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Old 06-06-14, 01:23 PM   #1
kjc9640
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New River Trail questions

Looking for info on the New River Trail starting in Galax VA.
I understand it is crushed stone.

Can I ride it with 700 x 23 road tires?
Best place to start?
Places to eat along the route?
Hills?
Motels close to the trail?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-06-14, 01:59 PM   #2
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Never been there Jim but the trail pics look like asphalt to me.
New River Trail State Park
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Old 06-06-14, 04:06 PM   #3
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Ron, here is a response I just got from a local Galax VA Bike Shop.

I wouldn't recommend anything smaller than a 28. Traction isn't a problem but it is quite rocky and can be rough on your rims.
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Old 06-07-14, 07:54 AM   #4
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I rode it twice last year.

Being an old railroad bad, the grade is minimal, so starting it at either end is acceptable. I've read where people say it's easier to go from Galax to Pulaski, but I really didn't feel a difference.

The surface is very well packed, but I wouldn't ride it on 23's.

Fairly smooth for the most part, but there is a lot of horse traffic around the Ivanhoe portion of the trail. Thanks to the horses, the trail can get kinda rough. Oh, and a word of warning: the horse riders absolutely hate cyclists. Be polite and yield to the horses, but don't let the riders yell at you.

Places to eat along the trail are pretty much non-existent. There are places to eat in Galax, a snackbar at Foster Falls, and a restaraunt in Draper. The place in Draper is nice, but kind of expensive. I'm not sure a sweaty cyclist would be appreciated. Your best bet is to bring plenty of snack with you.

Motels along the trail? None. There are some in Galax, but once you are on the trail there are none nearby. Most people that want to spend more than one day on the trail will camp in Foster Falls.

Here's a good brochure about the trail: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-pa...rivertrail.pdf

Feel free to shoot me a message if you have any other questions.

Last edited by VACaver; 06-07-14 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 06-07-14, 04:10 PM   #5
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Thanks VACarver, lots of good info there.
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Old 06-18-14, 02:09 PM   #6
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a little late in the response but I was looking at this ride as well. I would add that you can camp about halfway through if you are interested in that. I do not think there are many services along the trail.
when are you planning on riding it?
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Old 06-18-14, 02:37 PM   #7
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a little late in the response but I was looking at this ride as well. I would add that you can camp about halfway through if you are interested in that. I do not think there are many services along the trail.
when are you planning on riding it?
I had planned to ride the trail sometime over this weekend but I don't have a bike suitable for this surface. I had hoped to rent a couple of bike in Galax but the shop is closed Sunday and Monday. Plan B is to bring our road bike and ride the Parkway probably on Monday. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 06-19-14, 05:17 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kjc9640 View Post
I had planned to ride the trail sometime over this weekend but I don't have a bike suitable for this surface. I had hoped to rent a couple of bike in Galax but the shop is closed Sunday and Monday. Plan B is to bring our road bike and ride the Parkway probably on Monday. Any thoughts on that?
I've ridden on the parkway twice and didn't enjoy it. I worry too much about drivers looking around at the scenery, rather than paying attention to what's ahead of them (me).

If you're still interested in riding the trail:

The bike shop in Pulaski (Northern end of the trail) rents bikes and is open 6 days a week (Closed Wednesdays).

They rent bikes and also offer a shuttle service.

Pulaski Bikes, LLC - Home
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Old 06-19-14, 08:03 AM   #9
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I love riding the Parkway; the only place I've ever had a concern about drivers is in the Asheville area where a part of it is used as a local shortcut. Of course having shared the road with motor vehicles for 50 years I've developed a tolerance.

As I remember the Parkway in that area it's pretty gentle - rolling hills through farms and orchards. It starts to get more challenging as you approach Roanoke.

I rode the New River on 32s. I think you could ride it on 23s because as someone noted it is firmly packed. It has been about 15 years since I last visited and conditions may have changed. Great ride though and the camping facilities are good.
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Old 06-20-14, 10:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by kjc9640 View Post
I had planned to ride the trail sometime over this weekend but I don't have a bike suitable for this surface. I had hoped to rent a couple of bike in Galax but the shop is closed Sunday and Monday. Plan B is to bring our road bike and ride the Parkway probably on Monday. Any thoughts on that?
I cant ride this weekend. looks like it could be a pretty soggy ride too. Lots of rain in the area this weekend.
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