Minor League Baseball • College Sports • City Leagues • Golf • Swimming • Hiking
Walking Trails • Fishing • Rafting • Cycling • Snow Skiing • Camping • Cabins • Parks
Minor League Baseball
Take me out to Joe O'Brian Field! The Minnesota Twins minor league baseball team has called Elizabethton their home since 1974. The rookie team has had its share of success with seven Appalachian League Championships, 19 consecutive winning seasons and numerous Major League draftees. The Twins offer great family entertainment at an unbeatable price.
The scenic Watauga River and Tennessee mountains are beautiful backdrops to the Twins' competitive game of baseball. For more information on the Elizabethton Twins, visit www.elizabethtontwins.com or call 423-547-6441.
General Admission Seating:
Children under 12: $3
Children under 5: FREE
ETSU: The East Tennessee State University Buccaneers' home field, Cardinal Park, is only a few minutes away in neighboring Johnson City. The Bucs finished 32-28 in the 2010 regular season and 15-12 in the Atlantic Sun conference. This Division 1 ball club features many outstanding players, including 2010 MLB draftees junior Chas Byrne and junior Paul Hoilman. Byrne was drafted in the 16th round by the Kansas City Royals and Hoilman was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 49th round. Visit www.etsubucs.com for a complete game schedule.
Milligan College: Come out and support the Milligan College Buffaloes as they trample their competition in the NAIA Appalachian Athletic Conference. The Buffs finished the 2010 regular season 31-21 and 2-2 in tournament play. The squad is known for their tough pitching battery and lightning hot offense. For a complete game schedule, visit www.milliganbuffs.com.
Elizabethton Parks and Recreation:
There are numerous opportunities for adults to get involved in organized sports in Elizabethton. Visit www.eprsports.com for event details or call 423-547-6440. The following is a list of the various sports offered:
Women's Church League Softball
35 and over Basketball
Fall Coed Softball
Adult Coed Kickball
Fall Flag Football
Open League Softball
Fall Coed Volleyball
Men's Church League Softball
Church Adult League Basketball
Spring Coed Volleyball
Open Adult League Basketball
Spring Flag Football
Elizabethton National Baseball and Softball League:
Sign the kiddies up for a season of fun on the diamond by calling (423)547-3663 or email email@example.com.
Co-ed Coach Pitch
Junior and Senior leagues
Carter County American Little League:
Stay active and get involved by registering your kids for Little League baseball or softball at www.eteamz.com.
Little League Baseball 9-12
Coach Pitch Instructional 6-8
Jr League Softball 13-14
Jr League Baseball 13-14
Sr League Softball 15-16
Senior League Baseball 15-16
Big League Softball 17-18
Big League Baseball 17-18
Happy Valley Boys and Girls Youth Basketball:
Make sure your child's basketball experience is a good one by participating in this youth league. All children ages 5-13 are invited to participate. Click on the following link for registration information: Basketball.
Watauga Junior Athletic League: Boys ages 5-12 are invited to participate in this youth football league. Sign-ups begin in June at Happy Valley Elementary School in Elizabethton. For more information call (423) 833-8704.
Elizabethton Golf Course
A beautifully designed mountain golf course that consists of tree-lined fairways, bent-grass greens and Bermuda fairways. Relax and enjoy a day of golfing at this 6,339-yard course. The Elizabethton Golf Course is located on Buck Van Huss Drive, just off 321 on the west end of Elizabethton. The park is open to the public year around and offers club, golf cart and pull cart rentals. Facility amenities include, a putting green, driving range, sand and chipping area and an on site professional instructor.
For more information on tee times and rates, visit www.elizabethtongolf.com.
Watauga Point Recreation Area
Take a dip in the crystal clear water of Lake Watauga at the Watauga Point Recreation Area located off Hwy 321. Visitors will enjoy a designated swimming area, picnic tables, bathrooms and beach area.
Grab your swim trunks and head to the Doe River where it crosses under the historic Covered Bridge in downtown Elizabethton. After an afternoon of swimming, grab a bite to eat and shop in the many boutiques of Elk Avenue.
Joe LaPorte Jr. Swim Facility
The Joe Laporte Recreational Area Franklin Pool opens the last weekend in May. Swim lessons and pool rentals are available upon request. After spending the afternoon at the pool, play on the adjacent tennis courts or visit Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.
Roan Mountain Swimming Pool
Take a break from your Roan Mountain adventures and wade in the cool water of the Roan Mountain pool. The pool is open Memorial Day weekend through mid-August. The pool will be closed on Monday and Tuesday (excluding holidays). Camping and cabin guests will receive half price admission.
Doe River Gorge
Doe River Gorge is an outdoor adventure camp that has numerous activities for the whole family to enjoy. Spend the day at Doe River Gorge and swim in the lake, play disc golf, take a train ride, play paintball in the woods, ride the 700-foot long zip line, fly off the blob, gallop on horseback, bump on the volleyball court and much more. For more information, visit www.doerivergorge.com.
Appalachian Trail Trailheads
About the Appalachian Trail: The Appalachian Trail (AT) is the world's longest scenic footpath that crosses the Appalachian Mountain ridgeline from Georgia to Maine. The trail was designed, constructed, and marked in the 1920s and 1930s by volunteer hiking clubs. Under the leadership of Myron H. Avery the Appalachian Trail Conference chairman, various hiking clubs and federal agencies, states and other groups combined forces to construct and piece together all sections of The Appalachian Trail. It is a one-of-a-kind park that runs 2,155 miles. Trail markers- The Appalachian Trail is marked by two-inch vertical white paint swatches. Blue blazes mark side trails off the AT. These usually lead to shelters, water supplies or special overlooks.
You may head north toward the spectacular balds where, on a clear day, you can see into NC and VA. Otherwise you may walk south on the trail toward Roan High Knob-elevation 6,285 feet. Directions- Take Hwy 19E south from Elizabethton 15 miles to the town of Roan Mountain. Turn right on Hwy 143 and continue for several miles past the park to the top of the mountain. You will see the parking area on the right. The AT crosses the road here.
Garden Trails & Cloudland Trail
The Cloudland Trail is a moderate 1.2-mile hike from the end of the Cloudland parking area to Roan High Bluff Overlook. Directions- From Carver's Gap continues up the mountain toward the Rhododendron Gardens where you may choose between a short 0.3-mile loop and a longer, figure-8 loop.
Directions- From Elizabethton, take Hwy 19E to Hampton, then turn left onto Hwy 321/67 toward Mtn. City/Boone and continue up the mountain for 4 miles to trailhead on left.
Jones Branch Falls
The falls can be accessed from the AT road crossing at Walnut Mountain Road or a trail south from Campbell Hollow Road. Access from the NC side can be made from the Big Elk Falls parking lot in Elk Park, NC and following the USFS road or the trail along Elk River.
Shook Branch (Watauga Lake)
Directions- From Elizabethton, take Hwy 19E/321 to Hampton, then turn left onto Hwy 322167 toward Mtn. City/Boone and continue for 3.2 miles; picnic tables, Jones Branch Falls grills, designated swimming areas, restrooms and trailhead for the Appalachian Trail; open mid-April through late September.
Watauga Dam (Watauga Lake)
Directions- From Elizabethton, take Hwy 91 toward Shady Valley, continue for approximately 4 miles and turn right onto Blue Springs Rd. When Blue Springs curves sharply to the left (approximately 1 mile), go straight onto Steel Bridge Rd. After 0.8 miles, turn right and go across the Steel Bridge, then follow signs to Wilbur and Watauga Dams; picnic tables, restrooms, short walk to view of dam and "morning glory" valve.
Blue Hole Falls
Short, moderate trail, featuring 70-foot waterfalls in two tiers. Directions- 10 miles north of Elizabethton off Hwy 91, Panhandle Rd.
Laurel Fork Falls (Hampton Blueline)
This trail runs .96 miles to the Appalachian Trail. 1.67 additional miles to Laurel Falls for approximately 2.5 miles. This moderately difficult trail begins at the Laurel Falls trailhead in Hampton, TN (above). It is a popular spur trail to the AT, which leads to Laurel Falls within the Pond Mountain Wilderness Area. Directions- From Elizabethton, take Hwy 19E/321 to Hampton, then turn left onto Hwy 321/67 toward Mtn. City/Boone and continue for 1.3 miles to the trailhead on right. Follow foot trail 2.5 miles to falls.
Little Milligan Trail
The loop foot trail begins and ends at Little Milligan Boat Ramp approximately 1.90 miles. The trail is on a gentle grade and passes through several wildlife plantings. The trail lies both above and below FS Road 6030 and crosses FS Road near the gate. The Forest Service has rated this trail as moderate. Directions- From Hampton, travel east on Hwy 67/321 for 9.5 miles until the routes separate. Continue on Hwy 321 for two miles. Take the second road to the left past the Milligan School; continue 1.0 mile to the sign for the Little Milligan Boat ramp. The gate on FS Road 6030 may be closed in freeze-thaw conditions.
Lacy Trap Trail
This trail connects Laurel Fork Trail to the Appalachian Trail on White Rock Mountain. This is a moderately difficult trail that stretches 2.72 miles. Directions- From Hampton, take Forest Development Road #50 for 7 miles (FS road 50F). Follow 50F to dead end at Frog Level. Follow Laurel Fork Trail.
Coon Den Falls Trail
This moderately difficult trail was initially part of the Appalachian Trail. It leads from FDR #50 in Dennis Cove past Cook Den Falls and connects the current Appalachian Trail on White Rock Mountain. This trail is steep and features Coon Den Falls. Directions- From Hampton, take FDR #50 (see above) for 4 miles. No developed trailhead at intersection. Parking is available at Dennis Cove Recreation Area.
Little Pond Mountain Trail
This foot trail begins on Hwy 67/321, entering Pond Mountain Wilderness at the power line crossing. Portions of this trail are steep and rocky. The trail follows the ridgetop crossing FS Road 6034 at Maple Springs Gap, continuing through Plot Gap and dropping off of the ridge, ending on FS Road 6031 approximately 0.6 miles southwest of Hwy 321. Wildfires have left many hazardous trees along the northern portion of this trail. The trail is maintained to minimal standards to prevent resource damage. Directions- From Hampton, take Hwy 67/321 east for 6 miles. Trailhead is on the south side of the Hwy 67/321 approximately 0.5 miles from Watauga Point Recreation area. Roadside parking available on north side of highway. On the Unaka Ranger District, access is on Dennis Cove Road.
Watauga Point Recreation Area
Watauga Point Trail: This foot trail contours above the shoreline of Watauga Lake, loops and returns to parking area. This trail offers some great views of Watauga Lake. Trail surface is gravel and runs .41 miles. Directions- From Elizabethton, take Hwy 19E/321 to Hampton, then turn left onto Hwy 321/67 toward Mtn. City/Boone and continue for 3.2 miles; picnic tables, grills, designated swimming area, restrooms and trailhead for the Appalachian Trail; open mid-April through late September.
Cardens Bluff Trail
This foot trail follows along the shoreline of Watauga Lake for about half the length of the campground, ending at the restrooms. Bird watching and the scenic lake backdrop are some of the features of this trail. It runs approximately .69 miles. Directions- From Hampton take Hwy 67/321 for four miles to Cardens Bluff Campground. Follow road 350 feet to trailhead on right side of the road.
Upper Stoney Creek Trail
This trail is moderate to difficult and is 2.54 miles long. This foot trail follows Upper Stoney Creek, then climbs Old Road Ridge and ends at the intersection with the Appalachian Trail south of Double Springs Shelter. Numerous creek crossings may be difficult during periods of high water (Spring). Trail is not formally maintained, and should be considered challenging. Directions- From Elizabethton, take Hwy 91 north for 19 miles to the foot of Cross Mountain. Trailhead is on the left side of the road, just inside the Forest Service boundary. Limited parking is available.
Opt Outside Tour/Hiking Guide
If you are interested in small to private customized tours of natural and historical highlights of the southern Appalachian Highlands and if you want first-hand experience of some of our cultural niches, you may want to hook up with local tour/hiking guide and adventure planner, Beth McPherson. For more information, visit www.optoutside.com.
Elizabethton Recreation Center:
The Elizabethton Recreation Center is located at 300 West Mill Street. This sight includes indoor and outdoor walking opportunities. Inside the gymnasium, 19 laps equals one mile. Three laps around the recreation center will equal 1 mile. Linear Path, Riverside Location:One phase of the Linear Path is located along Riverside Drive in Elizabethton. This phase of the trail begins just below the Bristol Bridge and runs exactly one mile. The Linear Path is a project that is ongoing and when complete will run a distance of six miles that will connect the Eastside community to Sycamore Shoals State Park.
Cat Island Park:
The Park is located next to the Carter County Jail. Walking five laps around this trail equals one mile.
The track is located at the Elizabethton High School. Four laps equal one mile. Sycamore Shoals State Park: This facility offers two walking areas. The trail directly behind the park is one mile long. If you include the trail that runs across to the Franklin Fitness Center, the total distance would be 2.2 miles.
Harmon Park is located next to the Chamber of Commerce. Walking five laps around this trail will equal one-mile distance. If you have any questions related to walking trails in our community please contact the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department at 547-6440.
Carter County offers a unique blend of fishing opportunities, which present some of the best fishing in the Southeast. Anglers of all ages, from beginner to the most accomplished, will find in our area the fishing they desire whether it is trout or game fishing.
Seek brook trout in mountain streams, cast flies into wary stream browns, or fish or troll the depths of the Watauga Lake for record class game fish or rainbows. Watauga Lake also offers a rare opportunity to fish for world record class ohrid trout. Watauga River boasts one of two trophy trout sections in the state of Tennessee.
Visit the TWRA website for additional fishing information.The following is a list of streams and lakes in Carter County.
Laurel Fork Creek*
* Special trout regulations apply. Consult current fishing regulations.
The Doe River is primarily a wet-weather stream, since it's free flowing. There is a 5.5-mile stretch between Hampton and Elizabethton that are rated class I and II.
The friendly section of whitewater on the Watauga begins below the Wilbur Dam and winds past agricultural lands into the town of Elizabethton. An easy float trip, with a couple of class I and II rapids. Commercial rafting is available for portions of this 10-mile section.
For more information and pricing contact:
River and Earth Adventures- (828)-963-5491
Wahoo's Adventures -(800) 444-7283
Watershed Trail (8 miles)- A single track trail in Hampton, recommended for intermediate level to advanced riders. The trail ranges from dirt and rock to flat and hills. This trail offers a good variety. Free and and open to the public.
Hampton Trails- Bicycle shop located in Hampton in close proximity to the Watershed Trail. Directions- From Elizabethton, take 19E south (turn right at Food City), drive about 5 miles and take a left on Hwy 321 (towards Watauga Lake). Hampton Trails is located 1/2 mile on the right just past Hampton Elementary School.
The top of Roan Mountain is a popular spot for cross-country skiing since the road that leads from Carvers Gap to the Rhododendron Gardens is not plowed during snowfalls. In Roan Mountain State park, there are various trails and open fields on which skiing is permitted. Bring your own equipment-no rentals in immediate area.
Four relatively mild seasons and beautiful countryside make Carter County ideal for any kind of camping. Everything from fully developed areas with weekend campground programs to primitive sites are available. Except where otherwise designated, dispersed camping is allowed along the Appalachian Trail and on most U.S. Forest Service property. Campgrounds located in Carter County do not take reservations and are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Occupying a site is limited to a 14-day period.
Cherokee National Forest- Carden's Bluff Campground
Campground is on a bluff with some sites overlooking Watauga Lake; 42 tent sites with tables and grills, flush toilets and 6 water spigots. A boat ramp is located a half-mile west of campground on Hwy 321.
Directions- take Hwy 321/19E south from Elizabethton to Hampton, turn left on Hwy 321/67 south, and drive east 4.1 miles to Carden's Bluff sign.
Dennis Cove Campground
Campground is located on a densely forested site about 1.5 miles from the Appalachian Trail and near Laurel Fork Creek. Limited supplies are available at Laurel Creek Lodge and Campground. 16 tent sites, 15 picnic tables, and 14 grills. Flush toilets are also available. Directions- Take Hwy 321/19E south from Elizabethton to Hampton, then turn left on Hwy 321 south at Hampton, then turn right at Citizens Bank onto Dennis Cove Rd. for 5 miles.
Roan Mountain State Park Campground
From Elizabethton, take Hwy 19E south 15 miles to Roan Mountain. Turn right onto Hwy 143 and follow the signs for the park. (423) 772-4178.
Primitive campsites can be found along the shores of this 72-acre lake. Sites include, picnic tables, grills, and a bathhouse. The area is patrolled by TVA officers and offers excellent fishing and a boat ramp suitable for kayaks, canoes, and small watercraft.
Doe River Primitive Campground:
151 Bob Ray Rd., Roan Mountain, (423) 772-3137;
Misty Waters Bait and Camping:
Wilbur Dam Rd., Elizabethton, (423) 543-1702
Mountain View RV Park:
Just off Hwy 143 on the Doe River, Roan Mountain, (423) 772-4211
Stoney Creek RV Park:
108Price Rd., Elizabethton, (423) 474-3505
A Mountain Hide-A-Way:
Lake front cabins, 925 Atwood Rd., Butler, (423) 768-2069
141 Steel Bridge Rd., Elizabethton, (423) 542-6033
Eagle View Cabins:
204 Winter Hollow Private Dr., Roan Mountain (423) 772-0039
www.vrbo.com, (703) 591-1698
Lakeshore Resort & Marina:
Rt 2 Box 379, Hampton, www.lakeshore-resort.com, (423) 725-2201
Laurel Fork Lodge Campground and Hostel:
1511A Dennis Cove Rd., Hampton, www.laurelcreeklodge.com, (423) 725-5988
Lazy Bear Lodge:
www.lazybearlodge.net, (727) 849-9275
Meredith Valley Cabins:
341 Sycamore Shoals Dr., Elizabethton,
www.meredithvalleycabins.com, (423) 543-8603 days or (423) 543-2343 nights and weekends
www.RiverGetaway.net, (786) 368-5164
Roan Mountain Rentals:
www.roanmountainrentals.com, (423) 543-7424
Roan Mountain State Park:
Rt. 1 Box 236 Roan Mountain, www.tnstatepark.com, (423) 772-3303
Safe Haven Farm:
336 Stanley Hollow Rd., Roan Mountain, (423) 725-4262
Sugar Hollow Retreat:
Elk Ridge, Butler, www.sugarhollowretreat.com, (423) 768-3105
Watauga River Cabins:
720 Smalling Rd., Johnson City, www.wataugarivercabins.com, 1-800-334-6720
Watauga Falls Resort:
www.wataugafalls.com, (423) 543-1087 or (423) 512-1665
River Bend Cottage:
Roan Mountain, www.riverbendcottage.com, (423) 512-1665
Harmon Park/Chamber of Commerce:two pavilions, playground equipment, walking trail, free for public use
Cat Island Park:Three pavilions, free for public use. Two athletic softball/baseball fields, two tennis courts, playground equipment and a walking trail
Joe La Porte Junior Recreation Area: city swimming pool and two tennis courts
Covered Bridge Park:two pavilions and a gazebo free for public use
Edward's Island:Rotary pavilion-FOR RENT ONLY. Please call (423) 542-1508
Kiwanis Park:Two pavilions, one soccer/football athletic field, outdoor basketball court and playground equipment
Douglas Park:One pavilion, one outdoor basketball court, one youth baseball field and playground equipment
Riverside Park: One pavilion-FOR RENT ONLY. Please call (423) 542-1508. Playground equipment and horseshoe courts
Elizabethton Recreation Center: Three youth tee-ball fields
Lions Field: Two youth athletic fields
Senior Citizens Park:Outdoor basketball court, one gazebo and a walking trail
Carmon Dugger Sports Complex:Minor League baseball field, women's softball field
To request a Carter county Visitors Guide please visit www.tourcartercounty.com