New River State Park

Quick Facts

New River State Park

North Carolina

(336) 982-2587

Map Directions

Things To Do


Rugged hillsides, pastoral meadows and farmlands surround what is believed to be one of the oldest rivers in North America - the New River. Its waters are slow and placid. Its banks are fertile and covered with wildflowers. Dedicated as a National Scenic River in 1976, this gentle river is the centerpiece of New River State Park.

The New River area still maintains an old-fashioned charm. Mountain roads are narrow and winding, dotted with small farms, churches and country stores. The river itself is tranquil, offering good bass fishing, trout streams, excellent birding and inspiring mountain scenery. But perhaps the best way to absorb and appreciate the river's peacefulness is from the seat of a canoe as it glides across the slow-moving waters. Four areas with access to this waterway make up more than 2,200 acres of New River State Park and provide spots for camping, canoeing, picnicking and fishing.

Map of New River (NC)

Latitude, Longitude: 36.561631, -81.323210



  • Boating

    Easy paddling and spectacular scenery make the New River a natural canoe trail for inexperienced paddlers. Its shallow, gentle waters and mild rapids are perfect for beginners, families and groups, but even expert paddlers return again and again to experience the river's beauty and tranquility. Contact the park office for outfitter tube and canoe rentals.

  • Camping

    Wagoner Road Access Area offers 10 primitive campsites and bathroom facilities with hot-water showers. A group campsite is also available that can accommodate up to 40 campers.

    In addition to 15 primitive canoe-in campsites, the US 221 Access also offers a 20 site drive-in campground with a dump station, bathroom facilities and hot-water showers. All 20 sites have electricity and 10 offer full-hookups. Two sites are handicapped accessible.

    Alleghany County Access, which has eight canoe campsites, is accessible only by canoe and has pit toilets and a pump for drinking water.

  • Fishing

    Cast your line from the river banks and reel in tonight's dinner. The south and north forks of the river provide some of the best smallmouth and redeye bass fishing in the region. The south fork downstream from the US 221 bridge is stocked with muskellunge. Trout fishing is excellent in the smaller, faster tributaries, most of which are designated general trout waters and are stocked regularly with rainbow and brown trout. Anglers need a state fishing license and should obey the regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

  • Hiking

    Explore the diverse riparian habitat found along the New River at any of the state park access areas. Wagoner Road Access features the Fern Nature Trail, a one-mile, self-guided nature trail. To add another mile to your hike, connect to the Running Cedar Trail. For a spectacular view of the river, hike the one-mile Hickory Trail at US 221 Access Area. The most diverse habitats of the park can be found along the Farm House Loop Trail at Alleghany Access Area. Walk through open fields, rhododendron thickets and oak/hickory woodlands for a beautiful view of the cliffs across the river

  • Historic Sites

    Archaeological investigations in the New River valley suggest the presence of humans in the region for at least 10,000 years. Artifacts such as arrowheads, pottery shards and stone axes indicate that the Canawhay Indian tribe occupied the valley during the pre-colonial period. The valley also was a hunting ground for bands of Creek, Shawnee and Cherokee Indians.

  • Picnicking

    Wagoner Road Access Area has a 10-table covered shelter with grills and a fireplace. The shelter is available for group gatherings and may be reserved. A grove of apple trees provides a canopy for 13 tables and two grills.

    The US 221 Access Area, located at river mile 15, has a small picnic area downstream from the campground. Bathrooms are located between the campground and the picnic area. An 8-table shelter with a grill is also available by reservation.

    Three picnic tables are provided in an open meadow at the Alleghany County Access Area, located at river mile 1 near the Virginia border. This area can be reached only by canoe.

  • Water Sports

    Enjoy canoeing!



New River State Park is located in both Ashe and Alleghany counties. The US 221 Access Area is located at river mile 15 and is the location of the Visitor Center and Park Headquarters.

US 221 Access Area/Park Headquarters: Traveling west on I 40 from Eastern North Carolina, take US 421 N at Winston Salem, stay on US-421 N thru Wilkesboro, turn north on US 221 N at Deep Gap. After driving through Jefferson, turn onto US 221/16 N. Travel north approximately 4.7 miles to Tom Fowler Road. Turn right and go to the stop sign (1.3 miles). Turn left onto US-221, go 2.7 miles, park entrance is on the right.

Traveling east on I-40 from western North Carolina, take US 221 N., after driving through Jefferson, turn on US 221/16 N. Travel north approximately 4.7 miles to Tom Fowler Road. Turn right and go to the stop sign (1.3) miles. Turn left onto US 221, go 2.7 miles. The entrance to the access is on the right before crossing the New River.

From I-77, take US 421 N. Turn north onto US 221 at Deep Gap. Drive through Jefferson, turn onto US 221/16 N. Travel north approximately 4.7 miles to Tom Fowler Road. Turn right and go to the stop sign (1.3) miles. Turn left onto US 221, go 2.7 miles. The entrance to the access is on the right before crossing the New River.

Wagoner Road Access: Traveling from Visitor Center/Park Headquarters, turn left onto US-221. Follow US-221 (2.7 miles) to East Shatley Springs Road. Turn right onto East Shatley Springs Road and stay straight as road becomes Tom Fowler Road. Turn left onto NC-16 S, going toward Jefferson. At the stop sign,turn left onto NC-16S/88E and go approximately 3 miles crossing Walter Sheets Bridge. After crossing the bridge go approximately 1.5 miles and turn left at Wagoner Baptist Church, onto Wagoner Access Road. Follow Wagoner Access Road to park entrance.

Kings Creek Access Area: The Kings Creek Access Area is located at river mile 7. From the Visitor Center/Park Headquarter, turn left onto US-221. Follow US-221 to Hwy 16. Turn right onto Hwy 16 N., toward Mouth of Wilson. Follow 16 North to Overpass Ramp Road. Turn right, then turn right at the end of the ramp, and follow to the Chestnut Hill Road. Turn right onto Chestnut Hill Road, follow to George McMillian Road. Turn left onto George McMillian Road and follow to Kings Creek Road. Turn right across the river, Kings Creek Access is on the left.

Other Park Access: The Alleghany County Access Area at river mile 1, and other state park properties may be reached only by canoe.

Phone Numbers


(336) 982-2587