- Canoe more than 26 miles of the South Fork of the New River, one of the oldest rivers in the world. The waterway is designated as a National Wild and Scenic River and American Heritage River. Embark upon this gentle river from any of three access points for fishing, picnicking, camping and inspiring mountain scenery.
Copyright: North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation
New River State Park
Park Hours: November-February 8 am-6 pm; March and October 8 am - 7 pm; April, May, September 8 am - 8 pm; June-August 8 am - 9 pm. Office hours: 8 am-5 pm Monday through Friday. Gates will remain locked, except in emergency situations, when the park is not in operation. Please plan accordingly. The park is closed Christmas Day.
Recreation - Camping and picnicking are available at Wagoner Road Access. Campers may park and carry their supplies to the nine campsites, or canoe downstream to a take-out ramp at the campground. Thirty-three tables and 14 grills are available for picnicking. Restrooms and drinking water are available nearby at the park office. A 12-table, covered picnic shelter with fireplace and grill is available for group gatherings. Reservations are suggested. This area provides wheelchair accessible picnic shelter and restrooms. This access location does offer one short loop trail between SR 1590 Wagoner Road and the campground.
Camping and picnicking at Allegheny Access may be reached only by canoe offering eight sites. Four picnic tables may be found in an open meadow. A pit toilet and drinking water are provided.
Camping and picnicking at US 221 access offers five primitive canoe campsites. There is a small picnic area at the main parking lot downstream from the campground with 14 tables and 3 grills. Water is available as well as a pit toilet. This area also offers a community building which includes a large meeting room, kitchen facilities and restrooms. Fee: $125 per day. Contact the park office about reserving this area for your next family reunion or organization meeting.
Fishing is a favorite recreation along this river. The south and north forks of the river provide some of the best smallmouth and redeye bass fishing in the region. Trout fishing is excellent in the smaller, faster moving tributaries which are designated trout waters and are stocked regularly with rainbow and brown trout. Muskellunge have also been stocked. Regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission must be obeyed.
Easy paddling and beautiful scenery make canoeing the New River a spectacular trip. Gentle waters with some rapids make it fun for the beginner as well as the more experienced paddler. Canoeists may leave their vehicles and launch canoes at the Wagoner Road Access, or at the US 221 Access. Canoes may also be launched from several bridges and roadways that cross the river. The park does not provide canoe rentals, however, private rentals are close by.
The park does offer interpretive programs telling about the oldest river in the U.S. and the second oldest in the world. Contact the park office for a calendar of events.
Campers must register at the campsite with park staff or at registration boxes. A small fee is charged.
Cultural history programs are offered periodically throughout the year, these programs focus on the architecture, archaeology and musical history of the New River region. Environmental Educational Learning Experience (EELE)--The Old New River. Grades: 6, 7 and 8. It introduces students to basic river ecology and focuses on the uniqueness of the New River. Major concepts covered include: water quality, aquatic sampling, endangered species, aquatic plants and animals, indicator species and stewardship.
Food and Drink is available from vending machines.
Climate - Winter daytime temperatures average below 36 degrees Fahrenheit (below 2 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures average below 76 degrees Fahrenheit (below 24 Celsius). The state has a fairly wet climate with an average precipitation for this area averaging 44 to 48 inches (112 to 122 centimeters).
New River State Park is located in Ashe and Alleghany counties in the northwestern tip of the state. The Wagoner Road Access, at river mile 26, is located eight miles southeast of Jefferson. It can be reached by Wagoner Access Road off NC 88, 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, and may be reached by US 221. The Alleghany Access Area is at river mile 1 and may only be reached by canoe.