Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park protects the land that was the location of several important historical events that occurred in the late 18th century. Leaving the English colonies, settlers began arriving along the Watauga Old Fields, in search of a new life on what was Cherokee land. John Carter, one of the primary political, military and business leaders of this era, and his son Landon, built a home, the Carter Mansion, three miles from Sycamore Shoals. This structure is the oldest standing frame house in Tennessee and dates back to the mid to late 1770s.
Sycamore Shoals became a state park in 1976. The park’s visitor center houses interpretive exhibits highlighting the history of this time, a bookstore and gift shop, and park information. Located behind the visitor center is a reconstruction of the 18th century Fort Watauga, now the site of educational programs and musters presented by the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia.
The 1.20-mile Patriot’s Path is located on the south bank of the Watauga River. The trail features interpretive signs detailing the historical events of the area.
The park offers an assortment of living history, recreational programming and events for the whole family from traditional arts and craft classes to military musters. The annual presentation of Tennessee’s Official Outdoor Drama, Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals is a popular attraction. Held every July in the 240-seat amphitheater with Fort Watauga as a back
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