This spring runs between the D.P. Culp Student Center and Sherrod Library on the ETSU campus.

Summer has officially arrived … and along with it, high temperatures and humidity. 

Staying indoors in the AC all the time isn’t healthy, or feasible. But how can ETSU students cool off when the temps are in the 80s and 90s?

Jump into the water, of course! But unless you live in a home or housing complex with access to a pool – or have friends or family with a pool – where can you go? Put on some good sunscreen and head out to one of these great public facilities near ETSU:

  • Johnson City Parks & Recreation’s Aquatics and Pools division operates several pools and other fun water activities:
    • The Legion Street Pool, 111 Legion Street, includes a 50-meter outdoor pool with a diving well, a diving board and a small slide.
    • The Memorial Park Community Center Pool, 510 Bert Street, has three pools – a teaching pool, a therapy pool and a 25-yard lap pool.
    • The Kenneth “Herb” Greenlee Splash Pad at Carver Park (322 W. Watauga Ave.) and the Rotary Park Splash Pad (1001 N. Broadway St.) are also available each day from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Tennessee’s Oldest Town, Jonesborough, is home to Wetlands Water Park, located at 1523 Persimmon Ridge Road. This complex boasts a rain tree, three flume slides, water bubblers, tumble buckets, a lazy river and much more.
  • The Kingsport Aquatic Center at 1820 Meadowview Parkway offers two waterslides, the Eastman Credit Union Lazy River, a climbing structure/play area with water cannons, a lily pad crossing, an outdoor lap pool and other features for fun in the sun. It also boasts the indoor HMG Competition Pool, the region’s only Olympic-size, eight-lane, 50-meter multipurpose pool.

For those who might like to combine fun in the water with a hike, here are a few additional options:

  • Blue Hole Falls near Elizabethton features a waterfall and swimming hole. 
  • Laurel Fork Falls in Hampton is billed as one of the most popular waterfalls in Northeast Tennessee. “It’s a wonderful hike and there are no hills to climb, just a whole lot of creek crossings, including a couple that can be above the knees if the water is running high,” said Doug Janz, an ETSU alumnus and avid hiker who wrote an outdoors column for a weekly publication of the Kingsport Times-News for 10 years. “Go when it’s hot weather, prepare to get wet, be careful and have fun!”
  • Cardens Bluff Campground in Carter County has nearby day-use areas for those who wish to take a dip in beautiful Watauga Lake.
  • Across the North Carolina state line in Elk Park is Elk River Falls, a 50-foot waterfall with a large pool within easy walking distance from parking.
  • Scott County, Virginia, is home to the Devil’s Bathtub, a series of small waterfalls and a swimming hole that resembles a bathtub, with multiple trails to hike.


East Tennessee State University was founded in 1911 with a singular mission: to improve the quality of life for people in the region and beyond. Through its world-class health sciences programs and interprofessional approach to health care education, ETSU is a highly respected leader in rural health research and practices. The university also boasts nationally ranked programs in the arts, technology, computing, and media studies. ETSU serves approximately 14,000 students each year and is ranked among the top 10 percent of colleges in the nation for students graduating with the least amount of debt.

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