Cardens Bluff Campground

Cherokee National Forest

Cardens Bluff Campground has closed for the 2021 season. At nearly 2,000 feet elevation, Cardens Bluff Campground is located on a peninsula overlooking the 6,430-acre Watauga Lake in Carter County, TN. There are 43 sites, primarily for tent camping. There is a bathhouse with showers and flush toilets. No electrical hookups are provided. Day use areas are located nearby for those wanting to take advantage of swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities. Campground Hosts are on site to answer questions and assist with your visit.  

There are 43 campsites within Cardens Bluff Campground. Each section of the campground has flush toilets. In addition, there is an accessible shower house with eight showers for use by registed campers only.  

Need to Know

Natural Features

Watauga Lake is a 6,430-acre hydroelectric reservoir managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority and surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest. Directly across the lake from the campground is the Big Laurel Branch Wilderness area, a rugged, undeveloped mountain range with only the Appalachian National Scenic Trail within its boundaries.

Nearby Attractions

The nearby Rat Branch Boat Launch is an easy quick drive from the campground for campers with motor boats. Shook Branch Swim Area is also nearby on the shores of Watauga Lake. Big Laurel Branch and Pond Mountain Wilderness areas are located north and south of the campground for more rugged, backcountry hiking.

Recreation

Boating is popular for visitors to Cardens Bluff. Numerous campsites provide easy water access for kayaks, canoes and motorized boats. Swimming and fishing are also very popular activities at Cardens Bluff. Watauga Lake provides notably clean water for recreating. 

Contact Information

Mailing

4400 Unicoi Drive Unicoi Tennessee 37692

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 423-735-1500

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

From Elizabethton, TN take US 19E/321 south 5 miles to Hampton. Turn left on 321/67 travel approx. 4 miles to the campground entrance on the left. 

Available Campsites

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