Watauga River

The Watauga River flows westward from Grandfather Mountain, NC into Tennessee, providing world-class trout fishing as well as rafting and kayaking opportunities before ultimately emptying into Boone Lake near Johnson City. The tailwater, hosting a majority of activity, begins below Wilbur Dam in Elizabethton, TN and holds the designation of a trophy stream in the lower section. For up-to-date information on water levels, visit Tennessee Valley Authority’s lake levels page.


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Wilbur is a hidden gem for fisherman, paddlers, and anyone looking for a quiet spot to relax. Formed by the tailwater of Watauga Dam and impounded by the smaller Wilbur...
Large shade trees scattered throughout grassy areas provide a park setting for picnicking and sunbathing. In addition to picnic facilities, there is a lake and a gravel trail that loops...
Watauga Dam, completed in 1948, created a reservoir which is used for fishing, boating, swimming, and other recreational activities in addition to flood control and hydroelectric power through the TVA....