Buckhorn Reservoir is a reservoir in Wilson County, North Carolina created by the Buckhorn Dam. The reservoir is the primary water supply for the city of Wilson, North Carolina. The original Buckhorn Dam was built in 1974, 1,000 feet (300 m) upstream from the current dam. The reservoir at that time only had the ability to contain 800 million US gallons (3,000,000 m3) of water. In 1999, a new dam was constructed downstream from the older dam creating a reservoir with a much larger capacity. The new Buckhorn Reservoir covers an area of 2,300 acres (9.3 km2), and has a capacity of 7 billion US gallons (26,000,000 m3) when fully filled. The dam itself is one-half mile long and was built with expansion in mind. The top of the dam was built to an elevation of 159 feet (48 m) above sea level, however the lake is only filled to the 148-foot (45 m) elevation. The dam is capable of holding another 6 feet (1.8 m) of water, but that would require changes to the spillway design. A recent drought in 2007 caused the reservoir to drop to the 60% capacity level, which has elevated the issue of increasing the capacity of the lake. The reservoir is fed by two streams, Turkey Creek and Moccasin Creek. Water to be treated is not drawn from the reservoir itself, rather the outflow from the dam travels down Contentnea Creek to the Wiggins Mill reservoir, where the water is treated at the Wiggins Mill Water Treatment Plant
1974: The first Buckhorn dam was built with the ability to contain 800 million gallons of water. The reservoir put 700 acres of land under water. The project cost $1.4 million. 1999: The Buckhorn dam was broken and a new half-mile long dam was built 1,000 feet downstream. The reservoir was renamed Buckhorn Lake to better reflect its water capacity and increased recreational opportunities. The lake has a 7-billion gallon capacity with 2,300 acres underwater and surrounded by 3,200 acres of land. The project cost $42 million. The remaining city debt for Buckhorn is $18.3 million with an expected payoff date in June 2023. Water customers pay 25 to 35 percent of their bill toward the debt. Buckhorn Lake is located in western Wilson County near the Rock Ridge community, served by Rock Ridge General Store. Turkey Creek and Mocassin Creek feed into Buckhorn at the north and Buckhorn flows downstream into Contentnea Creek. As water is released into Contentnea Creek, it is pumped downstream to the Wiggins Mill reservoir and treated at the Wiggins Mill Plant before reaching the tap.
Buckhorn Reservoir in North Carolina
Nearest City: Wilson, NC Difficulty: Beginner Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water Buckhorn is a 2,300 Acre lake that has plenty of room to paddle around; it is surrounded by vegetation and wild life.
Accommodations: There are three boat ramps and a concession stand with restrooms. Nearby Rock Ridge General Store has fishing supplies, bait, ice, drinks, and more.
Fees: $5 boating fee
Directions: 8200 Rock Ridge RD Rock Ridge, NCCoordinates: 3541′29″N 07807′12″W