March 2021 – Programs and Tours

*** COVID-19 GUIDELINES: While visiting the park please stay 6 feet apart from other guests. Face masks are required inside all state park facilities. Face masks are recommended outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. Park buildings are subject to closure if maximum capacity is exceeded. The park visitors center closes Mon. – Sat. between the hours of 11:30 and 1:30 for cleaning and disinfecting. Restrooms close periodically for cleaning. Please help us stop the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. ***

Sabine Hill Guided Tour      

Saturday, March 6, 13, 20, 27, 2021                                                              11:00 am

Adults – $9.00; Ages 7 to 17 years – $5.00; 6 and under free

Tax included                                                                                                   Max:  6

Registration required –

Join park Seasonal Interpretive Recreator, Laura Ellis for a guided tour of this stately home built by Mary Patton Taylor, widow of Brigadier General Nathaniel Taylor. The site has been described as one of the finest examples of Federal architecture in the State of Tennessee. During your tour you will have the opportunity to take in the colorful and architecturally detailed interior while learning about the influential Taylor family who called Sabine Hill home in the early 19th century.

Sabine Hill is located at 2328 West G Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643. Please note, only portable toilet facilities are available at this time. Accessibility to the home includes steps and an interior staircase. Tour may be subject to cancelation in the event of severely inclement weather.

Carter Mansion Tour

Thursday, March 11, 2021                                                                             1:00 pm

Thursday, March 18, 2021                                                                             1:00 pm

Thursday, March 25, 2021                                                                            1:00 pm

Adults – $9.00; Ages 7 to 17 years – $5.00; 6 and under free                    

Tax included                                                                                                    Max:  6

Registration required –

Join park staff for a tour of Tennessee’s oldest frame house! Discover the secrets of this elegant frontier home and learn the history of the family who built it between 1775 and 1780. The John and Landon Carter Mansion is located at 1031 Broad Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643. Accessibility to the home includes steps and an interior staircase. Tour may be subject to cancelation in the event of severely inclement weather.

Freedom and Firelocks                                                                                   

Friday, March 12, 2021                                                                               10:00 am

Admission: $5.00 (tax included), 6 and under: Free                                    Max:  10

Registration required –

How did a frontier militia made up of hunters and farmers win one of the most pivotal battles of the American Revolution against the best-trained army in the world?  Join Ranger Jason Davis to discover how our freedom was won by our forefathers as we take a look at the tools that defeated tyranny. The evolution of firelock technology from matchlock, flintlock, and percussion will be discussed and we’ll also compare and contrast the rifle and the musket.  The program will end with a bang as we fire off the flintlock musket! Meet in the Visitor Center lobby at 10:00 am.

History Highlight: The Treaty of Sycamore Shoals & the Watauga Purchase

Friday, March 19, 2021                                                                                        2:00 pm

Admission: $5.00 (tax included), 6 and under: Free                                           Max: 10

Registration required –

Join Museum Curator Chad Bogart for a special guided interpretive walk through the grounds of Sycamore Shoals as he recounts two historically significant events that took place in the Watauga settlement in March of 1775. Learn about the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, known as the Transylvania Purchase, and how it led to the largest private land transaction in US history. Also, learn how early settlers purchased local lands from the native Cherokee in the Watauga Purchase. Dress appropriately for the weather and be aware that portions of the walk will include ground that may not be flat or solid for people with mobility challenges.  The program will meet and begin at the picnic area beside the visitor center.

Tech in Nature                                                                                                

Friday, March 26, 2021                                2:00 pm                                                    

Admission: $5.00 (tax included), 6 and under: Free                                  Max:  10

Registration required –

Today, most people are inseparable from their smart phones and mobile devices.  We want to embrace this cultural change and show you how you can better use technology on a day to day bases in nature.  Using tools such as GPS locating, plant identification, and other easily accessible resources and apps, we will show you how to enhance your experience rather than take away from it.  Join Ranger Cory Franklin for a walk around the park to better understand the tools you carry with you daily.  The program will meet and begin at the picnic area beside the visitor center.

First Day of Spring Hike

Saturday, March 20th                                                                                        2:00 pm

Admission: Free!                                                                                             Max:  10

Registration required –

Join Sycamore Shoals intern Lauren Thompson on the first day of spring hike! This guided hike will feature outstanding trees and a guided walk along the Watauga River. Learn how to recognize a tree with or without leaves, how our ancestors used the trees, and other unique facts.  Experience the state park by hearing basic hiking tips such as, what is good to pack for a day hike, avoiding poison ivy, and what to wear on a hike. If you want to learn something new or enjoy an easy hike, the 1st day of spring hike has something for everyone.

Living History Weekends at Fort Watauga

Each Saturday and Sunday in March                                                     2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join our historic interpretive staff for a variety of free living history demonstrations, displays, and presentations on various aspects of life in the 18th century frontier. You never know what may be going on at the fort. Come by, check it out, and take a step back in time.

Visitors Center Hours:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday through Saturday   

(Closed for lunches & cleaning 11:30 – 1:30 Mon – Saturday)         

1:00 PM – 4:30 PM Sunday

Our Visitors Center is closed on most State holidays.  Park grounds are open from dawn until dusk.

In the event of extremely inclement winter weather, contact the park about program cancelations and park office closings.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 W. Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN 37643