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Appalachian Trail: Tennessee State Route 91 to Watauga Dam

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Cherokee National Forest

Appalachian Trail: Tennessee State Route 91 to Watauga Dam is a 15.1 mile point-to-point trail located near Butler, Tennessee that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking.

Distance: 15.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,345 feet Route Type: Point to Point




This park re-opened for day-use visitation between 7am and sunset on April 24, 2020. The public will have access to most trails, boat ramps, marinas, golf courses and other outdoor recreation opportunities. Park facilities and overnight accommodations will remain closed, as will playgrounds and other social gathering places. See here for more info:

10 months ago

I got on the trail at TN 91 ant hiked south. My goal was Vanderveeter Shelter about 11 miles. The water source is quite a way down the hill- about .3 in a ravine. It is good water but this time of year it is trickling. There is a camp ground about half way down where we stayed. The trail is gradually descending down to Watauga Lake.

Fri Jul 13 2018

This is a pretty extensive hike. It should actually be placed in the hard column. Especially if you start on the Watauga Dam side. If you do this point to point start on the Hwy 91 side. Did see a bear and a cub so beware.

Mon May 30 2016

Excellent section of AT with a lot of up and down along the ridge line

Sun Aug 16 2015

Attempted the trail from Butler. Directions to turn on Piercetown and continue on Wilderness dr. Well Wilderness dr is now Bear Ridge dr. and it is a gated community. If anyone knows an alternate route to get to the Butler trailhead I would like to know.

Sat Mar 30 2013

My 10 year old son and I hiked this trail on Good Friday. This was his first point to point trail. It was a good, fairly easy trail. Good for a first point to point. The views were amazing.

Sun Mar 11 2012

My husband and I hiked this trail and it was amazing! It was fairly easy but did have a few elevation gains.

Sat Feb 11 2012

Went thru here as part of section hike. Gorgeous area, always loved Watauga Lake. Shook Branch recreation area is a nice stop, with rest rooms, chlorinated potable water, etc. Lots of good camping areas on the AT on both sides of the Watauga Dam.

Wed Aug 25 2010

make sure you Zero day at watauga lake.. its awesome!

1 month ago

10 months ago

Tue Apr 18 2017

Tue Mar 29 2016