New River Trail is a 57-mile linear park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. The park parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles and passes through four counties and the city of Galax. The trail's gentle slope makes it great for visitors of all ages to hike, bike and ride horseback. Several places in the park provide horse, canoe and bike rentals, boat launches and gift shops. Fishing is popular, and primitive camping sites dot the trail. The park hosts a horse arena, and guided horseback trips are available. There are access points to the trail at Allisonia, Cliffview, Draper, Dora Junction (near Pulaski), Foster Falls, Fries, Galax, Hiwassee and Ivanhoe. Horse trailer parking is available at Allisonia, Austinville, Cliffview, Dora Junction, Draper, Fries and Foster Falls.
- Two tunnels: 135 feet and 193 feet long
- Three major bridges: Hiwassee - 951 feet; Ivanhoe - 670 feet; Fries Junction - 1,089 feet
- Nearly 30 smaller bridges and trestles
- A historic shot tower used more than 200 years ago to make ammunition
New River Trail State Park has three primitive campgrounds: Cliffview, Millrace and Double Shoals. There's no vehicular access to the campsites and no showers or bathhouses.
Cliffview Campground (Carroll County near Galax) is a trailside campground with primitive tent camping only. It overlooks Chestnut Creek. Access is from the Dannelly Fitness Complex parking lot and across a footbridge (no direct vehicle access). Ten primitive campsites are available. Three horse campsites are available with an enclosed area for the horses. There are no covered stalls. Horse campers must park trailers at the Cliffview Ranger Station, which is about one mile from the campground. Horses may not cross the Dannelly Complex footbridge. Note: This campground is 24 miles from the Millrace Campground.
All sites are timbered and marked. Each site has a fire ring, lantern post, picnic table, access to the New River Trail and non-flush toilet. Drinking water is available. One site, CV001, is universally accessible and is reserved last if not required for a disabled camper.
Reservations are required. Same day reservations are permitted. Campers must leave their confirmation letter on their car's dashboard for overnight parking. Campers will need access to a fax machine or will need to pick up the letter at the Cliffview office if there is insufficient time to receive the letter by mail.
Note: Running water at Cliffview Campground is shut off November through March. Customers must bring water during that time.
Number of sites of each type: Primitive Tent, 10; Primitive Horse, 3
CV001-CV010: Site CV001 is universally accessible and is the last to be rented if not required by a disabled guest.
CVH011-CVH013: Horse sites - There is an enclosed area for the horses. The area is available at no additional charge.
Millrace Campground (Wythe County at Foster Falls). This campground overlooks the New River. There is no vehicular access to the campground. There is a short hike to the sites from the parking lot. There are 21 primitive tent camping sites. Note: This campground is 24 miles from Cliffview Campground.
All sites are timbered and marked. Each has a fire ring, lantern post, picnic table, access to the New River Trail and non-flush toilet. Drinking water is available. One site, MR012, is universally accessible and is reserved last if not required for a disabled camper. There is no life-guarded swimming. The New River's current is unpredictable and potentially dangerous; underwater hazards are possible.
Reservations are required. Same day reservations are permitted. Campers must leave their confirmation letter on their dashboard for overnight parking. Campers will need access to a fax machine or need to pick up the letter at the Foster Falls office if there is insufficient time to receive the letter by mail.
Directions: From I-77, take Exit 24. Go east on State Route 69 to SR 52. Go north to SR 608. Go east and follow signs.
Number of sites of each type: Primitive Tent, 21
MR001-MR021: Site MR012 is ADA (universally accessible). This site is reserved last if not required by disabled citizen.
Double Shoals Campground is an honor system campground. First-come, first-served and no reservations. Two primitive sites only. Campers must bring their own water. It is part of the New River Canoe Trail and is accessible only by river or trail. The Town of Fries is the closest access. Location is mile marker P-40 on the Fries branch of New River Trail State Park.
The 57-mile multi-use trail is great for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. Those seeking extra adventure will love the Hoover Mountain Biking Area. It has five loops with seven trails, which are off-limits for horses and golf carts. All trails are rated easy or moderate. Access is between the Allisonia Boat Ramp and Hiwassee River Bridge on Julia Simpkins Road in Allisonia.
There are no designated swimming areas, but tubing the New River is popular here. Call the Foster Falls Boat and Bike Livery at 276-699-1034 to rent tubes.
This linear park parallels a 39-mile stretch of the New River. Boat ramps are available at Allisonia, Foster Falls and Austinville. The river supports outstanding populations of just about every major freshwater game fish in the state. You’ll find smallmouth bass, spotted bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, striped bass, white bass, hybrid striped bass, muskellunge, walleye, black crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, yellow perch, redbreast sunfish and bluegill. State records caught in the New River include muskellunge (45 pounds, 8 ounces), smallmouth bass (8 pounds, 1 ounce) and yellow perch (2 pounds, 7 ounces). The state record spotted bass came (3 pounds, 10 ounces) from nearby Claytor Lake. The New River is bound to yield many more record-setting catches in the future.
The park also rents kayaks and canoes at the Foster Falls Boat and Bike Livery, opened seasonally Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from April to Memorial Day, open seven days a week Memorial Day to Labor Day and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays again from Labor Day through October. For more information please call 276-699-1034.
Guided trail rides are available April through October (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). Call Foster Falls Horse Livery, 276-699-2460, for rates and reservations. Bringing your own horse? Except for a two-mile section from Galax to Cliffview, the trail is available for horseback riding. Equestrian campsites are available at the Cliffview campground. No stalls or covered area for horses but there are hitching posts. Horse trailers for day-use access must be parked at the Austinville, Cliffview, Draper, Fries, Ivanhoe, Pulaski (Dora Junction) and Mark E. Hufeisen Horse Complex (Foster Falls) entrances only. State law requires that visitors carry a copy of a negative Coggins report with each horse brought to the park.
The Mark E. Hufeisen Horse Complex, which opened in 2008, is one of two such state-owned facilities in Virginia. It's the only rentable arena in Wythe County.
The complex sits on 16.5 acres and has a 170 by 250 foot arena with a calf-roping shoot box and back pins, bleacher seating for 600 spectators, and spectator and participant parking.
The complex can be rented for special events for a full day or half a day. Amenities included in the rental are the grounds, gate fee, concession building (which includes a refrigerator and microwave), announcer’s booth, tractor and drag, barrels and poles. The arena has seven 4,500-watt light poles around it.
Visitors may also bring their own horse and ride in the arena for $5 a day.
The Mark E. Hufeisen Horse Complex is easily accessible off of Interstate 77. Take exit 24, Poplar Camp, to Rt. 69 Lead Mines Road to Highway 52 north. About 2 miles later, turn right onto Foster Falls Road and take the first left.
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