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New River State Park

A view of the river at New River State Park
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New River State Park

The New River was named a National Wild and Scenic River in 1976, and it wildly winds through some of the best North Carolina mountain scenery. New River State Park is base camp for exploration of this river at two principal spots—Wagoner Road access and US 221 access. Both offer walk-in camping a few hundred feet from parking areas and both offer paddling access. RV camping is available at U.S. 221 access. Primitive, canoe-in camping is available at multiple access areas along the river. Brief trips or multi-day excursions can be arranged with private outfitters or careful planning if visitors bring their own kayaks or canoes. It’s easy to combine paddling, camping, fishing, picnicking and wildlife viewing. A visitor center with an exhibit hall complements interpretive programs on the river’s history and ecology. Picnic shelters, as well as a community building, can be rented for family or group gatherings. Elk Shoals access includes a free swim beach area to enjoy swimming in the New River.


Find and book a campsite or facility online

Or make your reservation at 1-877-722-6762


⇒  Elk Shoals

The recently added Elk Shoals property features river access with a free swim beach area. The swim area is open from sunrise to sunset and has ample parking. Please note that there are no toilet facilities at this access. All trash must be carried out.

The Chapel on the New should be available to reserve soon, and future amenities at the access are set to open as renovations are made.


⇒  Firewood

Please do not bring firewood with you to the park. If you find or buy wood from the park, please do not take it back home with you. Burn all the wood or leave it at the park for other campers.

Foreign pests can travel with wood, and carrying firewood from one area to another can be detrimental to the local forest. We have firewood available for purchase, or you can collect wood and kindling from dead and downed trees.

Because of the seriousness of a potential infestation of the emerald ash borer, we are requesting that no firewood be brought into New River State Park.

The emerald ash borer is a destructive exotic beetle that feeds on ash trees. Park campgrounds and picnic areas are the most likely areas for EAB introduction into the park. We appreciate your help in protecting the natural resources of New River State Park and our state parks system.

For more information and explanation please visit:


⇒  River status

You can check water levels of the New River by visiting the United States Geological Survey's website for real-time river condition information.

A safe water level is between 700 and 1200 cubic feet per second.





Map of North Carolina


Contact the park




U.S. 221 access
and visitor center

358 New River State Park Road
Laurel Springs, NC 28644

GPS: 36.46768, -81.34035


Wagoner access

1447 Wagoner Access Road
Jefferson, NC 28640

GPS: 36.415808, -81.387174


Kings Creek access

2250 Kings Creek Road
Piney Creek, NC 28663

GPS: 36.527628, -81.336359


Elk Shoals access

349 Methodist Camp Road
West Jefferson, NC 28694

GPS: 36.365324, -81.433277



  • December to February:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
  • May to September:
    7:00am to 10:00pm
  • October:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
  • November:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
  • Closed Christmas Day
  • Monday to Friday:
    8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Saturday to Sunday:
    10:00am to 3:00pm
  • Closed Christmas Day
  • Closed November 1 to March 31
  • April:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
  • May to September:
    8:00am to 9:00pm
  • October:
    8:00am to 8:00pm

The swim beach at Elk Shoals access is open from sunrise to sunset year-round.