group of people with tubes near water

Wet WanderLove on the New

The New River Water Trail connects you with public and private access points to enjoy a variety of floats as summer winds down. Fishing, floating, or fun times are to be found along this 37 mile stretch through Giles County, Virginia.

Photo by Aspire for Giles Tourism

Floating

Peaceful, yet dramatic the New River has scenic floats for you! The most popular float trip for kayakers, canoes, and rafts tends to the Eggleston to Pembroke section. You can scope out the best section for you based on length, activity, or location. Giles County has public access approximately every 5-7 miles. If you don’t have your own gear- don’t worry, visit any one of our outfitters for rentals!

man fishing in river
Photo by Jonathan Roberts.

Fishing

The New River has long been known as an excellent fishery. Beyond the banks of the New the many mountain tributaries also offer fishermen and women something extraordinary. From the bank, from a boat, or with a guide, the New River is a fishing destination.

As with all natural resources, care is given to support this ecosystem. ReNew the New is a community of volunteers with the support of many local organizations that remove trash from the river twice a year. Fishermen will also find used fishing line receptacles at all public boat landings.  

Bringing the whole family to enjoy the fishing in Giles? If so, then you may enjoy the trek off the beaten path to the Glen Alton Farm along Big Stoney Creek. The youth fishing ponds are just one fun feature to find on this USFS Day Use property.

Paddle on the fifth oldest river in the world with Tangent Outfitters in Pembroke. The river, lined with cliffs, rock outcrops and train tracks, is truly stunning! The occasional beaches allow for great picnic and camping spots. Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org

Where to Stay

If we head back to the New River you can find many public and private campgrounds along the waterfront to enjoy a multi-day float. But if you’re hoping to get water frontage, but don’t want to camp, consider any one of our beautiful cabin properties.

Food

Because every good adventure has food! If you’re hoping to pack a lunch and head out on the water, you would enjoy the boxed lunches from Tangent Outfitters & Cascade Café. Also in Pembroke, following your Eggleston to Pembroke float you can enjoy Bluegrass BBQ, Scoops for great ice cream, or Solo’s. All easy access options in the area.

Venturing a little father away to find local joints with pizza, burgers, salads, and more. The drive to our destination dining options is another excuse to take in all the adventure in Giles!

Not playing in the water? Not a problem… Still a lot of fun!

Foot Traffic

Maybe you want to experience the New River, but from close proximity… Wrapping up your adventure in Giles. Enjoy a walk in our river front parks. Whitt-Riverbend Park in Pearisburg, Camp Success in Narrows, and Glen Lyn Town Park in Glen Lyn all offer riverside walking trails and parking to enjoy the water year round, while being outside.

Safety

As with all adventure activities users should be aware of the dangers that could arise. We want everyone to find their adventure in Giles, but do so safely. If you are heading out on the New River remember we are greatly affected by the weather systems to our south. River levels can change quickly due to factors relating upstream (in North Caroline). It’s best to check the river status before you head out and if ever concerned, call a local guide or outfitter for expert advice.

Same concept applies to hiking or nature walking along the riverbank. Travel with a buddy, let people know where you are going, and be aware of your surroundings- just a few tips to keep in mind.

Conclusion

Some days you just need a playday… Find yours in Virginia’s Mountain Playground. As part of our Wanderlove series we hope you enjoy these ideas and tips for a wet and wild adventure in Giles County, VA! We’ll see you soon…

Pearisburg public art

Pearisburg Day Trip

SUGGESTED ITINERARY | PEARISBURG DAY TRIP

 

Morning- Enjoy breakfast at Friends and Family Restaurant. Pearisburg is the county seat and as such there are many things to do and enjoy in this community.

 

For the rest of your morning delight in shopping and strolling the historic downtown. Pearis Mercantile is a premier gift shop in the region. Located just across the street from the Visitors Center (203 N. Main St), stop in to get a Visitors Guide, maps, and stickers. Other shopping includes the C&P Discount and small shops along Wenonah Avenue.

Pearis Mercantile Pearisburg, VA

Tour the Giles County Courthouse that was featured in the film, Wish You Well. The Andrew Johnston House and Museum is home to the Giles County Historical Society and is open seasonally (Mar-Dec) Wednesday through Sunday. Pearis Cemetery located less than a mile from the museum. The cemetery also lies along the Appalachian Trail. The walk from parking at the trailhead to the cemetery is less than ¾ mile and in the cemetery you will also see one of the largest Cucumber Magnolia trees in the state!

Andrew Johnston House in Pearisburg, VA

Lunch- Options for lunch in Pearisburg include local options Papa’s Pizzeria, Queen’s Pizza, La Barranca Mexican Grill, and Pizza Plus. Fast food options include McDonalds, Wendy’s, Hardees, Pizza Hut, and hiker favorite, Dairy Queen.

Enjoy a stroll after lunch through the streets of Pearisburg to see a series of murals painted by local artist that depict local scenes. The Pearisburg Town Park has multiple permanent sculptures for viewing along their paved park walking trail. During the warmer months (April-October) on the third Thursdays enjoy the Pearisburg Community Market with food and craft vendors and entertainment.

 

public art in Pearisburg

For more active outdoor adventure, hiking Angels Rest provides a unique perspective of the town and the New River Water Trail far below. The 1.3 mile hike is strenuous with multiple switch backs and constant grade. The two boat landings nearest to Pearisburg include the Ripplemead Boat Landing at Whitt-Rverbend Park. This park is 28 acres with a paved walking trail, campsites, and restroom facilities. The boat landing also has restroom facilities and paved boat ramp. The Bluff City Boat Landing offers a paved boat ramp, area information kiosk, restroom, and paved parking area.

 

Finish out your evening in Pearisburg with a stay at the award-winning Inn at Riverbend. Enjoy a glass of wine overlooking the New River on their vast decks. Other area lodging options can be found at gilescounty.org/lodging.

Inn at Riverbend porch

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Giles County, Virginia is located in Southwest Virginia approximately 40 minutes south of Roanoke and just west of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. With easy access to the New River, world class dining and lodging properties, and historical attractions for the entire family, Giles offers adventure in Virginia’s Mountain Playground™. Come find your playground at our Visitors Center located at 203 N Main Street, Pearisburg, VA 24134 or find us online at gilescounty.org or by calling 540-921-2079. For interviews or onsite visits, please contact Cora Gnegy, Tourism Marketing Director. We can arrange and assist with any media needs. For more information about planning your visit to Giles County or about activities and events, please visit www.gilescounty.org or contact us at tourism@gilescounty.org.