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New River Park Ribbon Cutting, NC

August 18, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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The New River Conservancy and Ashe County invite you to join them for the ribbon cutting of the New River Park on Highway 163, West Jefferson, North Carolina.  The ribbon cutting will begin at 11:00 am with representatives from Ashe County, Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and New River Conservancy (NRC). Following the ceremony, there will be opportunities to tour the new park with Foggy Mountain Nursery and NRC.  Swimming in the New River will be encouraged, or bring your boat for a relaxed paddle to Elk Shoals.  Please RSVP at if you are planning to attend.

After the Conservancy purchased and transferred Elk Shoals (270-acre former Methodist camp) to the New River State Park, it was evident that a public river access upstream would enhance the river experience.  Elk Shoals is 5 miles downstream of this new park and there are no bridges in this section of the river.  Not long after the Elk Shoals acquisition, a new opportunity arose, and  in the fall of 2021 NRC received donated land adjacent to the HWY 163 bridge where there was no public access. This project was born of that need for a new recreational access and has resulted in an incredible resource for West Jefferson, Ashe County, North Carolina (NC) and the New River Watershed in general.

Through the generosity of our donors and several grants NRC created the New River Park on Highway 163 in West Jefferson, North Carolina.   By restoring the river buffer with native shrubs and trees, the Conservancy stabilized the river bank, minimizing erosion and preventing further sedimentation of the headwaters of the New River. This restoration work will endure as the New River remains a resilient and healthy attraction for both residents and visitors alike.

Officially opening Friday, August 18 at 11:00 am, the park now includes a new river access ramp, parking lot, information kiosk, picnic shelter and portajohn.  Paddlers will now be able to traverse the New River from this location and takeout at the Elk Shoals 5 miles downriver. This is a beautiful paddle or float as there are no low water bridges to worry about, nor any difficult rapids.

Huge thanks go to Ashe County of North Carolina, State of North Carolina,  North Carolina Land and Water Fund, High Country Association of Realtors, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Foggy Mountain Nursery and all our donors, both big and small.  Please RSVP if you are planning to attend the ribbon cutting at There are still opportunities to contribute to the park.

Please contact Elizabeth Underwood at or  donate at  We couldn’t protect the New without you.

New River Conservancy is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to protecting the New River watershed in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina, and is based in West Jefferson, N.C., near the river’s headwaters.

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Photo courtesy Kelley Germain, Germain Media LLC


August 18, 2023
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category:


New River Park
8237 NC-163
West Jefferson, 28694 United States
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