The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook

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New River State Park

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    One of the oldest rivers in the world, the New River is designated as a National Wild and Scenic River and an American Heritage River. At the New River State Park, it is possible to canoe the more than 26 miles of the river’s South Fork, embarking for your journey from any of three access points. A trip down the gentle New River promises excellent canoeing and picnicking as well as inspiring mountain scenery. The park itself encompasses 1,580 acres and is located in Ashe and Alleghany counties.
    The park has a number of hiking trails, picnic areas including a 12-table covered picnic shelter with fireplace and grill, and a community building which includes a large meeting room, kitchen facilities, and restrooms. The community building is available for rent per day and is often used for family reunions and other groups’ meetings.
    Canoe camping is very popular on the New River and the three access areas provide over 30 canoe-in or walk-in primitive campgrounds with tables and grills. Pit toilets and drinking water are located nearby. Campers must first register with the park staff or at registration boxes. Campsites require a small fee.
    Easy paddling and beautiful scenery make canoeing the New River a spectacular and rewarding trip. Gentle waters with some rapids make it fun for both beginning and advanced paddlers. Canoes may be launched at the three access sites as well as from several bridges and roadways that cross the river.

Website: New River State Park
Jefferson, NC
Distance: 2˝-3 hours from Asheville
Address: 1477 Wagoner Access Rd., Jefferson, NC 28640
Telephone: Park Office: 336-982-2587
Hours: November-February 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; March & October 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; April, May, & September 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; June-August 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Closed Christmas. Gates remain locked after hours.
Fees: Small fees for camping only
Allow: Depending on activities, can range from a few hours to days
Of Note: Wheelchair-accessible picnic shelter and restrooms available at Wagoner Rd. Access Area.
Tips: Drive-up access areas are at Wagoner Rd. and US 221. There is an access area at river mile one, Alleghany Access Area, that can only be reached by canoe.
Nearby: Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, Ben Long Frescoes
Directions: From Asheville, take I-40 East to Hickory. From there, take US 321 North through Blowing Rock and West Jefferson to US 221 to Jefferson. Wagoner Access Rd. off NC 88 can reach the Wagoner Rd. Access Area, which is eight miles southeast of Jefferson, 1.2 miles east of the intersection of NC 16 and NC 88. The US 221 Access Area, at river mile 15, is located eight miles northeast of Jefferson.

Wild & Furry Animals of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, by Lee James Pantas






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