New River Trail State Park

We pulled out the tent for this unique park, one of four Virginia State Parks that offer primitive camping only. And let me tell you, this Texas girl continues to be shocked that tent camping can actually be enjoyable during the summer here in Virginia. We even got chilly during the night! 

The great mountainous location with campsites right on the banks of a cool river definitely contributes to the perfect camping atmosphere. 

New River Trail State Park is incredible. Now at the top of the list of favorite parks for my crew. And this is saying a lot because this involves roughing it a little more than our camper stays. But Foster Falls where we camped was magical with so many fun adventures we didn’t even miss the electricity, running water, or even bathhouses (although a bathhouse would be a bonus!).

There are three campgrounds in this state park. And we opted for Foster Falls because the sites at Millrace Campground are right on the New River. 

Sleeping to the sounds of the rushing water, walking from our site right to the river, hopping on our bikes, and hitting the New River Trail… all aspects that make this place like no other. 

This state park covers 57 miles of the New River Trail, a rails-to-trails path, 39 of those miles running along the New River. So if you enjoy kayaking, canoeing, tubing, fishing, cycling, horseback riding, or history, this is the place for you! The historic Shot Tower is a short 1.2-mile bike ride on the trail from Foster Falls, and the 77-step climb to the top of this 200-year-old tower where ammunition was once ingeniously made is fascinating.

This weekend adventure was both exhilarating and relaxing, one that we didn’t want to end. We will most definitely be returning. I’m already envisioning the trail painted with the amazing colors of fall! 



Paddling and Pedaling

Fast Facts (and Opinions)

Location: New River Trail State Park - Max Meadows, VA

Equipment: Tent

Date: August 2023

Weather: Sunny, warm during the day and cool at night

Kid-Friendly: Yes (ours were ages 11 and 9)

Dog-Friendly: Yes (but we didn't bring ours on this trip so that we could kayak and bike)

Site: 15


Cell Service: Yes (Verizon)

Park Highlights:

Click here to watch highlight reel.

Area Highlights:

Park Hikes:

Area Hikes:

Other Campsites:

Things to Do Next Visit (Because There's Just Never Enough Time!):


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