Site Directions: From Hwy 19E in Elizabethton, go north on Hwy 91. At 1.2 mile you will pass Great Lakes Pond on the right.
Continuing on for 1.8 miles, turn right onto Blue Springs Road (at the traffic light). In 1.0 mile turn right on Steele Bridge Road, cross the bridge over the Watauga River, and continue straight following the river (the road becomes Wilbur Dam Road).
Soon you will come to Wilbur Dam.
Lat-Long: 36.3413, -82.12297
Hours: daylight hours primarily
Site Description: Wilbur Lake is a very small reservoir on the Watauga River, just below Watauga Dam. Beginning at Wilbur Dam, there are several parking lots.
Just before crossing the bridge over the lake is a short road on the right that leads up to a small church.
After crossing the bridge, the road forks. The right fork continues beside Wilbur Lake, ending at a seasonal campground.
Wilbur Lake is easily scanned from many spots along this short route.
The left fork of the road goes up over Iron Mountain ending at the overlook and visitor center (restrooms available) for Watauga Dam.
The Appalachian Trail runs along the crest of Iron Mountain, crossing the road.
Wildlife to Watch: This site is probably best known for its wintering ducks. Bufflehead may number up to 200+. Smaller numbers of Mallard, American Black Duck, Gadwall, Ring-necked Duck, and Lesser Scaup can usually be seen.
One or two Bald Eagles often winter here; they are most often seen at the upper end of Wilbur but may move up to Watauga Lake at times.
Spring brings transient and nesting warblers, vireos, thrushes, etc. Yellow-throated Warblers nest in tall pines along the lakeshore, particularly near the bridge and up toward the church.
Beavers, or at least their lodge and cuttings, may be seen on Wilbur near the bridge.