Whether you’re looking to burn off some energy or simply relax and enjoy the sounds of the Watauga River, the Park has something for everyone. Upon arrival, stop in at the Park’s new Welcome Center to learn more about our natural resources, hear about upcoming events in the Park, and make a donation. The Welcome Center’s conference room is available for rent for meetings.
Restrooms are located in the Welcome Center as well as in the middle of the park next to the basketball court. (NOTE: Effective March 2020 and until further notice, restrooms are closed. Porta-johns are available at both ends of the gravel parking lot.)
When you’re ready to explore, a paved path circles the perimeter of the Park, measuring 0.75 miles (outer loop) or 0.97 (figure 8). The path is open to walkers, joggers, cyclists, and skateboarders.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, there is an extended grass path that meanders through the grassland at the western end of the Park. This is open to walkers and joggers only.
Play areas for children include a swing set, a playground for older children, and a toddler playground, as well as playhouses and ample open space. A basketball court is open to children and adults, and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
NOTE: Effective March 2020 and until further notice, the playground areas are closed to comply with North Carolina’s COVID-19 phased reopening plan.
Two large covered picnic shelters seat approximately 75 people each and are equipped with charcoal grills and electrical outlets. These shelters can be reserved for private parties. Reservations are required for parties of 16 people or more. There is also a small covered shelter that seats 6-8 people, as well as several other picnic tables and grills located throughout the park.
The Watauga River runs along the Park’s northern boundary and is home to world-class fly fishing. This portion of the Watauga is a delayed harvest trout stream, so all visitors must comply with fishing regulations. A North Carolina fishing license is required, and can be purchased at the Original Mast General Store, only 0.2 miles from the Park. Fishing is also allowed in Dutch Creek, which runs along the Park’s southern boundary. Guided fly-fishing trips are available through the Park. For more information or to book a trip, contact us.
Children are welcome to wade and tube in the Watauga, but please be respectful of those fishing. This section of the Watauga is shallow, and generally not appropriate for tubing by older children/adults. We ask that visitors do NOT move river rocks, as these provide essential habitat for river-dwelling animals.