Every Fall the mountains turn to a blaze of color, and my family and friends take a paddle trip on the New River In Jefferson N.C. to enjoy the leaves and have some fun paddling a great little river .The New River. The trip we take is approx 5.5 miles, from Hwy #88 to the New River State Park, Wagnor rd. There is parking available at both the put-in and the take-out (no fees). Camping sites are available for river campers only at the State park. The campground is beside the river .There are views of the valley all around and the sites are well laid out /there are flush toilets at the visitors center, but no showers . There are lots of commercial camp sites in the area and hotels in the area as it is quite scenic and there is much to do and see off the river also .
The paddling is very easy with very clear water and smooth rock and gravel bottom over the majority of the trip. There are lots of class I and II rapids that are very entertaining, but not terribly difficult .The views are wonderful as you wind between the surrounding mountains and the river, bordered by small farms.
The fishing is quite good if you care for that, smallmouth, sunshine, and red eye being the most common, the deeper hole and slower water are good for cat fish.
As you paddle you well pass Dog Creek Mill a old grist mill no longer in operation, a great place to stop and look around, but be considerate and don't trespass. The time to paddle this trip is approx 2 to 5 hours depending on river fishing, picnicking, and just sightseeing, it is very easy to lose track of time.
Take I 40 out of Winston Salem west to Hwy 421 west to North Wilkesboro 59 miles. Take hwy 16 north to Junction hwy 88. The put-in is under the hwy 88 bridge.
There are maps available from the Ashe Chamber and Visitors Center /pobox31/West Jefferson, North Carolina.