your paddlesports destination

New River West Jefferson to Independence VA

Trip Overview

Myself and a buddy spent four days three nights traveling about 65 miles on the South Fork of the New River and into the New River to Independence VA. We put in the river using a friend for a shuttle southeast of West Jefferson. We were unable to find anyone to help with the shuttle for that distance with local outfitters. The first day we traveled 18 miles down near New River State Park Wagoner Road Access. We sleep on the side of the river the first night. The water was extremely low this time of year because we had very little rain the weeks before. There were several times we rubbed the bottom or had to get out of the kayaks and drag them down the river. The second day we completed over 20 miles and put us at Twin Rivers Campground and we spent the night in their primitive camping area. It cost 20 dollars for the campsite. It was definitely worth checking out again. The third day we passed the area were the south and north fork join to create the New River, and then the Mouth of Wilson. Just after the Mouth of Wilson there is a dam and the river moves slow and gets fairly deep at times. The dam is pretty easy to get around just stay to the right and you will see a path to carry your gear and boat around the dam. Be sure to bring some rope to lower your boat on the backside as the hill leading to the river is pretty steep. After the dam portage there were several S curves in the river and a nice rapid near the Hwy 601 bridge. Just after the bridge the river takes a sharp bend to the right and there is a good rapid probably a Class 2 or more depending on water levels. The rapid is just before Mountain Island. The front of mountain island was a large rack line, but the back could possibly be a good camping spot. We did not spend the night there because we saw several No Trespassing signs. The last day was short less than 10 miles to the public access across from the New River Campground just between Sparta NC and Independence VA. The trip was excellent and we spent four days covering the nearly 65 miles. We will do the trip again and next time check more into the area of the New River State Park. There were many areas of government land along the river we discovered during or after the trip.
  • Duration: Extended Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Kayak Fishing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II), Rock Gardens
  • Number of Portages: 1

Locations on this Trip