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Located near the northwestern corner of North Carolina, New River Trail State Park is an easy park to visit when you book an RV in Ashe County. This park is part of the New River watershed, which is a protected watershed that covers over 3,300 acres. New River is, strangely enough, one of the oldest rivers in the United States and is considered by some geologists to be among the oldest rivers in the world, possibly from 360 million years ago.
Human activity in the area in which New River Trail State Park is located can be traced back almost 10,000 years, as indicated by arrowheads, stone axes, and pottery found by archeologists. The modern park was established in 1976, and motorhome camping near the park will reward you with plenty of exciting outdoor activities. In total, the park covers over 3,000 acres and is approximately 2,700 feet in elevation. RV camping at New River Trail State Park is a fantastic way to explore this corner of North Carolina.
There are many different trails to hike at New River Trail State Park, and guests who want to seriously stretch their legs will find almost 10 miles of trails in total to explore. Some of these trails are rated as easy with hardly any elevation change, while others are rated as moderate to difficult and climb many hills during their course. Some of the trails can only be accessed after crossing the river, so be sure to bring a canoe or kayak when you pack up your rental RV to explore New River Trail State Park.
Paddling is also a popular activity at New River Trail State Park, and many guests that are renting an RV to visit the park bring along some sort of watercraft. Along the course of the river, you’ll find many small tributary streams that merge with the river, often causing minor rapids and excitement. There are many different places from which it is possible to enter the water with your canoe or kayak, just remember that paddling back upstream will probably take you considerably longer than riding with the current.
While paddling, feel free to cast a line, as fishing is permitted in New River. The river is well known for smallmouth bass and redeye bass, and some of the river forks are also stocked with muskellunge. Rockfish can also be found in the river, and all anglers who plan to fish in the river need to have a North Carolina fishing license that is up to date. Be sure to update your license before picking up your RV rental to save yourself the trouble.
There are approximately 13 RV compatible campsites in the onsite state park RV campground, so be sure to reserve one ahead of time for your trip. All of these campsites require you to back in, and all of them offer electricity hookups in 50 amps. Some of the sites also have their own water supply, and the maximum RV length varies between the different campsites. Pets are allowed at all of the campsites so long as they are kept restrained and under control at all times.
Another option for camping is at the nearby River Camp USA Campsite. This campsite has far more RV campsites than the park, with more amenities than you’ll find while state park RV camping. All of the sites have water, electricity in 30 and 50 amps, and sewer hookups. Additionally, most of the campsites are pull-thru and have fire rings, picnic tables, and grills for added convenience.
To the northeast of New River Trail State Park is Sparta, one of the larger towns in the area. This town is still relatively small but has a few different local restaurants to choose from when seeking something besides camp food. There are also gas stations and convenience stores in town, which makes it easy to stock up on supplies when needed. Additionally, be sure to check out the Alleghany Historical Museum when passing through to learn more about the region’s past.
To the southwest of New River Trail State Park is Jefferson, which is home to the Museum of Ashe County History. Visiting this museum will help you learn more about the region’s past, including both natural events and human history. Just north of this museum is the Mountain Farm Life Museum, which explains what a day of life is like for farmers in the area. Jefferson is also home to the Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, a fantastic place for hiking and panoramic views.
Just down the road from Jefferson is West Jefferson, which is home to a Walmart Supercenter. It may be possible to park your RV overnight at this Walmart, but be sure to ask the manager before doing so. West Jefferson also has a few different local restaurants to enjoy, including a brewery that has a restaurant attached to it. Between Jefferson and West Jefferson, it is possible to easily spend a day in town, bowling, seeing movies, eating out, and more.