New River State Park

[enchanting music] – The New River
State Park is one of 41 state park units
across North Carolina and all of our park
units are properties that are protected for
their natural or cultural resources or both. – This is the south
fork of The New River. It’s the oldest river
in North America. It’s the 2nd oldest
river in the whole world. It’s one of the few
that flow North, even though it’s called
The New, it’s the oldest, which is kind of strange
but if it had been the first, it would
have been the oldest. – [Jeff] A lot of our
information, scientists think it’s an old river. And so there’s a story
that goes along with it. When they were
surveying in this area, they came across The
New River and they looked at their map and
it wasn’t on their map and so they said,
oh a new river. And so they just
documented on the map that they were surveying
and it sort of stuck. We’ve got property
scattered in five different public access
areas along 26 1/2 miles of river. And that 26 1/2 miles of river is protected. So there was a dam
or a company that was going to build a
dam up in Virginia and the local citizens
did not want it to flood this area and so they were able to get the federal
government to designate this as a scenic river. And so we’re protecting a
national significant river here in Ashe County,
here in North Carolina. – This river is
considered a high-quality waterway because
of it having a good ecological importance
of having the bugs that start off here. If you can get in the
river, lift up rocks, pick your bugs out, put
’em in an ice cube tray. You can actually key
them out to find out if they’re MayFlies,
if they’re caddisflies, if they’re stoneflies,
if they’re damselflies, if they’re dragonflies,
and knowing what species they are will tell you
the health of the river. The coolest thing,
I think out here, is a little amphibian
called a hellbender. He’s a giant salamander
that can grow up to 2 1/2 feet. They are species of
special concern right now because their populations
are declining. – [Jeff] They’re called
an indicator species. For finding them it
indicates there’s good water quality. And here at New
River State Park, we sort of adopted the
hellbender as our mascot for water quality. – [Kelly] Making sure
that we keep garbage out of everywhere,
is really important. But it’s really
important for the river because the river does
collect a lot of garbage. Because it is at the basin
of all of these mountains. Actually all rivers
everywhere are at the base of something
and then when it rains everything comes into
the river and it flows. [enchanting music] – So here at the
park you’ll find several different
plant community types. And we’ve got several
that are up on the ridges, the dry ridges where you’ll
find like chestnut oaks and trees that you’ll
find in a drier habitat. And so one of the
things that you’ll see when you’re hiking here
at 221 access is you might notice this black
charring on the base of some of the trees. And that’s part of our
prescribed burn program here. We actually write a
prescription for this burn for this section of forest. And so this prescribed fires, what they do is they actually
burn this leaf litter off and they allow more
sunlight to come down by killing some
of the shrub layer and it allows more of
that herbaceous layer. And that’s where you
get your diversity. More different species
of plants which attract more different
species of animals and it makes a
healthier ecosystem. And another thing
or another reason why we do prescribe
burns is just to reduce the risk of wildfires. The state parks are
extremely important. And one thing a lot of
people don’t realize is that you own it. That if you’re a citizen
of North Carolina, this is your park. And they’re so important
because they protect these natural and
cultural resources that are significant,
that everybody should have the opportunity
to be able to see and experience in
their lifetime. And we want to
protect those for you, as the public, and
also for your kids and your future
generations to come. – [Deborah] New River
State Park is at 358 New River State Park Road in Laurel Springs,
and its open every day except Christmas. For more information
give the park a call at 336-982-2587 or go online to

2 thoughts on “New River State Park

  1. I would love to become apart of the ny state park police or become a game warden.

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