South Fork New River US 421 Bridge to Mouth of WilSon Creek

Boone, North Carolina

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The South Fork begins at the confluence of several small streams southeast of Boone and meanders across the three most northwestern counties in North Carolina. Then it joins the North Fork and forms the New just south of the Virginia line. It is primarily an easy flowing stream over rocky beds, with occasional riffles as it threads its way between mountains on one side and fields on the other. The South Fork is an excellent stream for canoe camping, even though there are low-water bridges on practically every section, most of which will require carrying. The South Fork is by far the more popular canoe stream of the two forks of the New River. Its popularity is primarily attributable to its greater length of canoeable water and its easier accessibility. Trips ranging in length from an hour or so up to several days are possible on the South Fork, all in water with only Class I rapids suitable for novice canoeists and canoe camping. There are many open areas and pastures along the South Fork that make beautiful spots to stop for lunch or to camp. There are also four public campgrounds along the South Fork with facilities for camping; all charge a small fee.

South Fork New River: US 421 Bridge to Mouth of WilSon Creek Professional Review and Guide

"The South Fork begins at the confluence of several small streams southeast of Boone and meanders across the three most northwestern counties in North Carolina. Then it joins the North Fork and forms the New just south of the Virginia line. It is primarily an easy flowing stream over rocky beds, with occasional riffles as it threads its way between mountains on one side and fields on the other. The South Fork is an excellent stream for canoe camping, even though there are low-water bridges on practically every section, most of which will require carrying.

The South Fork is by far the more popular canoe stream of the two forks of the New River. Its popularity is primarily attributable to its greater length of canoeable water and its easier accessibility. Trips ranging in length from an hour or so up to several days are possible on the South Fork, all in water with only Class I rapids suitable for novice canoeists and canoe camping. There are many open areas and pastures along the South Fork that make beautiful spots to stop for lunch or to camp. There are also four public campgrounds along the South Fork with facilities for camping; all charge a small fee."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Boone
Distance: 94.5
Elevation Loss: 105 feet
Duration: 9 sections that take 35 hours to paddle
Class: Class I-II
Local Maps: Deep Gap, Todd, Glendale Springs, Jefferson, Laurel Springs, Mouth of Wilson (VA) (USGS); Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Grayson (VA) (County)
Driving Directions: Directions to South Fork New River: US 421 Bridge to Mouth of WilSon Creek

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May 2018