Just below Watauga Dam on the Horseshoe section of the Watauga River is the TVA Wilbur Dam, an impoundment which forms a much smaller but very deep reservoir known as Wilbur Lake that releases approximately 130 cubic feet per second of discharged water back into the Watauga River during the summer months.
The Watauga River flows generally north and then west into Carter County where it forms the northern limits of Elizabethton, where the Watauga then receives the Doe River. Further downstream on the Watauga River at the boundary between Carter County and Washington County is the old TVA Watauga Steam Plant.
A considerable portion of the boundary line between Washington County and Sullivan County is formed by the Watauga River. Boone Lake is located below the slackwater confluence of both the downstream end of the Watauga River and the South Holston River.
The original settlers of Nashville, Tennessee, set out from the Watauga River area, called the Watauga Association, during the American Revolution when they realized that the British Proclamation of 1763 forbidding settlement of its colonists west of the Blue Ridge Mountains was essentially unenforceable.
Wibur Dam is the site of first hydroelectric dam constructed in Tennessee (beginning in 1909), going online with power production and distribution in 1912. It was constructed by the former Tennessee Electric Power Company, a privately-owned utility purchased by TVA in the late 1930s. Elizabethton acquired the moniker "City of Power" because of the early local access to hydro-generated electricity from Wilbur Dam.
For commercial whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Watauga River, the most popular Carter County "put-in" for is immediately downstream of the TVA Wilbur Dam, and the most popular "take-out" is 2 to 2 1/2 hours downstream (depending upon the volume of the reservor release and other factors) at the Blackbottom riverside portion of the city linear trail park in Elizabethton. The distance afloat for paddlers from the put-in at Wilbur Dam to the Blackbottom take-out is approximately seven miles with landmarks along the Watauga River providing good estimate of time and distance traveled: Wilbur Dam to Bee Cliff Rapids - 15 minutes; Wilbur Dam to Siam Bridge - 40 minutes; Wilbur Dam to Hunter Bridge (TWRA put-in/take out) - 70 minutes; Wilbur Dam to Gilbert Peters Bridge at US 19-E in Elizabethton - 100 minutes; Wilbur Dam to Bristol Bridge in Elizabethton - 130 minutes.
The Watauga also has a section of Class 5 whitewater popular with expert kayakers, upstream of Watauga lake. This section requires significant rainfall to bring it up to runnable levels. It features continuous steep boulder bed rapids dropping up to 150 feet per mile, and several runnable (by experts) falls and ledges.
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The Tennessee Valley Authority maintains a self-service public campground below Watauga Dam. Amenities at the TVA Watauga Dam Tailwater Campground include 29 camp sites with electric hookups; rest rooms with heated showers and flush toilets; canoe access to the Wilbur Reservoir; paved vehicle access, and boat ramps.
Friday Night Football: The Early Report, Including Northwest-Quince Orchard, Broad Run-Stone Bridge, Meade-Arundel (Posted 2013-11-23 04:18:51) ; It's the Second Week of Playoff Football for Maryland and Virginia Public Schools. Here's a First Look at Friday's Results
Nov 23, 2013; It's Week 2 of the playoffs in Maryland and Virginia as local schools continue the march toward a state title. We'll have...