Roanoke: New River Trail (Hiwassee to Shot Tower)

This 15.9-mile hike or bike trip follows an abandoned railroad along the banks of the New River, which local geologists claim is the second oldest river in the world.
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This 15.9-mile hike or bike trip follows an abandoned railroad along the banks of the New River, which local geologists claim is the second oldest river in the world.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 25.7

Waypoints

NRT001

Location: 36.961784362793, -80.7171020507812

From trailhead, go N on old RR bed for a quick glance at Hiwassee trestle bridge; retrace steps, continue S along New River

NRT002

Location: 36.936882019043, -80.7398986816406

After passing through burg of Allsonia, cross Julie Simpson Rd. and continue on gentle RR grade; spur RR lines lead to abandoned ore mines

NRT003

Location: 36.9333152770996, -80.749885559082

Cross bridge over Reed Island Creek; island sits to the S; old ore washer on hillside ahead

NRT004

Location: 36.9324340820312, -80.7886199951172

Rest stop: Note how the New River flows N, one of the few rivers in the Southeast to run that direction

NRT005

Location: 36.9186668395996, -80.8060684204102

VA 100 crosses overhead; @ milepost 17.4 is the Barren Springs Furnace, built in 1853

NRT006

Location: 36.9221000671387, -80.8213806152344

Rest stop @ Lone Ash

NRT007

Location: 36.9196510314941, -80.8276824951172

Keep straight @ Lone Ash Rd.; ahead, mouth of Bertha Cave drops 100 feet

NRT008

Location: 36.904483795166, -80.82861328125

Trail passes near Calfee Cemetery

NRT009

Location: 36.8975982666016, -80.8443145751953

Cross Baker Island Rd.

NRT010

Location: 36.8840675354004, -80.856315612793

Nice campground @ bottom of hill near Foster Falls Depot

NRT011

Location: 36.8707008361816, -80.86865234375

Bridge crosses over US 52

NRT012

Location: 36.8704986572266, -80.8700180053711

End @ Shot Tower Historical State Park, where ammo for settlers was made; RR trail continues 25+ miles to Galax