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Floating with Brooke: New River Junction

NRJ offers up a great opportunity to cool off just west of Blacksburg

Floating with Brooke
Floating with Brooke

NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. – It’s that time of year again where it’s so hot I forgo hiking for a nice float down the river.

This time, we’re checking out New River Junction, a summer staple just west of Blacksburg.

Pay the $2 to park, then you’ll walk to the yellow building to get your wristbands.

It was $15 for us to rent a tube and get the free shuttle all day. You can also bring your own tube, and pay $8 for the shuttle.

Get a wristband and hold onto your receipt to pick up your tube, leave a driver’s license and you’re good to go!

The ‘put in’ for the tubes is very clear with a sign detailing what to expect.

While life jackets are only required if you’re under 16, they’re strongly encouraged for everyone.

Finally, we plopped in and made our way down the river.

But what is a good float without a little drama? Just trust us on this one.

The water is pretty shallow, so if you do get caught up on the bank, you can easily walk the tubes back out.

It was a gorgeous day and this float is one of the most scenic I have been on.

We had been on the water for about 20 minutes when we noticed the yellow buoys. Because of the higher river levels, New River Junction said everyone must stay to the right of the river, which is where the safest rapids are. You do have the option to get out before them, but we decided to go through them and check them out!

The key here was to keep your butt up and really try to balance on the tube. I got swept towards the middle a little bit and went through a pretty fun section.

There’s a gravel spot at the end of the rapids to hop out and walk to the shuttle. It was maybe about a 4-or-5-minute walk, all flat, and then you arrive at the shuttle!

The bus takes you back to the campground and we were ready for round two.

I decided to be the videographer for our group and get off before the rapids.

If I wasn’t filming, I never would have gotten the gem of meteorologist Justin McKee flipping. Don’t worry guys, he’s all good.

It was a beautiful day to float and if you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, this is for you!

About the Authors:

Brooke Leonard is the newest addition to the 10 Sports team, joining in June 2019.

John serves as the Sports Director at WSLS 10. From Virginia Tech, to NASCAR and everything in between, WSLS 10 Sports covers the names making big plays in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB.