The New River, the centerpiece of the more than 2,000-acre New River State Park near West Jefferson, North Carolina, is ironically believed to be one of the oldest rivers in the world. Its placid, slow-flowing waters wind through bucolic farmlands, past both grassy meadows and rugged hillsides. Its banks are covered with wildflowers in season, and good trout and bass fishing can be had from both boat and bank.
Designated a National Scenic River in 1976, this gentle river is perhaps best enjoyed by canoe. Three river access areas offer ideal campsites and opportunities for picnicking and fishing.
Traveling by car along the narrow, winding roads in the New River area, visitors may feel as if they have been transported into a bygone era as they pass small farms, churches, and country stores.
The New River was given its name by Peter Jefferson, the father of Thomas Jefferson, who visited the area in 1749 when he surveyed the North Carolina-Virginia boundary through New River country. Other than the Native Americans, the only regular visitors to the region before the 1770s were hunters and trappers, men such as Daniel Boone who settled along the Yadkin River near present-day Wilkesboro.
Hours of Operation
Wagoner Access & US 221 Access: December-February: 7 am to 7 pm. March, April, October: 7 am to 9 pm. May – September: 7 am to 10 pm. November: 7 am to 8 pm. Closed Christmas day.
Visitor Center & Office Hours: Weekdays 8 am to 5 pm. Weekends 10 am to 4 pm. Closed Christmas day.
Kings Creek Access: Closed November 1 through March 31. April-October: 8 am to 8 pm. May-September: 8 am to 9 pm.
There is no fee for admission to the Park. Camping fees vary by campsite. The Park charges fees for advance registration of its picnic shelters and community building.
Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.
The US 221 Access Area is the location of the Visitor Center and Park Headquarters. Consult the New State River Park website below for directions to the US 221 Access and other points of entry.
New River State Park
358 US Hwy 221 N Access Road
Laurel Springs, NC 28644
Alleghany County Chamber of Commerce
58 South Main Street
Sparta, NC 28675