New River Paddle Route – Radford

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWTBefore heading out to visit a site on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail, be sure to check if that site has any COVID-19 policies or closures in place. This information is typically posted on a site's own website.


Elevation: 1731 ft.; 1741 ft.

The shallow, broad stretch of the New River that calmly meanders through the City of Radford is perfect for a half-day float or a full day’s fishing. This route begins at Riverview Park and may be continued to Bisset Park or extended for a slightly longer trip to the Dedmon Center. The shallow depth makes it easy to get out and walk if you tire of floating downstream. Riding the river provides a new perspective to the riverside habitats and an opportunity to explore areas hard to access from land.

When traveling the river, keep a look out for heron fishing along the banks or kingfisher perched high up in the sycamore. Wood duck may skitter out from the shadier sections of river, while osprey may appear overhead to fish along with you for bass and catfish. Along the banks look for dragon- and damselflies such as common green darner or perhaps a prince baskettail endlessly cruising the open water.


Directions to Riverview Park (paddle route starting point)

From Previous Site on the Lower New River Loop of VBWT:

From Claytor Lake State Park, return to I-81 and go north to Exit #105. Take Exit #105 to SR 232/West Main Street and follow SR 232/West Main Street north into Radford 2.1 miles to Cowan Street. Turn left on Cowan Street, which quickly ends in a T-junction on River Street. Turn left and follow River Street down to the parking area next to the park.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

Birds Recently Seen at New River Paddle Route – Radford (as reported to eBird)

  • Canada Goose
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Black Vulture
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Food
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Site Viewable Only By Boat