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 forests.


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.

Caverns and Caves

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 Valley.


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 great restaurants.


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.


The Appalachian 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.

Rock Climbing

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.


Many mountain 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.