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Boating At South Holston Lake In Virginia

By AA-Boats & Boating Staff Writers

South Holston Lake, Virginia

Free Public Boating & Watersport Activities

South Holston Lake, located in southwest Virginia, is a scenic reservoir formed by the South Holston Dam on the South Fork Holston River. It straddles the Virginia-Tennessee state line, offering visitors the chance to enjoy its beauty from both states. The lake is surrounded by rolling hills and lush forests, creating a picturesque backdrop for boating enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Nearby attractions to South Holston Lake include the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee, which offers opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. The nearby city of Bristol, which straddles the Virginia-Tennessee border, is famous for its vibrant music scene and is home to the Bristol Motor Speedway, a popular destination for racing enthusiasts.

Boating is a favorite activity on South Holston Lake, with its crystal-clear waters and numerous coves and inlets to explore. There are several marinas situated along the lake's shoreline, providing convenient access to boat rentals, supplies, and services. Boaters can indulge in a variety of water sports, such as water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing, making it an ideal destination for adrenaline-seekers.

Boat launch ramps are available around the lake, making it easy for visitors to put their watercraft into the water and start their boating adventure. The calm waters and breathtaking scenery also make South Holston Lake a great spot for fishing. Anglers can find an abundance of smallmouth bass, trout, and crappie, among other species, making it a haven for fishing enthusiasts.

The boating season at South Holston Lake typically runs from spring to fall when the weather is mild and pleasant. During this time, the lake comes alive with boaters, anglers, and water sports enthusiasts, all seeking to make the most of their time on the water.

Camping allows visitors to fully appreciate the serene surroundings and take advantage of the recreational activities that the lake and its nearby attractions have to offer.

Boating, camping and fishing.

Known for excellent boating and great smallmouth bass fishing, South Holston Lake is also home to a nice variety of other fish species. Residing in these waters are bass (largemouth, smallmouth and spotted), catfish (channel and flathead), crappie (both black and white), walleye, trout (rainbow, brown and lake), bluegill, sunfish (several) and white bass. 168 miles of shoreline wrap around this 10,000-acre lake on the southern border of the state, at Abingdon, VA. The quality of the bass here make up for slightly lower quantities, as compared to other area lakes. Check with local VA fishing guides regarding guided bass fishing trips here. Crappie, walleye and trout fishing are also a draw and at times provide excellent fishing. Marinas, boat launches and campgrounds are scattered around the lake. There are several convenient locations to fish from shore. Because part of the lake is in Tennessee, check VA and TN regulations before fishing. Beware of major water-level draw downs in winter, sometimes 30 feet or more.

Area Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: NEARBY
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: NEARBY


Lake Shore Campground - 276 628-5394

Washington County Park Authority Campground - 276 628-9677

Callebs Cove Campground - 276 475-5222

South Holston Lake Map


Fish species found in South Holston Lake include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, bluegill, redear sunfish, rock bass, warmouth and white bass.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Spotted bass Channel catfish Flathead catfish Black crappie White crappie Walleye Rainbow trout Brown trout Lake trout Bluegill Redear Sunfish Rock Bass Warmouth Sunfish White Bass

Click here for a VA Fishing License.

Local Contact Information

Washington County Park Authority
19482 County Park Rd
Abingdon, VA 24211
276 628-9677

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