In 1942, TVA impounded Elk River, Roan Creek and Watauga River to create this 6,430-acre lake. Nestled between Big Laurel and Pond Mountain wildernesses, the deep blue waters and beautiful mountain vistas set the stage for fishing, boating and water skiing. A network of developed sites including boat launches, picnic areas and a campground are provided by the Forest Service. Hike the Appalachian National Scenic Trail #1 to follow the west and north sides of the lake. In late spring, listen for yellow-throated warblers and vireos at Rat Branch Boat Launch and Watauga Point Picnic Area.