We paddled this section of the South Fork and New river on the 4th of July but went back on the 6th to paddle it when there wasn't as much river traffic (tubers, canoes, kayakers, and campers).
We put in at the Riverside Canoe outfitters (www.riversidecanoeing.com) at Kings Access. The river was running at a height of 2.45 and flow of 467 at the Jefferson Gage. This is just about perfect for a run. At a height of 2.3 the shoals/Class I's require more maneuvering and a little water reading. Our destination was 9 miles downstream to the VA highway 93 bridge.
The South Fork of the New River meets the confluence of the North Fork of the New River about half way along the run and forms the New River.
The scenery during the first part of the trip is beautiful NC Mountains with homes and campgrounds. Today everything was quiet except the bubbling of the river and the morning birds. As you travel downstream the river changes from shoals to include more large rocks and the banks get steeper. The rocks were great for eddy turns and fairing practice.
When we reached the confluence of the North Fork of the New we paddled upstream a short distance to surf and play in a nice Class I rapid.
Once on the New River the river becomes wider but not necessarily deeper. The shoreline becomes steeper with large rock formations as you approach the New River State Park. The park is a good place to stop and take a break. The view in this area is gorgeous with towering rock cliffs and blooming rhododendrons on the East side of the river (right) and the State Park on the West.
There are a couple of islands that split the river before the takeout at the 93 bridge. One could navigate either side however at lower water levels the left side may be the better choice.
The 93 bridge takeout is on either side of the bridge and the parking lot is right on the river.
This river trip is fun for the entire family.
Easy put in and bathrooms at Kings Access.
HWY 221 North from Jefferson NC. North on HWY 16 turn East on Old HWY 16. Follow the signs to Kings Access.
Google Earth shows the river.
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)