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
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
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.
New River State Park
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
State Natural Area,
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