South Holston Lake Tubing Guide

South Holston Lake Tubing
South Holston Lake tubing is great fun for the whole family, with scenic Holston Mountain rising 2,000 feet up in the background.

South Holston Lake is the biggest of the lakes in the TriCities TN / VA / NC area.  Since it is such a large body of water with so many spots to choose from, we thought we’d show you the best spots to take the family tubing.

There are three things we’re looking for in a great tubing location for the family.

  • Calm Waters: I have school-age kids and bouncing continually over big waves is not much fun to them.
  • Low Traffic: Nobody likes worrying about boats coming at you from all sides, so we’re looking for a more isolated spot.
  • Long Runs: Sure, you can do donuts if you want, but it’s fun to have the option to go for long, straight runs.

With those criteria, we really like three long, protected coves to the eastern side of Points 2 & 3.  Here’s a map.

Great South Holston Lake Family Tubing Runs


The high ridgelines surrounding these three coves provide a wind barrier so the water is very calm.  If you follow them all the way back, you’ll have a nice long run before you have to turn around.  You are surrounded by beautiful forests, so you’ll also have a very private and quiet place to anchor and swim if you want.

South Holston Lake Swimming
The isolated coves described in this post are also a quiet and private place to anchor and swim with the kids.

To find these three coves, you’ll use the linear set of islands at Point 2 to point you in the right direction.  If you are coming south from Lake View Dock or the Hwy 421 bridge, you’ll see the island chain in about 5 minutes.  This chain includes the larger island with rope swing and Cliff Island which often has folks anchored off and enjoying a 10-foot jump into deep water.  Take a left at these islands and you’ll be headed straight for the coves and some great family tubing.

Traveling north from the south end of the lake, you’ll see the linear set of islands at Point 2.  Go right at these islands and you’re there.

What are some other great places to enjoy time on South Holston with your family? Let us know in the comments.

Did you know that Carefree Boat Club at South Holston Lake has brand new boats ready for you to take out anytime you want?

Carefree Boat Club