What is 57 miles long and parallels an American Heritage River for 39 miles? New River Trail State Park.
Virginia’s first rail to trails park, the New River Trail is designated an official National Recreation Trail by the U. S. Department of the Interior. Some interesting facts about the trail:
* Two tunnels: 135 feet and 193 feet long
* Three major bridges: Hiwasee – 951 feet; Ivanhoe – 670 feet; Fries Junction – 1,089 feet
* Nearly 30 smaller bridges and trestles
* A shot tower used more than 200 years ago to make ammunition
There are multiple parking and access points
- Galax – Parking is available where Route 58 crosses Chestnut Creek. Parking fee required.
- Cliffview – Take Route 58 to Galax; go north on Route 887 to Cliffview Road (Route 721). The parking area is on the left, across from Cliffview Mansion. Parking fee required.
- Gambetta and Chestnut Yard – Take Route 721 north past Cliffview to Route 607. Follow Route 607 to Chestnut Yard or turn on Route 793 to go to Gambetta.
- Fries – From Route 94, go south to town. Parking is available near the town park.
- Byllesby Dam – Go east on Route 602 off Route 94. Park at the dam.
- Ivanhoe – Go east on Route 639 off Route 94.
- Shot Tower – From I-77, take Exit 24; go east on Route 69 to Route 52 and follow signs to Shot Tower. Hikers only may access at Shot Tower. Parking fee required. Bicyclists must use road access to the trail. Horses are not allowed at this access point.
- Draper – From I-81, take Route 658 East through Draper. Parking is available across from Bryson’s Store, less than one mile from the interstate highway. Parking fee required.
- Pulaski/Xaloy – From I-81, take Route 99 West approximately two miles to Xaloy; turn onto Xaloy Drive to entrance. Parking fee required.
- Foster Falls (New River Trail administrative offices) – From I-77, take Exit 24, go east on Route 69 to Route 52, go north to Route 608, go east and follow signs. Parking fee required.
- New River Trail can also be accessed at Hiwasee, Allisonia, Austinville and Lone Ash, but there is no developed parking area at these entrances.
- Horse trailers may be parked at the Allisonia, Cliffview, Fries, Draper, Pulaski and Jackson Ferry Horse Complex entrances only.
A section of trail from Fries Junction (MP 39.8) to Gambetta Rd. (MP 42.3) will be closed for tunnel repair until further notice. Please use this detour: From the Gambetta Rd. crossing, heading south, turn right onto Va. 793. Go three miles to Va. 607, Iron Ridge Rd. Turn right there and travel three miles to Va. 721, Fries Rd. Turn right onto Fries Rd. and follow signs to the Fries access, approximately 4.5 miles.