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Difficulty I-II(III)
Length 41 Miles
Flow Range 1200 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 3520 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 07/13/2018 1:37 pm

River Description

This run winds its way back and forth across the Virginia / North Carolina border, spending most of its time in Virginia.
Kevin Kelley shared:

Pretty run from mouth of Wilson to Independence, great for spotting eagles and many other birds. Mostly flatwater with about 4 class II's and one class II+ that must be run on river left. Just don't trespass and don't litter--this section is considered wild and scenic.

See Virginia Whitewater, Roger Corbett, and Carolina Whitewater, B. Benner.


New River Campground, US 21 @ New River Crossing, halfway between Sparta,NC and Independence,VA

River info, shuttles/rental, camping.

Rapid Descriptions

US 221/21

Class - Mile - 11
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
This is one access point.

US Route 58/221

Class - Mile - 21
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Another access point.

VA Route 94

Class - Mile - 33.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Another access point.


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Curtis Warner
4 years ago

Did this run 15 years ago in an open canoe. It was a great multi day float fishing trip.

Gage Descriptions

Tell us about this gauge by leaving a comment.

Directions Description

New River Campground @ US 21 crossing 3 mi south of Independence, VA
Public Boat Ramps
36.588920, -81.314659=Mouth of Wilson, US 58 12 mi west of Independence
36.5956312, -81.2402313=Bridle Creek, VA 601, 2 mi south of US 58
36.573481, -81.153984=Independence, US 21 3 mi south of Independence 
36.614828, -81.046867=Baywood, US 58 6 mi east of Independence
36.675430, -81.022834=Riverside, US 94 3 mi north of US 58
36.683140, -81.976142=Oldtown,
from US 58 in Galax, west on 640 (Greenville Rd) north 634 (Waterwheel Rd) west on 641 (Pattons Mill  Ln)

No Accident Reports



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A Close Look at Cheoah River Fatalities

Charlie Walbridge

The recent death of Chris Clark at Python Rapid on North Carolina's Cheoah River is the third at this site in the last six years. In each case, the person who died was an expert paddler and their paddling partners did not see exactly what happened. Let's take a close look at the Cheoah below Bear Creek Falls and develop strategies for future runs. The river here is very fast and continuous. After a fast lead-in (Chaos), the river drops over Bear Creek Falls, a 12' drop. Below, most of the flow pushes toward the river right channel (Python). Ferrying over to the easier river left channel (the West Prong) requires careful boat control. Python itself contains several nasty holes and sieves, with a bad hole blocked by a boulder at the bottom. There is a good route through it, but paddlers need to plan their route carefully. Scouting is a good idea for first timers, although catching eddies and getting out is not  going to be easy. Groups need to stay together.. The rapid is tough enough that you can't watch your buddy all the time, but you can be ready to help if needed. Click through for links to the accident reports, photos, and comments from expert Cheoah River paddlers. (Photo above by Boyd Ruppelt)

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Attention Virginia Boaters!

Jason Robertson

During the high waters of Spring 2003, there has been a noticeable increase in reported confrontations between boaters and property owners in Virginia. Please remember to be respectful and courteous to property owners; do not trespass; and avoid confrontation in order to preserve access in the future.
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Army Considers Closing New River (VA)

Jason Robertson

In the wake of 9/11, the Army is considering the closure of an 8-mile section of the New River 15 miles upstream from the McCoy's hole rodeo spot. Learn what happened at the April 24th public meeting and how you can help!

Tim Glosup


Matt Muir


Tony Allred Jr


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1207194 01/25/17 Tim Glosup
1198548 11/02/10 Matt Muir Slight change to coords; adjusted takeout (Rte. 648-->94)
1207165 01/22/17 Tim Glosup
1207163 01/22/17 Tim Glosup
1207164 01/22/17 Tim Glosup
1210062 07/13/18 Tony Allred Jr 7-10-2018 - cleanup
1210037 07/13/18 Tony Allred Jr 7-10-2018 - cleanup
1210095 07/13/18 Tony Allred Jr 7-10-2018 - cleanup
1191767 11/30/05 n/a n/a