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Things to Do near Johnson City, TN

There are an array of things to do near Hampton,  East Tennessee for visitors of all ages. Black Bear Resort is conveniently located right by Watauga Lake, giving you the perfect opportunity to go boating, paddle boarding, picnicking, canoeing, or kayaking. If you're hoping for an active trip outdoors The Appalachian Trail and Laurel Falls trail will never fail to disappoint. Check out a few more popular things to do below.

Creation Kingdom Zoo

Creation Kingdom Zoo features exotic animals from all around the world. Explore the exhibits with mammals, reptiles, birds, primates, and big cats. Creation Kingdom Zoo will teach you all about the animals and would be happy to answer any questions you have about them. Don't forget to stop by the gift shop for a souvenir to remember you're incredible experience at Creation Kingdom Zoo.

Linville Caverns

The Linville Caverns are worth the visit to admire the natural formations that were created inside Humpback Mountain. The beautiful formations were not discovered until the early 1800's and it wasn't opened for public touring until 1937. An experienced tour guide will take you through the mountain and give you the background and history of the caverns as you marvel at one of natures greatest masterpieces.

Tweetsie Railroad

Discover the numerous activities at Tweetsie Railroad where your imagination is free to run wild. Visitors will have the opportunity to go gold panning and gem mining, play arcade games, see the animals at Deer Park Zoo, take a ride on the train, play on the playground, enjoy the live entertainment, and so much more. If you're an animal lover you'll love Deer Park Zoo where you'll get the chance to see various different farm animals.

Bristol Motor Speedway

Catch a race or one of their many special events throughout the year. Black Bear Resort does not increase rates for lodging during race weeks.

Mountain Biking

Watershed Trail (8 miles)- A single track trail in Hampton, recommended for intermediate level to advanced riders. Ranges from dirt and rock to flat and hills. This trail offers a good variety. Free and open to the public.

Sycamore Shoals State Historical Park

This park was built around a re-creation of historic Fort Watauga at the head of the shoals on the Watauga River by the Watauga Historical Association to preserve one of the few remaining sites of the early frontier. Today, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is used as a backdrop for one of Tennessee’s longest running outdoor dramas, which runs each July.


The Doe: The Doe River is primarily a wet-weather stream, since it’s free flowing. Although it can be run in mid summer during years with plenty of rainfall. There is a 5.5 mile stretch between Hampton and Elizabethton that is rated class I and II. The Watauga: 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.

The Appalachian Trail

The world’s longest footpath, stretching 2,193.1 miles, crosses through Carter County. Roughly 60 of those miles wind through the mountains in Carter County, ranging in elevation from 1,750 feet along the shore line of Watauga Lake to 6,285 feet on Roan Mountain.

Wautaga Point Recreation Area

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 designated swim area in the lake.

Drive-In Movies

Visit the State Line Drive-In for a movie experience. This theater has a wonderful family environment and shows movies May-September. To view current showings visit their website.
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