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Watauga Lake Scenic Highway

Road Trip

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Wikimedia Commons/Chris M
35.7 miles: 51 minutes
This scenic section of US 321 cuts through northeast Tennessee, with the North Carolina border at one terminus and Johnson City at the other. The winding route takes you through Cherokee National Forest—Tennessee’s only national forest—and along the southern shore of glittering Watauga Lake, where sightseeing and recreational opportunities abound.
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35.7 miles: 51 minutes
Open, rolling hills characterize US 321 near Johnson City and Elizabethton. Heading west, the route begins to climb as you enter Cherokee National Forest, where twists and turns become the norm. Watauga Lake peeks through the trees as you follow its 16-mile-long shoreline. The Appalachian Trail crosses the route near the southwestern tip of Watauga Lake.