Hike or Ride Virginia’s New River Trail

If 57 miles of smooth, hard-pack trail along a beautiful river valley are your thing, then grab your bike or hiking shoes and head for southwest Virginia. The New River State Park, which snakes from Fries to Pulaski with a side trail to Galax, is built on a railroad line that once served a thriving iron ore industry. There are campgrounds and bathrooms for bikers or backpackers and numerous entry points with parking. We walked a section and bicycled another; then I finally connected the river to the nation’s newest national park, West Virginia’s New River Gorge National Park, which we visited last spring. Sue and I were impressed with the condition of the trail and its amenities. Finally, there was something missing: hills. And hillsides of rhododendrons still had not blossomed even though April was nearing its end.

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