Now, for those of you who can pronounce Watauga, this name comes from the Cherokee Nation although in the Cherokee language it is more accurately written Watagi.
Dual in meaning, it can be “the land beyond” “beautiful river” or “beautiful water.”
This scenic river is located downstream of the Tennessee Valley Authority formed by communion of Shanty Spring Branch and The Green Ridge Branch. The TVA controls the water levels of this river by scheduling controlled releases from both Watauga and Wilbur dams. It flows generally north and west where it receives the Doe River.
You will find commercial rafting companies both from Western North Carolina as well as Tennessee in the summertime. Fishing guides make use of this river throughout the year.
Rafters in this setting can find Class 1, 2 (the anaconda)& 3. There is also a section providing Class 4-5 but requires significant rainfall to bring this area to runnable levels frankly best pursued only by expert paddlers.
Other sections of this fine river have been rafted by some of our guests . Most reported this river as tame and a great “starter river” for those less familiar with this activity trying to make a determination of their desire to pursue a more aggressive river.
Patti and Gary Wiles