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Embrace the great outdoors in Johnson County!

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We are mountain and lake country with many types of outdoor recreation and adventures. Johnson County features community parks, a really nice golf resort, all types of camping, excellent fishing, scenic biking and hiking with great views and waterfalls. We also have water sports on a large pristine lake, peaceful horseback riding, some of the best motorcycle touring in the region and a recreation area providing miles of blazed ATV trails. We are an outdoor paradise offering something for just about everyone.

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DISC GOLF

Our county has a good Frisbee Golf Course that is located in the Ralph Stout Park in Mountain City. The course was established in 2009 with great signage and regulation size baskets. It offers 9 holes/baskets and is a Par 27 course. The course is 2540 feet in length over a mostly flat and lightly wooded area. This is a good course in a nice setting.

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LOCAL PARKS

The Ralph Stout Park in Mountain City offers a great setting with mature trees, park benches, a beautiful pond with home geese and good walking trails. There is a large picnic pavilion, playground, baseball field and skateboard park. The park is also home to a disc golf course, an excellent fitness trail and an outdoor stage for music events. The park features the Johnson County Memorial Wall honoring veterans from our area.

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HIKING

Our area offers some of the best hiking in the region. Trails for all difficulty levels offer great views, waterfalls and historical sites. Laurel Creek Trail is an easy-to-hike wildlife haven in the Cherokee National Forest. The Cross Mountain Trail is a scenic moderate-level hike that overlooks beautiful Shady Valley. Gentry Creek Falls Trail is a harder level back forest trail that crosses the creek 14 times as it meanders for 4 ½ miles through the deep woods to an incredible double waterfall. There are many more nice trails in our area including a good section of the world famous Appalachian Trail.

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BIKING

Our area has good on-road and off-road biking opportunities. Our on-road choices include peaceful country roads, challenging climbs up mountains and thrilling downhill winding descends. For off-road biking enthusiasts, mountain biking is allowed at Doe Mountain Recreation Area on most of their Multi-Use Trails. For those who are seeking a milder trail biking experience, the famous Virginia Creeper Trail, in nearby Damascus, Virginia, offers an excellent choice. Here you will find many biking outfitters providing bike rentals and shuttle service.

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FISHING

Our area is a fishing paradise offering some of the best fishing in our region. We have an abundance of creeks providing excellent fly fishing. We are home to pristine Watauga Lake where you can enjoy some great reel fishing by boat and shoreline. We also are home to Doe Creek, known for its great fishing holes. There are several fishing guide services available for those seeking a guided trip.

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CAMPING

There are all types of camping available in our area from primitive camping to luxury camping. We actually have a full-service campground located on the hill behind the Johnson County Welcome Center, which is part of our tourism initiative. There are also several privately owned campgrounds offering everything from primitive camping to full service camping to glamping.

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HORSEBACK RIDING

In our area, equestrians can choose between back roads, trails and wide open areas. We have many peaceful backroads choices all over the county. Horses are permitted on most Multi-Use Trails at Doe Mountain Recreation Area. In nearby Damascus, Virginia, horses are permitted on the famous Virginia Creeper Trail. For some longer trails with wide open areas, you can visit nearby Mount Rogers Recreation Area and Grayson Highlands State Park. These areas provide a series of trails  and here you can access the 68 mile Virginia Highlands Trail.

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WATER SPORTS

Johnson County is located on the north side of beautiful Watauga Lake, which is one of the cleanest lakes in America. Here you can enjoy a variety of water sports in an inspiring setting. There are public beach areas, picnic areas, campgrounds and boat ramps. There are a number of marinas on the lake to service the boat activity and to provide boat rentals. For those seeking other rentals or guided trips, there are also several outfitters available on or near the lake.

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MOTORCYCLING

Our county is home to the famous Snake 421 Motorcycle and Sport Car Route. This route offers something for all types of riders. There are challenging tight curves, sweeping wide turns, exciting winding descends and easy to cruise sections. Here
you can experience a beautiful valley, a lush National Forest, winding mountain roads and rolling farm land. The hub for the Snake is the Shady Valley Country Store at the main intersection in Shady Valley.

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ATV RIDING

Doe Mountain Recreation Area in our county features 8,600 acres of protected mountain terrain offering over 50 miles of blazed adventure trails. The most prominent type of adventure here is ATV riding. Here you will find trails of all difficulty levels. This is a great family wilderness area. Visit their website here.

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MURAL MILE WALK

Enjoy a walk through beautiful downtown Mountain City, where a series of murals tell the story of Johnson County's rich musical heritage. Pick up a map on the front porch of Johnson County Center for the Arts or download your printable PDF Map here!

Visit the Long Journey Home website to learn more about The Musical Heritage Mural Mil tour.

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PICKLEBALL

A fun sport for young and old alike, Pickleball is becoming one of the fast-growing sports in Johnson County. Local players and teams currently play outdoors on the courts located at the Mountain Community Center.  Open play sessions and lessons are available.