bugsy running on lone rock beach with the airstream and f-150 in the background

Two days in Jonesborough, TN–Big Trip #1

We visited Jonesborough in June 2016 during Big Trip #1.

dog at nolichucky river

This was a great stop for us–fantastic camping, rewarding hiking, good beer and delicious tacos. One activity we missed was exploring historic Jonesborough, which looks quaint and lovely, but we prioritized enjoying our sweet campsite over driving more. We’ll just have to go back!


dog sleeping at riverpark campground jonesborough
dog sleeping at riverpark campground jonesborough

We stayed at Riverpark Campground (it’s just past River View Campground; don’t get confused and fret about where you can turn your giant trailer around) in a waterfront spot on the Nolichucky River, and absolutely loved it. We could sit in our “yard” and watch the kayakers go by, or climb down the slightly rocky bank into the chilly river and play with Bugsy, then warm up by the campfire. Our site had full hookups, and the laundry room was clean. We were about a 20 minute drive from surprisingly cosmopolitan Johnson City.


lone oak to tip top hike
dog hiking

On our first afternoon in Jonesborough, we didn’t have a ton of time but wanted to get into the woods for a quick hike close to home. We chose the Lone Oak to Tip Top route, only a few miles long and a few minutes’ drive from the campground, in Buffalo Mountain Park, a natural resource area owned by Johnson City. It gave us pretty views from the top, but most of the climb up was an overgrown jungle. Still, it was awfully convenient, and we were happy to be back on a trail.

laurel falls hike dog by river
laurel falls
dog swimming by laurel falls cherokee national forest
laurel falls hike dog in river

The next day we hiked a lovely 6.5 miles (the hike as designed is 5.5 miles, but we took a wrong turn…) to the impressive Laurel Falls, in the Cherokee National Forest, from Hampton, TN. Bugsy the water dog especially enjoyed herself and entertained the other hikers with her antics in the pool beneath the falls (^can you spot her in the second falls picture?). On a weekday in early June, we saw several other groups on the trail, but didn’t have much company as we relaxed by the falls. This hike was a winner.

Eating and Drinking

white duck tacos johnson city
white duck tacos johnson city

Super exciting surprise–Johnson City has a White Duck Taco Shop!!!!!! We loved it moons ago in Asheville at the start of the trip and we still loved it here–so much so that we ate there twice during our two day stay in the area.

white duck tacos and yeehaw beer

And it gets better: White Duck in Johnson City is connected to Yeehaw Brewing Co, so we could sample Yeehaw’s beer while gorging on tacos. All of this amazingness happened on a dog-friendly patio, with Bugsy waiting patiently under the table for bits of unwanted taco (there were none).

J, per usual, wrote an excellent summary of our brewery findings on the Johnson City brewery page.

JRH brewing hop infusion

Yeehaw had the tacos going for it, but we preferred JRH Brewing for the better (to us) beers and chatting with the friendly proprietors in the dog-friendly taproom. They offered a neat (gimmicky, perhaps) extra I hadn’t seen before: for a dollar or two (I don’t remember exactly) you can get a tea infuser-full of the hops of your choice, to steep in your beer and give it an extra kick.

breakfast by the nolichucky river

Finally, we hit reliably pleasant and healthy Earth Fare market for groceries to cook at home while enjoying our fabulous campsite.


4 responses to “Two days in Jonesborough, TN–Big Trip #1”

  1. […] is Tennessee’s oldest town and has a lovely preserved Main Street. We spent a couple days in Jonesborough four years ago and loved our campground and the hiking–but we never actually made it into the […]

  2. […] yes, I am quite behind in my posts. We are close to home now, in Tennessee, and will be in Virginia in less than a week. Writing up our trip details requires internet, and […]

  3. […] Number of campgrounds / campsites: 42. Our favorites were in Page (Lone Rock Beach), Santa Fe, Dixie National Forest, Valley of the Gods, Houghton, and Jonesborough. […]

  4. […] a small regional chain based in Asheville. We hit it anywhere we can find it, like Greenville SC, Johnson City TN (twice), and Charleston […]

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