World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

New River (Kanawha River)

Article Id: WHEBN0000512078
Reproduction Date:

Title: New River (Kanawha River)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Greenbrier River Watershed Association, List of islands of West Virginia, Bluestone Wildlife Management Area, Bluestone Lake, American Heritage Rivers
Collection: American Heritage Rivers, Kanawha River, Landforms of Carroll County, Virginia, Landforms of Fayette County, West Virginia, Landforms of Giles County, Virginia, Landforms of Grayson County, Virginia, Landforms of Mercer County, West Virginia, Landforms of Montgomery County, Virginia, Landforms of Pulaski County, Virginia, Landforms of Raleigh County, West Virginia, Landforms of Summers County, West Virginia, Landforms of Wythe County, Virginia, New River Gorge National River, Protected Areas Established in 1975, Protected Areas of Alleghany County, North Carolina, Protected Areas of Ashe County, North Carolina, Rivers of North Carolina, Rivers of Virginia, Rivers of West Virginia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

New River (Kanawha River)

New River
The New River within the New River Gorge as viewed from Hawks Nest State Park in West Virginia
Country United States
States North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
Counties Ashe NC, Alleghany NC, Watauga NC, Grayson VA, Carroll VA, Wythe VA, Pulaski VA, Montgomery VA, Giles VA, Mercer WV, Summers WV, Raleigh WV, Fayette WV
 - left Bluestone River, East River
 - right Little River, Indian Creek, Greenbrier River
Source South Fork New River [1]
 - location Boone, NC
 - elevation 3,104 ft (946 m)
 - coordinates
Secondary source North Fork New River [2]
 - location Elk Knob, Watauga County, NC
 - elevation 4,446 ft (1,355 m)
 - coordinates
Source confluence
 - location Ashe County, NC
 - elevation 2,546 ft (776 m)
 - coordinates
Mouth Kanawha River [3]
 - location Gauley Bridge, WV
 - elevation 653 ft (199 m)
 - coordinates
Length 320 mi (515 km)
Discharge for Thurmond, WV, max and min at Glen Lyn, VA
 - average 8,730 cu ft/s (247 m3/s) [4][5][6]
 - max 226,000 cu ft/s (6,400 m3/s)
 - min 538 cu ft/s (15 m3/s)
Map of the Kanawha River watershed, with the New River and its watershed highlighted.

The New River, part of the Ohio River watershed, is about 360 mi (515 km) long. The river flows through the U.S. states of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia before joining with the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River at the town of Gauley Bridge, WV.

Much of the American Heritage Rivers. In 1975, North Carolina designated a 26.5-mile (42.6 km) segment of the river as "New River State Scenic River", by including it in the state's Natural and Scenic Rivers System.[7][8] The segment was added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System the following year.

The origins of the name are unclear. Possibilities include being a new river that wasn't on the Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia, an Indian name meaning "new waters", or the surname of an early settler.[9] Despite its name, the New River is one of the five oldest rivers in the world geologically,.[10]

This ancient river begins in the mountains of North Carolina near the

  • New River Watershed Roundtable
  • Friends of the New River
  • National Committee for the New River
  • New River State Park, North Carolina
  • Geology of the New River Gorge in WV
  • Little Beaver State Park, West Virginia
  • Fries VA – Where the New River Trail Begins
  • West Virginia Rivers Coalition
  • Woodard, Robert Seth (2006). "The Appalachian Power Company and the New River" Master's thesis. Department of History, Virginia Tech.

External links

  • provides an informal, personal account of the river's natural history and local culture
  • DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: South Fork New River
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: North Fork New River
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: New River
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ United States Geological Survey; USGS 03176500 NEW RIVER AT GLEN LYN, VA; retrieved April 19, 2008.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c d e
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^ The non-automotive Arkansas River.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ August 1968, Vol. 19, Issue 5.American Heritage Magazine,Gary Jennings, "An Indian Captivity,"
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^


See also

The New River in the New River Gorge.
  • Conhaway River
  • Great Konhaway River
  • Kanawha River
  • Kunhaway River
  • Mon-don-ga-cha-te
  • Wood River
  • Wood's River
  • Woods River

According to the Geographic Names Information System, the New River has also been known as:

Variant names

Listed from upstream to downstream:

New River in Montgomery Co., Virginia

Parks, forests, and trails along the New River

The New River Gorge and Bridge near Fayetteville, West Virginia

The New River is spanned by the Fayetteville, West Virginia, which is open for BASE jumping on Bridge Day. It is also a very popular river for white water rafting (class II-IV in season, IV-V during the spring run-off), and several commercial outfitters offer a variety of guided trips. Those willing to brave the colder water of spring will be rewarded with a more challenging big-water experience. Near the bridge, there are over 1400 single pitch sport climbs[17] and trails suitable for hiking and mountain biking.


[16] The first recorded European exploration of the New River was the


The New River basin also has seven endemic species of fish, which are the: Appalachia darter, Bigmouth chub, Bluestone sculpin, Candy darter, Kanawha darter, Kanawha minnow, and New River shiner.

The New River is home to many species of freshwater game fish including bass, trout, walleye, muskellunge, crappie, bluegill, carp, flathead and channel catfish.

Natural history

Despite its name, the New River is considered by some geologists to be one of the oldest rivers in the world.[10][13] The New River flows in a generally south-to-north course, at times cutting across the southwest-to-northeast-trending ridges and geological texture of the Appalachian Mountains, contrasting with the west-to-east flow of most other major rivers to the east and northeast in Virginia and North Carolina. This peculiar direction, together with the river's many cuts through various erosion-resistant Appalachian rocks, reveal that the New River's formation preceded uplift of the Appalachian Mountains themselves.[10]


The New River is impounded by Bluestone Dam, creating Fayetteville, West Virginia. A few miles northwest of Fayetteville, much of the New River's flow is diverted through the 3-mile (4.8 km) Hawks Nest Tunnel for use in power generation. The water re-enters the river just upstream of Gauley Bridge, where the New merges with the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River. The Kanawha is a tributary of the Ohio River, which in turn is a tributary of the Mississippi River.

The New River is formed by the confluence of the Iron Mountains. Continuing north, the river enters Pulaski County, Virginia, where it is impounded by Claytor Dam, creating Claytor Lake. North of the dam the New River accepts the Little River and passes the city of Radford, Virginia before passing through Walker Mountain via a narrow water gap. After flowing north through Giles County, Virginia and the town of Narrows, the river crosses into West Virginia.



  • Course 1
  • Geology 2
  • Natural history 3
  • History 4
  • Recreation 5
  • Parks, forests, and trails along the New River 6
  • Variant names 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

The New River Gorge and the U.S. 19 bridge crossing it are shown on the West Virginia State Quarter, minted in 2005.

Few highways cross the gorge, with the most dramatic bridge by far being the U.S. 19, a steel arch bridge spanning 1,700 feet (518 m), with the roadway 876 feet (267 m) above the average level of the river. This structure is the third-longest single-arch bridge in the world, and is also the world's twelfth-highest vehicular[12] bridge, and the fourth highest in the Americas.

The New River Gorge Bridge on U.S. 19 in West Virginia.

The New River Gorge is not only quite scenic, but also offers numerous opportunities for Hawks Nest State Park and various overlooks on lands of the New River Gorge National River.

production. hydroelectric power Portions of this corridor are now also used by various railroads and highways, and some segments of the river have been dammed for [11] This low-level crossing of the Appalachians, many millions of years old, has long been a


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.