Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park and Elizabethton Linear Trail
Site Directions: Sycamore Shoals Park is located in the western portion of Elizabethton on the right side of Hwy 67 / 321 (W. Elk Ave.), just west of the Sycamore Shoals Hospital. If coming from Johnson City on Hwy 67 / 321, the park is on the left, 1.5 mile east of the intersection with West G Street (traffic light).
To reach the Linear Trail, exit Sycamore Shoals Park, turn left onto Hwy 67 / 321 (W. Elk Ave.), go 1.1 mile and turn left onto W. Mill St., go 3 blocks and turn left onto Ash St., go 1 block and turn left onto W. Riverside Dr., go 1 block to a parking lot on the right.
Lat-Long: 36.34284, -82.25361
Hours: daylight hours
Seasonality: year round, although spring and fall migration seasons are the best
Site Description: Both of these sites are located on the banks of the Watauga River near one another and are easily combined. Sycamore Shoals is a small, but prominent, historic site with paths through a narrow wooded strip beside the river. Restrooms are available in the visitor center.
The Linear Trail is a paved walkway through wooded and shrubby edge. The trail runs for just a short distance upstream beside the river, but for nearly a mile downstream, continuing past the block building with a mural painted on it. The trail may eventually connect to the park.
Wildlife to Watch: At both Sycamore Shoals and the Linear Trail, spring and fall migration may produce a variety of warblers, vireos, flycatchers, thrushes, sparrows, and others.
Yellow-crowned Night-Herons often nest at the park and may be seen anywhere along the river at both the park and linear trail; also watch for them around the swimming pool adjacent to the park (just east of the visitor center) on early summer mornings as they search for earthworms in the fenced-in grassy lawn.
Warbling Vireos may sometimes nest along the upper portion of the Linear Trail.
NOTE: Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas.