Giles County in the New River Valley boasts 50 miles of the Appalachian Trail, beautiful scenic drives, and recreation opportunities for the whole family. Now Giles County is coordinating efforts to market their 37 miles of the New River. This coordinated effort highlights local small businesses, community parks, and the destination of Giles County. The Giles County New River Water Trail™ is a utilization of the river, adopted by communities and stakeholders that are dedicated to improving Giles County’s outdoor recreation.

The 2015 Visitors Guide highlights a map of the New River Water Trail™ that river goers can use to find boat landings, river access, nearby lodging, and great local places to eat. The New River is considered the second oldest river in the world and people love and care for the river while enjoying all the outdoor adventures it provides. Outdoor adventures such as fishing, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, paddle boarding, swimming, wading, and camping. The focus group developing the New River Water Trail™ wants to showcase those opportunities and the genuine experiences guests of all ages and experience levels can have while being on the New River.

The New River Water Trail™ is a cooperative effort between Giles County Administration, Giles County Tourism, New River’s Edge, New River Outdoor Company, Tangent Outfitters, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, local passionate citizens, small business owners, and lodging businesses in the county.  The trail itself is already in place- it is the river. The designation of the New River Water Trail™ will help visitors navigate the river and explore the various sections that are ready to be discovered!

Along with the printed map, there is a coordinating website, http://newriverwatertrail.com, that users can access itineraries, float time information, safety information, and food and overnight stay options. The website, including the downloadable maps will all be available via user’s smartphones for ease of access. Other promotional pieces included an article in the Roanoke Times highlighting the trail efforts. Other local media outlets have featured similar articles as well.

Soon users will see the installation of signage at the public boat landing that will introduce the New River Water Trail™ and provide information to river goers. Other marketing pieces that will soon be available for river goers to purchase include two NRWT stickers and waterproof maps of the entire river trail to date.

Improvements to the Ripplemead and Bluff City boat landings was made possible by a $119,000 grant from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Giles County funded the remainder of the costs for the boat ramp improvements. Other funding for the project comes from the local lodging taxes. Volunteer efforts are supporting the development of the river tail.

Giles County feels that by promoting the natural assets in place, local business will see increased sales and longer stays in the New River Valley by overnight guests. The efforts put forth by the county allow for the local communities to build and develop from that foundation. If you would like more information you are encouraged to visit the New River Water Trail™ website, gilescounty.org, or contact the Giles County Tourism office at 540-921-2079.

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