If you’re into fishing and boating, the lakes are nothing short of spectacular. There are multiple parks for picnicking and play, awe-inspiring Bristol Caverns and Appalachian Caverns, golf courses, miles and miles of trails for hiking, and much more.
If you’re into hiking, camping, and biking Bristol has multiple city parks, including Steele Creek Park, which encompasses more than 2,100 acres and features numerous hiking trails around the lake, along with paddleboats, a nature center, and a golf course. Sugar Hollow Park, just a few miles away, also boasts lovely walking trails, picnic areas, disc golf, single-track mountain biking, camping, and a sports complex.
The Mendota Trail is a 12.5-mile rails-to-trails project designed for walking and biking. The former Southern railroad corridor between Bristol, VA, and Mendota, VA, spans tranquil countryside and forests on gentle grades.
There are more than 40 square miles of inland lakes and freshwater streams nearby, including South Holston Lake. The 7,580-acre reservoir, known for its smallmouth bass fishing, features plenty of fishing holes, and 60 percent of its shoreline borders the Cherokee National Forest. Campsites and boat ramps for the lake are available at Observation Knob Park.