Shook Branch Swimming Area

Hampton, Tennessee

Shook Branch Recreation Area is located on the southern shore of Watauga Lake in Carter County. This 20-acre site includes a large, grassy area for picnicking, picnic tables with grills, and a designated swimming area in the lake. Some shade is provided by large trees that border grassy areas. The Appalachian Trail (#1) passes through Shook Branch Recreation Area. Shook Branch is for Day-use only, 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. No overnight camping. Alcohol is prohibited. No burning plastic or other non-wood products except charcoal in the grills. Fee is $2 per vehicle, per day, or a Cherokee National Forest Pass for $30 per year. Contact the Watauga Ranger District for more information at 423-735-1500.

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is essential right now. Follow the advice of the health experts. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Heading to the beach should only be considered an option if social distancing practices can be followed. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter the efforts to curb the virus’ spread.

For more information, please visit the World Health Organization public resource on COVID-19.

Water Quality
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time

  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on September 27th, 2019. MountainTrue Watauga Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 29th, 2019 at 4:00 PM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Monitoring Frequency

Shook Branch Swimming Area is sampled weekly from May 1st from September 30th.

Source Information

The Watauga Riverkeeper, housed at the MountainTrue, monitors the Watauga River Watershed for E. coli, a bacteria found in the waste (feces) of most warm-blooded animals, including humans. High levels of E. coli can pose a health risk for people swimming in the water.

Participating volunteers take weekly water samples, and sites are listed as failing to meet water quality standards if they exceed the EPA's recommended safe level for E. coli of 235 E. coli colonies per 100 ml of water. Volunteers take samples early each week, and results are posted on Thursday or Friday. This sample data provides a general guide to the health of the waterway and should only be used for informational purposes. This data does not guarantee the sampled area is safe for swimming at all times. Overall, E. coli levels in the Watauga River are low, and the river is typically safe for swimming. However, E. coli levels can change at any time and frequently increase after rain events. As a general rule, if the water is clear, then E. coli levels are likely to be low. Please contact the Watauga Riverkeeper at andy@mountaintrue.org if you have questions. Please also contact us if you would like to volunteer to take water samples.

Water Quality Graph

Shook Branch Swimming Area

Hampton, Tennessee

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is essential right now. Follow the advice of the health experts. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Heading to the beach should only be considered an option if social distancing practices can be followed. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter the efforts to curb the virus’ spread.

For more information, please visit the World Health Organization public resource on COVID-19.

Water Quality
  • Passed water quality tests at least 95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on September 27th, 2019. MountainTrue Watauga Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 29th, 2019 at 4:00 PM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  

Shook Branch Recreation Area is located on the southern shore of Watauga Lake in Carter County. This 20-acre site includes a large, grassy area for picnicking, picnic tables with grills, and a designated swimming area in the lake. Some shade is provided by large trees that border grassy areas. The Appalachian Trail (#1) passes through Shook Branch Recreation Area. Shook Branch is for Day-use only, 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. No overnight camping. Alcohol is prohibited. No burning plastic or other non-wood products except charcoal in the grills. Fee is $2 per vehicle, per day, or a Cherokee National Forest Pass for $30 per year. Contact the Watauga Ranger District for more information at 423-735-1500.

Monitoring Frequency

Shook Branch Swimming Area is sampled weekly from May 1st from September 30th.

Source Information

The Watauga Riverkeeper, housed at the MountainTrue, monitors the Watauga River Watershed for E. coli, a bacteria found in the waste (feces) of most warm-blooded animals, including humans. High levels of E. coli can pose a health risk for people swimming in the water.

Participating volunteers take weekly water samples, and sites are listed as failing to meet water quality standards if they exceed the EPA's recommended safe level for E. coli of 235 E. coli colonies per 100 ml of water. Volunteers take samples early each week, and results are posted on Thursday or Friday. This sample data provides a general guide to the health of the waterway and should only be used for informational purposes. This data does not guarantee the sampled area is safe for swimming at all times. Overall, E. coli levels in the Watauga River are low, and the river is typically safe for swimming. However, E. coli levels can change at any time and frequently increase after rain events. As a general rule, if the water is clear, then E. coli levels are likely to be low. Please contact the Watauga Riverkeeper at andy@mountaintrue.org if you have questions. Please also contact us if you would like to volunteer to take water samples.

Water Quality Graph

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