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Bicycling Along the Beautiful New River Trail State Park

This 57-mile rail trail is Virginia's only linear state park. Endpoints are Pulaski and Galax with a spur to Fries. The surface is cinder and hard packed stone.

The trail parallels the New River from milepost 8 to Fries Junction where the spur to Fries continues on the River. The trail to Galax parallels Chestnut Creek.

Interesting sites along the way include the Shot Tower State Historical Park, two tunnels, two bridges over the New River and a small waterfall on Chestnut Creek.

Although we enjoy all the trail, we have two favorite places to ride. One is from Allisonia to Pulaski, which is a 22 mile round trip. A store at Draper sells fresh made sandwiches and hot dogs, along with other snacks for people like me who want to skip the task of packing a lunch for a day on the trail.

If you are looking for a great place to stay in the Allisonia area, check out the cottage that was once a train depot at newriverlodging.com.

Our other favorite ride is from Fries to Galax and back; a round trip of about 35 miles. The ride from Fries is mostly beside the river, and is beautiful. From Fries Junction to Galax you follow Chestnut Creek, and you'll ride by a beautiful waterfall.

There is a cabin available for rent in the Ivanhoe area. It's between the trail and the river. Check it out at shadyrivercabin.com.

There are two very nice campgrounds and picnic areas, new in '98. One is near Cliff View, the other at Foster Falls. The one at Foster Falls is right on the river. (Foster Falls is near the Shot Tower State Historical Park.) Also, a few camping sites have been added between Fries and Fries Junction (summer of 2003). Improvements are being made consistently to this trail. Check out the New River Trail website.

If you are looking for a great place to rent a mountain cottage for a vacation in the Fries/Galax area, try this website: Riversong Cabins.

Another option for a vacation rental can be found at: Southwest Virginia Cabin.. This is on the other end of the trail (from Fries/Galax) near Pulaski and Claytor Lake with easy access to the trail.

 

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