New River

The New River is an ancient body of water, the oldest in North America and second only to the Nile in Africa.


Throughout its journey in Virginia, the New River flows through spectacular mountain scenery, craggy rock cliffs, and magnificent gorges. The river provides whitewater rafting with several major Class II-III rapids and an abundance of flatwater for tubing, canoeing, and kayaking.


The New River supports populations of just about every major freshwater game fish in the state.


New River Trail State Park parallels the river for over 50 miles from Pulaski to Fries and Galax, allowing hikers, horseback riders, and bicyclists to take in the beauty of the river as it sweeps through southwestern Virginia. The historical Shot Tower State Park near Jackson Ferry provides a glimpse of how lead mined nearby was melted and dropped 75 feet into water to make ammunition for early settlers. The 4,500-acre Claytor Lake in Pulaski County was created out of the river in 1939 by a hydroelectric dam and is now a popular vacation spot. Claytor State Park adjoins the lake, providing campgrounds, cottages, a marina, and hiking trails for visitors.


Northward the river becomes more adventurous, with rapids that delight kayakers and rafters, fishing for muskie, and more, including spectacular views from Castle Rock.