic tables:
Fee charged for some activities:
Drinking water:

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Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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