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Watauga Lake, Tennessee

Watauga Lake, TN
Watauga Lake in northeastern Tennessee

Watauga Lake is a relatively remote lake up in the 'high country' of the Appalachian mountains in northeast Tennessee. Like many of the other bodies of water in the state, the lake is actually a reservoir created by a dam for hyrodelectric power. Despite its relatively small size and thickly wooded shoreline, the lake is a popular boating and cabin rental destination in the Cherokee National Forest for visitors from both Tennessee and over the nearby state line in North Carolina.

Quick Facts

Where is Watauga Lake in Tennessee? graphic

The lake is located in the northeastern part of Tennessee in the Cherokee National Forest to the east of the towns of Elisabethton and Johnson City. Part of it is in Johnson County and part in Carter County.

The lake covers an area of 26 square kilometers (6430 acres) when it is full.

The deepest point in the lake is just over 80 meters (265 feet).

Watauga Lake was created in the 1940s by a dam on the Watauga River constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The dam was completed in 1948 and flooded the former settlement of Butler. Watauga dam is 318ft high and is used to generate hyrdoelectric power.

Highway 321 runs along the southern shore of the lake. It connects with Highway 67 which crosses the water and accesses the town of Butler.

Map of Watauga Lake

Cabins at Watauga Lake

Water's Edge, Watauga Lake

Water's Edge

Water's Edge is, as the name suggests, a lakefront log cabin rental with four bedrooms on the northern shore of the lake.

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Cherokee Forest Mountain Cabins, Watauga Lake

Cherokee Forest Mountain Cabins

These four cabins are located on the northern shore of Watauga Lake in an elevated position in the Cherokee Forest with lovely views down to the lake.

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We are happy to feature any vacation rentals in the lake area on this page. If you own or manage any cabins (or other similar vacation rentals) in the region and would like to be included in this section, please contact us at .

Watauga Boat Rentals

There are a number of marinas around the lake, some of which offer boat hire and fishing supplies:

Fish Springs Marina
Fish Springs Marina is located on the southern side of the lake just off highway 321 and offers pontoon boats for hire.
Website: www.fishspringsmarina.com
Lakeshore Resort & Marina
Lakeshore Marina is also situated on the southern side of the lake just off highway 321. It offers pontoon boats for hire and the complex accommodation has a number of cabin rentals and motel rooms.
Website: www.lakeshore-resort.com