Sycamore Shoals State Park is a protected area that was once the site of several important historical events crucial to the establishment of both Tennessee and Kentucky as states. The park, situated along the Watauga River, has a total of 70 acres of recreation area. It has a variety of things to do and room to wander and enjoy.
Before Europeans settled the area, it was inhabited by Native Americans. The Watauga Association, which was one of the earliest written constitutional governments west of the Appalachians, was formed in 1772. Three years later, Daniel Boone and Richard Henderson negotiated the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, which enabled millions of acres of Cherokee lands to be sold and resulted in the construction of Wilderness Road.
The area was also later the site of Fort Watauga, where Cherokee people attacked in 1776. Some of the Sycamore Shoals State Park’s highlights include a visitor’s center, museum, the reconstructed Fort Watauga, Sabine Hill, and Carter Mansion. The park features interpretive displays and a theater with a short historical film. If you’d like to walk your dog, the park also has a two-mile loop trail that follows some woods and the south bank of the Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga River.
The trail also features historical signs. There are a number of historical programs throughout the year. Check the Sycamore Shoals State Park’s website for a full calendar. Dogs are welcome in Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park on a leash or carried. Dogs are allowed inside buildings but only if they can be carried. Be respectful of park rules and always pick up pet waste.
Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is open year-round. The visitor’s center and museum are closed Mondays. There is no fee for admission. You may reserve a picnic shelter online or by phone. If you’re in Northeastern Tennessee and you enjoy learning about American history, bring your family and furry companion to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.