New River Trail

Jefferson National Forest, Virginia

Distance54.9mi
Elevation Gain8,294ft
Trailhead Elevation2,158ft
Top2,355ft
Elevation Min/Max1844/2355ft
Elevation Start/End2158/2158ft

New River Trail

New River Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Galax City, Wythe County, Grayson County, Pulaski County, and Carroll County, Virginia. It is within Jefferson National Forest. It is 54.9 miles long and begins at 2,158 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 110.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 8,294 feet. New River Trail Parking, New River Trail Parking Lot, and another parking are near the trailhead. The Byllesby School (historical) (elevation 2,096 feet) school can be seen along the trail.

New River Trail Reviews

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5/28/2011
Great Trail! Great Views! Moderate ride, can be done on a PathWay Bike, do not need a Mountan Bike.
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10/20/2009
I have done all 57 miles . The ride from Fosters Fall to Fries Junction is fantastic. Had a bear run in front of us. WAY COOL!!! the ride from Pulaski to Claytor Lake is not as nice as the rest of the trail but still well worth the ride. Great trail for those just starting out (like me) very few grades and the scenery is great.
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10/3/2009
Wonderful trail with picture taking opportunities every few feet (that gave me a reason to quit riding). Flat well maintained trail. We got on in Fries Va and turned around at the Galax split, after crossing the train tressel. Lots of fun and an easy ride for just about anyone. We saw someone in a golf cart riding on the trail, which I thought was a good idea for someone who could not walk or bike the trail. It is a beauty that should be enjoyed by everyone.
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8/29/2009
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8/3/2008
Excellent trail. Campground located right on the trail. Some parts a bit buisy for my liking, but majority of it was great.
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7/1/2008
Another good family ride. Rode from Galax to Pulaski. Not allot of places to eat and re-fill along the way, but a beautiful ride.
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6/10/2007
Beautiful early summer day, rode from Fries to Byllesby Dam and back, about 18 miles. Early part of trail coming out of Fries runs very close to a road which was fortunately not too busy. River in Fries spectacularly gorgeous, and beauty was amazing throughout ride. Trail surface just fine. Toilets at Fries and at junction of the Fries Spur and main trail from Galax both a bit ripe, but bearable. I feel blessed to live close enough to ride this trail regularly. Note there are no parking fees in Fries, so I can feel guilty for enjoying it for free as well (as I do not pay Virginia taxes). Post-ride lunch at Shaylynn's in Fries was solid American food and cheap (turn left out of parking lot and it is just a short distance away, on the left past the fire station that sits back from the road a bit).
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6/9/2007
We entered the trail at Pulaski-Xaloy and enjoyed a short ride to Allisonia and back to Pulaski-Xaloy. There was some storm damage along the trail from recent storms, but the trail itself is clear. The trail is well maintained and the facilities are good. The store mentioned in the Trail summary at Draper is no longer in business. My only suggestion is to make sure you bring your own food, do not rely on the ability to purchase food along the trail.
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9/29/2006
Fall arrived early in SW Virginia this year. I began my ride to Pulaski on a crisp, wet morning at the Galax trailhead (MP 51.7). Severe hail producing storms had passed through the area the night before leaving the trail covered with wet leaves and ushering in much cooler temperatures. Despite the overnight precipitation, the trail was in good condition with very few puddles. The trail from Galax takes you along the Chestnut Creek before finally reaching the New River (MP 40) and it is here that the trail is joined by the Fries spur. Much of the trail is carved into the hillside and you are often riding with a towering rock wall on one side and a 30’ wooded slope to the river’s edge on the other. There are plenty of covered picnic tables and restroom facilities along the trail however, few places to purchase snacks or drinks. From Galax to Claytor Lake the trail is very flat however there is a noticeable incline from the lake to just beyond Draper. The incline is not severe but did have me checking to see if my brakes were stuck on or my rear tire was going flat. The trail is fairly isolated and I passed only two other cyclists and six pedestrians over the entire 51 mile ride. The many river crossings and two tunnels made for a more interesting ride and overall this was scenic and well maintained trail. I would recommend saving this one for spring when the temperatures are warmer and the trees are all in bloom.
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8/21/2006
Awesome and beautiful! We did the entire trail twice on pleasure (comfort) bikes and found it relatively easy. The most beautiful part is between Pulaski and Allisonia, but it is extremely pretty between Fries and Fries Junction. The Hiwassee Bridge area is absolutely beautiful.
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New River Trail Photos

Trail Information

Jefferson National Forest
Nearby City
Jefferson National Forest
Parks
Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Accessibility
Swimming
Additional Use
New River Trail State Park, 540-699-6778.
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Dec 2018