Flavor of, Like a Local

Summer Fun Awaits: Tubing on the New River in Blacksburg, Virginia

America is blessed with an abundance of magnificent rivers that flow through mountains, valleys, and canyons. Each river provides a different array of activities and ways to play with it. Our favorite of these is the New River, which runs through Blacksburg, Virginia as well as parts of North Carolina and West Virginia.

Summer in Virginia is spectacular with the warm, sunshine-filled days and abundant nature to enjoy. The New River is one of the pinnacle natural features of the Blacksburg area, drawing in locals and visitors alike each summer season. There’s a reason why our region is called the New River Valley! One of the most loved New River activities is tubing. River tubing is the kind of summer fun that never gets old and feels equally exhilarating every single time. For those of you planning a trip to Blacksburg just for fun, or to visit Virginia Tech, we highly recommend heading to New River Junction for a tubing adventure.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Setting

Imagine a pristine river cupped in a tree-lined mountain valley, with small rapids splashing about every so often. Your spirit will soar, and your heart will melt at the sheer beauty of one of Mother Nature’s gems.

New River Junction

The Location

The tubing kickoff point is at New River Junction, a family-owned business. New River Junction is where you’ll park your car, rent the tubes, and then get into the river. There’s no need to make a reservation for groups under ten. The park is open every day during the summer from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. as long as weather and river conditions allow. You can read further details here.

After ending your float, you can enjoy Big Falls Park, a recreation park on the river featuring picnic tables and complimentary grilling. You bring the food and the park staff will handle everything else you need to grill.

The Tubing

Tubing on the New River is generally quite calm. Tubing is open to all ages, with specific recommendations for children for extra safety. It’s a mile float with easy ripples and rapids. Overall it’s a relaxing, lazy river drift. You can float as many times as you’d like; simply hop back on the free shuttle again and again.

A young man and woman smile while tubing down a river.

How to Prepare

There isn’t much preparation needed if tubing is all you intend to do. Water shoes are a recommended addition to your tubing attire as well as sun protection. If you’d like to grill, then plan to pack your own cooler of food which New River Junction will transport to Big Falls Park where it will be waiting until you arrive. You don’t need charcoal, lighter fluid, or any other grilling accessories as Big Falls Park provides everything you need including plates, napkins, and utensils.

What to Expect

Tubing on the New River is pure fun; it’s a day spent immersed in the natural landscape of Virginia, soaking in the surroundings as you tranquilly float along the river. Perhaps your day will conclude with a riverside cookout if you so choose. You may even make friends with fellow tubers and vacationers. You can expect to feel happy and in awe of this spectacular experience.

To enjoy tubing as part of your visit, as well as the other adventures in and around the Blacksburg area, we recommend staying somewhere central. The Inn at Virginia Tech is not only central, but it is the only hotel on Virginia Tech campus. Whether you’re in town for business, to visit family or friends, or just for fun, we will happily accommodate you!

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