Johnson County TN Adventures

We are mountain and lake country with many outdoor adventures to share with you when visiting the High Country of Northeast Tennessee. We are a great place to explore and learn about the magnificence of the great outdoors together with your family, friends and groups. We have hiking with large views and waterfalls.  Our area has some of the best fishing in Western North Carolina, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. We offer challenging mountain biking and some nice on road bike touring. There is also excellent trail biking in nearby Damascus, Virginia. We have camping choices from primitive to full service with river camping and lake camping. North East Tennessee offers lake, rivers and creeks with all experience levels of canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting. We offer ATV trails of all difficulty levels and off road single track motorcycle trails. When you also consider the many types of water motor sports available, you can see why we are known as Outdoor Adventure Territory.

Northeast Tennessee offers Watauga Lake, Doe River and Beaver Dam Creek as well as other creeks and streams that offer participants all experience levels of canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting. We offer ATV trails of all difficulty levels and off-road single motorcycle trails. When you also consider the many types of water motor sports available, you can see why we are known as Outdoing Adventure Territory.


Johnson County and bordering Carter County is home to some of the best hiking in Eastern United States. We have hiking trails for all experience levels offering great views, waterfalls and historical sites. Here are some of the hiking opportunities available in Northeast Tennessee.

The Appalachian Trail

This world famous 2,100 mile hiking trail runs from Maine to Georgia, traveling through Northeast Tennessee and Johnson County with several good access points in our area. Coming from the north, the AT travels through Damascus, Virginia into Johnson County, passing through the Cherokee National Forest near Backbone Rock, then along Houston Mountain overlooking beautiful Shady Valley and running along the ridge of Iron Mountain, crossing Watauga Dam and around the edge of Watauga Lake. From there a hiker follows the AT into Roan Mountain continuing south to Georgia.

Cross Mountain Trail

This is an easy short hike with incredible views making it perfect for beginning hikers. The trail connects Iron Mountain with Holston Mountain and runs parallel to the Appalachian Trail. Here you will hike through a cow pasture that has a bench where you can relax and take in the incredible views of Shady Valley. Whether you are an avid hiker, or just looking for a nice walk, this is a must hiking experience.

Laurel Falls Trail

Laurel Falls Trail is a great hiking trail in Hampton, Tennessee that can be entered either from below or above the incredible Laurel Falls. This is probably the most popular and spectacular waterfall in Northeast Tennessee. This trail is lined with mountain laurel and is considered moderate in difficulty. The view of the waterfalls is definitely worth the hike.

Laurel Creek Trail

This is a scenic wild-life rich haven located in the Cherokee National Forest in Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee. This two mile hiking trail was created along the route of an old narrow-gauge railroad which took timber and iron ore from the mountains down to the valley and is good for all skill levels and ages as it follows Laurel Creek. There are sections where hikers can go down to the creek on hot days.

Gentry Creek Falls

Gentry Falls is a double waterfall in a remote forest setting.  The 4.5 mile back trail is located in the Cherokee National Forest near Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee and is rated as a moderate skill level. The trail meanders along Gentry Creek crossing it fourteen times on the way to the waterfalls. This is a definite must hike for avid hikers seeking a remote peaceful experience.

Doe Mountain

This Family Wilderness Area has 8,600 acres of protected mountain terrain offering ATV Trails, Hiking Trails and Biking Trails. There are over 50 miles of blazed Adventure Trails, with most of the trails being Multi-Use Trails. There are two designated hiking trails for hikers only. Here you can experience some breathtaking views into Tennessee and into North Carolina.

Blue Hole

Located in adjoining Carter County, the Blue Hole waterfall has some parking at the entrance of the waterfall. The main attraction is true to its name. A nice pond showing the clear blue color that gave the name to this beauty. The steps and walk is uneven and definitely not for people having trouble walking stairs. But if you can, take this walk as you will be rewarded with some wonderful serene views. You will also find magnificent rock formations to explore.


There is some great on road and off road biking adventures available in Northeast Tennessee. If you are looking for some easy scenic bike touring you may consider riding the roads surrounding pristine Watauga Lake. For a more challenging on road adventure, you may wish to ascend up Cross Mountain, and for a more exciting downhill ride, you may want to descend from the mountain on Cross Mountain Road. For a challenging mountain biking adventure you may wish to ride the trails on Doe Mountain. If you are seeking some easy Trail Biking, you can take a short drive to Damascus Virginia to ride the famous Virginia Creeper Trail.


Our area offers some of the best fishing in Northeast Tennessee. There are many flowing creeks, rivers and a large clean lake from which to choose your location and type of fishing.  Whether you are fly fishing or reel fishing, we have the locations.  Our many flowing creeks and rivers provide some great fishing from the shorelines and good wading opportunities. We are home to Doe Creek, which flows into Watauga Lake and provides some of the best fly fishing in our entire region. There are some really nice secluded spots along the creek where fish flourish. Watauga Lake is a great fresh water lake offering good boat fishing and shoreline fishing from some easy to access areas along the lake. Whatever your fishing skill level, you will enjoy our fishing opportunities.


When you want to camp in a great setting when you visit the Blue Ridge Mountains, come to the High Country of Northeast Tennessee, and pick your type of camping. We have all types and levels of camping. From primitive camping to full service camping. From creek camping, to river camping to lake camping. We have it all. For a memorable camping experience explore Johnson County area.


Northeast Tennessee High Country is an equestrian paradise. Horse enthusiasts can choose from trails, back roads and wide open ranges. There are many scenic horse riding experiences waiting for you to explore when you visit the High Country. You can ride the local trails such as the ones at Doe Mountain Family Wilderness Area in Doe Valley or the nearby Virginia Creeper Trail in Damascus. If you want beautiful open areas to ride, you can visit nearby Mount Rogers Recreation Area. There are also places to board and care for your special four legged friend.

Water Motor Sports

Northeast Tennessee is home to pristine Watauga Lake, which is the third cleanest lake in America offering excellent Water Motor Sports. Here you can enjoy pontoon boats for touring and fishing, waver runners for those seeking a more thrilling adventure and motor boats for skiing. The cool fresh water is waiting for you to enjoy.

Canoeing, Kayaking and White Water Rafting

We have all types of paddling adventures such as canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting.  We have still water, flowing water and white water, so whatever your skill set, we have a paddling adventure for you enjoyment. For those seeking still water, we have beautiful Watauga Lake. For a more exciting adventure, we have flowing water and white water on Watauga River. All of these paddling adventures are perfect for   your family and groups.

ATV Touring

We have some of the best ATV Trails in the High Country of Northeast Tennessee. Doe Mountain Family Wilderness Area has 8,600 acres of protected mountain terrain with over 50 miles of blazed adventure trails for your enjoyment. Here you will find ATV riding for all difficulty levels from beginners to advanced riders. You will also experience breathtaking views into both Tennessee and North Carolina. Bring your family, friends and groups to get all the riding you want.

Motorcycle Touring

We are home to the famous Snake 421 Motorcycle Ride, which offers some of the best motorcycle riding in the South East United States. Experience 489 curves winding across three mountains and one incredible valley. Enjoy the tight curves as you cross the mountains and wind through Cherokee National Forest along a flowing creek and then open it up as you cruise through an open valley  and some beautiful rolling farm land. This is both a challenging and peaceful motorcycle ride.