Forged by mountains, river, and America’s desire for progress, the 57-mile New River Trail State Park provides you unparalleled opportunities for physical intellectual and spiritual adventures.
A walk with a view
Family vacations are fun but sometimes they require a little planning. Our oldest two girls are only two years apart in age. That is generally pretty easy to handle. But the baby is five years younger. Five years really doesn't’t sound like that much of an age difference until you are trying to plan a trip to entertain a 13,11 and six year old! Their interests and abilities are very different. It is a juggling act. But there are places to visit that are great for people of all ages and ability levels:
New River Trail State Park is such a place!
Just an 1 ½ hours from Winston-Salem, NC and 1 ½ - 2 hours from Charlotte, NC, the park is a Rails to Trails park, which means the trail itself is created from an old railroad bed. Along with the railroad history, it means the trail is fairly flat. It is perfect for a bike with training wheels or for more adventurous riders and for parents needing to keep an eye on both.
Along the trail there are two tunnels, three major bridges and 29 smaller bridges and trestles. New River Trail stretches for 57 miles and runs through four counties and one city. Obviously, a six year old (or older) may not ride all 57 miles in a day. But the park’s eleven access points allows for a new adventure every day.
Memories are made on days like this!
If you get tired of bikes, don’t worry. The park rents canoes, kayaks and inner-tubes for floating the river. The park even runs a shuttle to and from designated access points. I realize everyone is not the same, but for me, water has a tranquil element that helps to rejuvenate me. I love the sensation of floating down a river. My husband however, loves the excitement of catching a bass! Both are possible on this stretch of river.
Floating away your cares
What's for dinner?
I do recognize that not everyone wants to float down a river to relax. For some it takes more adventure. The park is open to equestrian use. You can bring your own horses. If you are more of a novice rider, the park has two (a long and a short) guided trail ride with horses for rent. They even have pony rides for small children.
Take a look at some of what you can expect to see on this trail ride:
A day out with friends
A day of solitude
Never too young to ride
After a long day of floating, riding, and hiking, of course, you will need to just plan on camping at the park.
1) New River Trail has four campgrounds throughout the park. One campground, Baker’s Islands, is only accessible by canoe.
2) Millrace Campground is located at Foster Falls and is on the river’s edge.
3) The Cliffview campground is trailside. It is located on the south end of the park near Galax, VA.
4) The last but not least is the Double Shoals Campground is a four site campground that is first come first serve. It is only accessible by river or trail and campers must bring in their own water.
All four campgrounds have primitive campsites only. Before you decide on the campground that’s right for you, please take a moment to look here for more detailed information about each. After your adventures of the day, fall asleep to the sound of a rolling river, tree frogs, and maybe even a crackling campfire.
Spend the night with us
WSLS-TV out of Roanoke, VA, came to the park. This video will help give you a taste of the great fun and adventure you can expect when you visit New River Trail State Park:
The great thing in Virginia is that every few weeks you can have a new experience along the trail. Next week Patrick McFall, Visitor Experience Specialist for VA State Parks will talk about some of the spring flowers in bloom.