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The New River

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A Weekend Under the Stars

Some of the Montgomery County’s most treasured outdoor locales, like the New River and  the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, are so enchanting that many visitors don’t want to leave even after the sun has set over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Luckily, there are plenty of places where you can set up camp or pull in the RV and enjoy a few nights under the stars in the New River Valley.

George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

Stretching across the breathtaking Appalachian mountains, the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are among the top attractions for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Montgomery County and the New River Valley. Offering just about every type of terrain, visitors can play all day and then settle in for the night at one of 50 developed campgrounds located throughout the Forest, which feature large, level campsites, tables, fire rings, electricity and bath houses. 

Those who really like roughing it can opt for one of the more primitive campsites that are just outside of Montgomery County: Boley Field Group Campground and Caldwell Fields Campground.

Boley Field Group Campground offers a more rustic, old-fashioned camping experience. The large, open field is great for larger groups and families who wish to picnic and camp together. As the campground is located just outside of Blacksburg, campers can enjoy the modern amenities of the town and retire to the quiet of the Montgomery County night sky at day’s end. Similarly, Caldwell Fields Campground offers that authentic camping experience just outside of the thriving towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg. 

Camp sites are available on a first-come first-served basis and reservations are required. For more about Boley Field and Caldwell Field, as well as all of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests’ campgrounds, visit

New River Junction

Located along the banks of the New River, New River Junction is a family-operated campground where you can set up camp right on the shoreline. All campsites have picnic tables, fire pits and electric service, and RV sites also feature water hook-ups. When not relaxing next to a warm camp fire and allowing the mystic waters to sooth your soul, you can rent tubes for the whole family (along with a tube for your cooler) and simply relax as they float down nearly one mile of calm water. For those seeking a bit more adventure, there is an optional 200 yards of exhilarating rapids at the end of the float. Reservations are required. Please visit to learn more.

New River Junction – Flatwater Paddling

New River Junction is a family-owned and operated campground and recreational park located just 13 miles west of Blacksburg, Va., which offers access to the wide, shallow riffles and clear, warm waters of the ancient New River. Aquatic enthusiasts in search of summer refreshment can rent tubes for the whole family (including the cooler) and float down nearly one mile of calm water with an optional 200 yards of exciting rapids at the end. A free shuttle bus takes tubers back to the put-in, allowing for multiple runs from dawn to dusk. Hot-and-ready grills await hungry tubers at Big Falls Park at the tubing take-out, and are perfect for summer evening cookouts. People can usually be seen kayaking and fishing this section of river as well, so bring your poles and paddles. Camping options range from basic tent sites to RV sites with electricity.

What Makes It Great

The ancient New River is the centerpiece of everything at the New River Junction. One of the oldest rivers in the world, the New has sculpted the landscape of the New River Valley for millions of years, creating the verdant forested wonderland that it is today. Take geologic pleasure in knowing that the frothing rapids your tube is bouncing through are created by ancient sandstone ledges that have resisted the relentless forces of time and water—it’s as if the universe conspired to create this natural waterpark just for you (and your cooler, of course)!

Now that we’ve covered the big picture, let’s talk about family-friendly fun. The mile-long stretch of the New that runs through the Junction is nearly 300-yards wide and full of clear water warmed by several tributaries that create mid-summer water temps in the upper 80s. The free shuttle bus service will run you back up so you can run down the river as many times as you can squeeze in a day until the final run at 6 p.m.

When you’re done, enjoy chillin’ and grillin’ on the hot-and-ready grills at Big Falls Park. Grills, charcoal, utensils, and plates are complimentary with your tubing rental—all you need to do is bring the grub. Prefer to take it slow and cast a line? New River Junction is also great for kayaking and fishing access. A full-service campground with basic tent and RV hookups offers much-needed escapes all summer long.

Who is Going to Love It

Anyone who enjoys unloading with a relaxing day on a pristine river will love New River Junction. It’s ideal for families, couples, greenhorn kayakers, anglers, and anyone who wants to escape the rigors of daily life in a convenient and safe environment. Its proximity to Blacksburg makes it ideal for college students who need a break from the books and want to unwind with a few cold ones on a tube float. RVers will enjoy the full hookup service.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

New River Junction is located 13 miles west of Blacksburg. From 460 W, take the second Prices Fork Road exit. Travel 3 miles and turn right onto McCoy Road. Follow McCoy 7 miles to its end, and turn right onto Big Falls Road. The entrance to New River Junction is a half mile on the left.

Day use and camping parking are available. Day use parking is $2 per vehicle.

Please follow all posted rules and regulations, which are available in the office and online.

Written by Dylan Jones for RootsRated in partnership with Southwest Virginia.