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New River Bend Overlook, North Carolina
The New River is the oldest river in the United States, and is thought by some scientists to be oldest in the world. It was the first river in the US designated a National Wild and Scenic River; Read more...
The New River is the oldest river in the United States, and is thought by some scientists to be oldest in the world. It was the first river in the US designated a National Wild and Scenic River; this designation was made in 1976 by Bill Clinton. It averages 2 1/2 feet deep and flows around 1 1/2 miles an hour with few significant rapids, so it provides a safe and leisurely float for the entire family. For those wanting to experience rough water, plenty of this can be found after the North and South forks converge to form the New River in northeast Ashe County near the North Carolina - Virginia border. Local 'adventure' outfitters (Wahoo Adventures headquartered in Boone and RiverGirl Fishing Co in Todd) rent kayaks, canoes, floats, and tubes at various points along the South Fork, and provide pickup and transportation back to their parking areas. They also provide guided fishing services on the river.
The Railroad Grade Road was constructed on a portion of the bed of the Virginia-Carolina Railway, nicknamed the Virginia Creeper, which extended from West Jefferson, NC to Todd, NC for the purpose of transporting felled trees to the mills in Todd, as well as outbound milled lumber. Completed in 1918, the railroad also provided some passenger service and transportation of goods, but these services were secondary. With the advent of rail service, Todd (called Elkland at the time) grew by leaps and bounds, Unfortunately, by 1934 most of the hardwood timber had been harvested, and the railroad company pulled up the 14 miles of track from West Jefferson to Todd. The town's commerce suffered and most of it's residents moved to where there was work. A 1940 flood washed away many of the buildings, shrinking the community even further. Today Todd exists as a tourist attraction and a center for outdoor activities. There is usually some form of entertainment going on in Todd every weekend or so during the Summer tourist season.