South Holston Lake

The Bristol area has more than 40 square miles of inland lakes and freshwater streams nearby, including the beautiful South Holston Lake. It’s known for its smallmouth bass fishing, and a number of fishing tournaments every year.

The South Fork Holston River is home to an annual spring migration of white bass. Locals say that when the dogwood bloom, the white bass run.

Adding to the pristine nature of the lake is the fact that 60 percent of its shoreline borders the Cherokee National Forest. You’re sure to find numerous fishing holes, and campsites and boat ramps are available at Observation Knob Park and various campgrounds in Bristol.  You can also rent stand up paddleboards from TRI SUP for an added fun experience.

A footbridge from the parking lot below the dam on South Holston Lake leads to Osceola Island, which has a one-mile-loop wildlife trail. Early in the morning or late in the evening are the best times to sight waterfowl, deer, and other wildlife.