Watoga State Park’s name comes from the Cherokee word for “starry waters.” The park opened to the public in July 1937. Before then, it was a state forest designated as a wildlife and timber preserve. Work on developing the forest into a park began in 1934, but improvements stopped during World War II. After the war, work on the park resumed, and the first camping area opened in 1953, and eight deluxe cabins opened in 1956. Recreational use of the park increased during the 60s and 70s, requiring the addition of another camping area. Improvements and additions to the park continue to this day, with growing interest in outdoor activities and cabin lodging.