New River Trail State Park
New River Trail is a 57-mile linear park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. The park parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles and passes through four counties and the city of Galax. The trail's gentle slope makes it great for visitors of all ages to hike, bike and ride horseback. The park's Foster Falls area offers guided horseback trips; canoe and bike rentals; boat launches; gift shops; and a horse arena. Fishing is also popular. There are access points to the trail at Allisonia, Chestnut Yard, Cliffview, Dannelly Park (near Galax), Draper, Dora Junction (near Pulaski), Foster Falls, Fries, Galax, Gambetta, Hiwassee and Ivanhoe
- Two tunnels: 135 feet and 193 feet long
- Three major bridges: Hiwassee - 951 feet; Ivanhoe - 670 feet; Fries Junction - 1,089 feet
- Nearly 30 smaller bridges and trestles
- A historic shot tower used more than 200 years ago to make ammunition
- Potable water is available only at Galax, Cliffview Campground (Dannelly Park) and Foster Falls as well as at the horse trailer lots at Ivanhoe, Draper and Dora Junction.
- Five non-flush toilets are available along the trail.
Trails and the day-use area are open daily from dawn to dusk. Call the park for livery and gift shop hours.
There are several entrances into this park. The park meanders through Grayson, Carroll, Wythe and Pulaski counties and Galax in southwestern Virginia and parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles. Its address is 116 Orphanage Dr., Max Meadows, VA 24360.
Here's a list of entrances and directions to each.
This linear park parallels a 39-mile stretch of the New River. Boat ramps are available at Allisonia, Foster Falls and Austinville. The river supports outstanding populations of just about every major freshwater game fish in the state. You’ll find smallmouth bass, spotted bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, striped bass, white bass, hybrid striped bass, muskellunge, walleye, black crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, yellow perch, redbreast sunfish and bluegill. State records caught in the New River include muskellunge (45 pounds, 8 ounces), smallmouth bass (8 pounds, 1 ounce) and yellow perch (2 pounds, 7 ounces). The state record spotted bass came (3 pounds, 10 ounces) from nearby Claytor Lake. The New River is bound to yield many more record-setting catches in the future.
The park also rents kayaks and canoes at the Foster Falls Boat and Bike Livery, opened seasonally Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from April to Memorial Day, open seven days a week Memorial Day to Labor Day and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays again from Labor Day through October. For more information please call 276-699-1034.
Tubing the New River is also popular. Call the Foster Falls Boat and Bike Livery at 276.699.1034 to rent tubes.
Watch a New River kayaking YouTube video here, courtesy of Getting Outdoors with Mike & Yvonne.
Guided trail rides are available April through October (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). Call Foster Falls Horse Livery, 276-699-2460, for rates and reservations.
The Mark E. Hufeisen Horse Complex, which opened in 2008, is one of two such state-owned facilities in Virginia. It's the only rentable arena in Wythe County. It sits on 16.5 acres and has a 170 by 250 foot arena with a calf-roping shoot box and back pins, bleacher seating for 600 spectators, and spectator and participant parking.
The Mark E. Hufeisen Horse Complex is easily accessible off Interstate 77. Take exit 24, Poplar Camp, to Rt. 69 Lead Mines Road to Highway 52 north. About 2 miles later, turn right onto Foster Falls Road and take the first left.
There are numerous hiking and bicycle trails. Get the trail guide here.