Improving New River access points in Giles County

GILES COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) The New River is a popular spot for people in Giles County. Now, officials are taking steps to make it easier for boats to come and go.

"I love the outdoors, I really love being on the water," Randy Fuqua said, admiring the scene around him.

Fuqua and Austin Cunningham took a group of out-of-towners on a fishing tour of the New River in Giles County. They pushed off from the Whitt Riverbend boat landing in Ripplemead where there's a concrete boat launch.

"These access points we got right here are great because people can get in and out of the boat with ease and they don't have to worry about falling," Fuqua said.

"The best boat landings we have are all concreted," Cunningham added.

However, not all boat landings are created equal.

"We've got some that are just gravel pull offs on the side of the road. It makes it difficult for people to get out and fish," Cunningham explained.

That's why Giles County is working on improving the water access points of at least five more boat landings along the New River.

County administrator, Chris McKlarney said the next one will be in Eggleston, then they'll improve the one in the Ridge Creek area. After that, he said there are three landings in a remote area known as Shumate Falls that will be improved.

Along with building boat ramps, parking lots, and bathroom facilities, the county is also adding signs at every access point.

"It allows folks to see where they are, what there is to do around, but then also where the next spot on the river is that they'll be able to get out and what's around there," Cora Gnegy, Tourism Marketing Director for Giles County said.

"We want people to have a good experience when they come here. We also want it to be better for our residents," McKlarney said.

The county hopes to have the next five boat launches finished next spring.