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Virginia: New River Trail State Park
Posted on Thursday, September 01 @ 07:40:36 MST by iljiana

Horse Camping & Trails

Counties: Carroll, Grayson, Pulaski and Wythe

Cities: Galax and Pulaski

Towns: Allisonia, Austinville, Draper, Fries, Hiwasee, Ivanhoe

(276) 699-6778

General Information: New River Trail State Park, designated an official National Recreation Trail by the U. S. Department of the Interior, parallels 39 miles of the New River, the second oldest river in the world and one of the few flowing north.

  • 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 150 years ago to make ammunition
Location: This is a 57-mile long state park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. There are several entrances into this park. The park meanders through Grayson, Carroll, Wythe and Pulaski counties in southwestern Virginia and parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles. This park is part of the Rails to Trails Program as it was donated to the state by Norfolk Southern Railroad when the railroad discontinued the line and removed the tracks. This park also serves as a link to numerous other outdoor recreational areas, including a town park in Fries, Mt. Rogers National Recreational Area, four Department of Game and Inland Fisheries boat launches and Shot Tower Historical State Park. New River Trail is just minutes from Claytor Lake State Park and Grayson Highlands State Park. This unique park features 57 miles of continuous trail.
Horse trailers may be parked at the Allisonia, Cliffview, Fries, Draper, Pulaski and Foster Falls entrances only.


  • 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 and Cliffview Trading Post. 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.
  • 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

Cliffview Campground (Carroll County near Galax) is a trailside campground with primitive tent camping only. It overlooks Chestnut Creek. Access is from the Dannelly Fitness Complex parking lot and across a footbridge (no direct vehicle access). Ten primitive campsites are available. Three horse campsites are available with an enclosed area for the horses. There are no covered stalls. Horse campers must park trailers at the Cliffview Ranger Station, which is about one mile from the campground. Horses may not cross the Dannelly complex footbridge. Note: This campground is 20 miles from the Millrace Campground.

All sites are timbered and marked. Each site has a fire ring, lantern post, picnic table, access to the New River Trail and non-flush toilet. Drinking water is available. One site, CV01, is handicapped accessible and is reserved last if not required for a handicapped camper.

Reservations are required. Same day reservations are permitted. Campers must leave their confirmation letter on their car's dashboard for overnight parking. Campers will need access to a fax machine or will need to pick up the letter at the Cliffview office if there is insufficient time to receive the letter by mail.

Directions: Take State Route 58 to Galax. Go north on SR 887 to Cliffview Road (SR 721). Take SR 721 one-quarter of a mile and turn right onto Creekview Road. Go one mile to the Dannelly Complex. Cliffview Campground parking is on the right. Cross the footbridge into the campground. Horse campers may not use the footbridge.

Number of sites of each type: TPRI, 10; HPRI, 3

Site types:

TPRI (CV01-CV10): Site CV01 is ADA (handicapped accessible) and is the last to be rented if not required by a handicapped guest.

HPRI (CVH01-CVH03): Horse sites - There is an enclosed area for the horses, and this area is available at no charge.

Horse Rentals: Rentals available. Call Foster Falls Livery, (276) 699-2460, for rates and reservations. Also, the park has bridle trails, and hitching posts are available at Cliffview Campground for overnight guests. No stalls or covered area for horses. Horse trailers for day-use access must be parked at the Allisonia, Cliffview, Draper, Fries, Pulaski and Foster Falls entrances only.
Estimated Driving Time to Park from: Northern Virginia, six and a half hours; Richmond, five hours; Tidewater/ Norfolk/ Virginia Beach, seven and a half hours; Roanoke, one and a half hours

For More Information, Please Contact:

New River Trail State Park, 176 Orphanage Dr., Foster Falls, VA 24360, (276) 699-6778.

Related Links
· USDA Forest Service
· Veterinarians
· More about Horse Camping & Trails
· News by iljiana

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