The New River Valley of Virginia is a
popular outdoor-recreation destination. The New River
itself -- among the most popular warm-water fisheries in
the eastern U.S. -- courses the length of the region,
providing a focus for all manner of water recreation.
Hundreds of miles of hiking, biking, horseback riding, and
cross-country skiing trails travel through its parks and
Rural and suburban
biking trails -- street and off-road -- wander through the
whole of the New River region, linking universities and
small towns with state parks and national forests. The New
River Trail along New River is the longest off-road biking
trail in Virginia. Bike shops are located throughout the
New River Valley.
Spelunking is an extremely popular sport in
the New River region wherever limestone nears the surface.
Hundreds of unexplored caverns tunnel beneath the mountain
roots, and active grottoes and speleological societies are
available to provide information in their regard. Several
commercial show caves are located in the nearby Roanoke
Restaurants and other dining establishments
can be found in great variety in the New River Valley --
largely as a combined result of the region's many tourist
attractions, its relatively affluent population, and the
presence of several outstanding institutions of higher
education. The demand for good food has resulted in many
The New River in
Virginia (and neighboring West Virginia) is among the most
popular warm-water fisheries in the U.S., largely as a
result of relatively cooler waters, which support healthy
smallmouth bass populations. Claytor Lake (4,475 acres) and
Gatewood Lake (162 acres), at Pulaski, are among its
popular lake-fishing destinations.
Mild winters and
relatively cool summers have earned the New River Valley
renown as a top Virginia golfing destination. Seven golf
courses -- including the The Pete Dye River Course of
Virginia Tech, on the New River itself -- are among the New
River Valley's outstanding recreational highlights.
National Scenic Trail is among the best known trails
leading through the region, generally following Appalachian
highland summits. The 57-mile New River Trail follows the
valley of the New River for much of its length and is also
a popular biking and horseback riding route. Countless
others lead through the Jefferson National Forest.
Rafting, canoing, and other forms of
paddling are popular on the New River in Virginia. Though
the lower river in West Virginia, in the New River Gorge,
is renown for its treacherous whitewater, rapids in
Virginia seem especially designed for family trips -- with
just enough splash for fun, safe excitement.
Though climbing and bouldering along
New River in West Virginia has kong-dominated the Eastern
scene, climbing areas are being pioneered on state and
federal lands throughout the valley in Virginia. Access
issues are few, and the land is as beautiful as the routes
are challenging. Several indoor climbing gyms are also
located in the area.
peaks amid the New River highlands exceed 4,000 feet above
sea level, assuring reliable snow for cross-country skiing
through much of winter. Two Virginia ski resorts -- The
Homestead and Wintergreen -- are within a two-hour drive of
the valley, while Winterplace, in West Virginia, is little
more than an hour north.