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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan,, 804-786-2292.

Date: April 19, 2012

New River Trail State Park celebrates 25th anniversary May 5 with free parking, music, activities, discounts

FOSTER FALLS, VA - New River Trail State Park, a 57-mile linear trail running through Pulaski, Wythe, Carroll and Grayson counties and the City of Galax, will celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary Sat., May 5 with free parking and a host of activities. 

New River Trail State Park was developed on an abandoned rail-line donated to the state in Dec. 1986 by Norfolk Southern Corporation. It was the first linear trail in the state park system and, at the time, the longest rail-to-trail conversion project in the state. The first segment of the trail, four miles from the adjoining Shot Tower Historical State Park to Austinville, opened to the public on May 2, 1987. It would be nearly a decade before all 57 miles would be developed and open to the public. New River Trail is one of 35 state parks managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.  

Parking will be waived May 5 at all New River Trail State Park access points. The Shot Tower will also offer free tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Most of the day's activities will be at the park's Foster Falls area in Wythe County. There will be free pony rides for guests 10 years old and younger from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free hot dogs will be available while they last starting at 11:30 a.m. Live music by "Adam McPeak and Mountain Thunder" and "True Grass Band" will be performed at the amphitheater between noon and 5 p.m. There will be a brief 1 p.m. ceremony at the amphitheater featuring the park's first manager Neal Kilgore, Virginia Senator Charles W. "Bill" Carrico Jr. and Delegate Annie B. Crockett-Stark. 

The park will give a 25 percent discount on all state parks merchandise, horse and bicycle rentals. Tours of the Foster Falls caboose, a kid's bounce and slide rooms and vendors offering an assortment of crafts and goods will also be available during the day. 

For more information on the anniversary day events, please call the park at (276) 699-6778 or e-mail 

More information on all award-winning Virginia State Parks call toll-free 1-800-933-PARK (7275) or visit 


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