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Wautauga Lake, Butler

#59 of 104 in Wildlife in Tennessee
Water Body · Hidden Gem · Wildlife Area
Watauga Lake, located east of Elizabethton, Tennessee, is the local name of the Watauga Reservoir created by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) with the 1948 completion of the TVA Watauga Dam.
The Cherokee National Forest surrounds both the Tennessee Valley Authority Watauga Reservoir and Wilbur Reservoir in an area of northeast Tennessee that TVA describes as being located " some of the most beautiful country in the Tennessee River watershed."
Construction of Watauga Dam began in early 1942 but was curtailed later that year in favor of other World War II building efforts. Work on TVA Watauga Dam resumed in 1946, and finished at the end of 1948, impounding both the Watauga River and Elk River for the purposes of flood, hydropower generation and downstream navigation on the Tennessee River and Reservoir system.
The original town of Butler, Tennessee, now sits at the bottom of Watauga Lake. "New" Butler was relocated to higher ground above the summer pool edge of the TVA reservoir. Other nearby Tennessee cities and communities include Hampton, Elizabethton, Roan Mountain, Mountain City, Johnson City, and Bristol.
With our custom trip planner, Butler attractions like Wautauga Lake can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
33 reviews
  • Beautiful high country/mountain lake. Enjoy slower pace of life. Genuine and friendly locals. Small town atmosphere. River fed, clear water, deep lake... surrounded by Cherokee National Forest...  more »
  • In Nov, the colors were really showing! Also amazing that the water level was so high. Had it not been cold and windy, we would've kayaked into the Cherokee forest.  more »

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