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Tubing FAQs

Will you be open tomorrow? What do you think tomorrow’s level will be?

Even though we’ve been doing this for 40+ years, we cannot predict what Mother Nature, or AEP, will do from day to day. We make an operating decision each day, usually before 10:00 AM, and post to our Facebook page (which will also be reflected on the website’s home page). We consider a lot of factors, but above all else, we value the safety of our guests. Also – water conditions are not always reflected by the weather here in Blacksburg. Heavy rains in North Carolina, as well as AEP’s generating status at the Claytor Lake Hydroelectric Plant, have a significant impact on water conditions even when it’s sunny and 86 degrees here.

Do I have to give a deposit for the items I rent?

Instead of a cash deposit, we require ONE driver’s license for every TWO adult tubes rented. Many tubing places require a $25 cash deposit per tube. We think holding an ID is a much friendlier way of doing things.

Do I have to wear shoes?

NRJ HIGHLY RECOMMENDS that you wear shoes while Tubing. We have never let any glass in the river, but cannot control what other people do. There may be metal or other objects on the river bottom as a result of normal river flow. Also, if you go through the rapids, you will need to walk back to Big Falls Park on or alongside the road. You will be MUCH more comfortable wearing a pair of shoes. Flip flops or crocks are better than nothing, but are very easy to lose in the river. We suggest water shoes. Water shoes are available to purchase in the office for $15 per pair.

Is there a minimum age to go tubing?

NO. ANYONE can tube! Our section of the New River is very family-friendly. There is about a mile stretch where the river is calm and shallow, with about a 200-yard section of rapids at the end. Big Falls Park and the bus stop are above the rapids, so you DO NOT have to go through the rapids to go tubing. At higher water levels we may recommend not allowing children under a certain age (depending on water conditions) to go through the rapids. We do recommend that all children get out before the rapids on their first trip down, so that they may become familiar with the rapids before going through them.

Do i have to ride the bus back to new river junction from big falls park?

YES. If you rent tubes from New River Junction, you MUST use our bus service. Big Falls Road is narrow, has limited shoulder room, and is highly trafficked through tubing season. Riding the bus ensures your safety.

Do I have to park my vehicle at new river junction?

YES. For 40+ years, New River Junction has been trying to eliminate the parking problem at Big Falls Park. To access Big Falls Park or to use the bus service you MUST have a wristband. Wristbands are given to you with your tubing rental or by purchasing a Big Falls Park pass. If you are NOT tubing, you must use the bus service from the New River Junction Office to Big Falls Park.

DO I need a reservation to come tubing?

NO. Only groups of 10 or more persons who are paying as a group need to make a reservation. Groups of 10 or more paying as a group shoult print and use the Group Tubing form.

Do I need to bring my grilling supplies and charcoal if I want to grill out at big falls park?

NO. New River Junction provides grills, picnic tables, charcoal, lighter fluid, paper plates, napkins and plastic utensils. All you need is your food, and spatula or tongs. Our bus drivers will move your cooler to the park so that you have everything there when you come off the river. If you have any questions please ask at the Office when you rent your tubes. Grills should be lit before 4:00 PM, and you do need to be wrapping up your grilling by 5:00 PM.

Am I allowed to bring my dog tubing?

YES. We have tubes with bottoms in them just for dogs. They are the same price as our cooler tubes. [$5 Monday – Thursday, $6 Friday – Sunday]. However, your dog must be on a leash anytime they are on NRJ property. No excessive barking, no digging, and make sure you clean up after your dog. Make sure your dog is comfortable being in a tube before you take off down the river. Some dogs do “jump ship” and swim to shore. We don’t want you to have to spend your time searching for a lost dog!

Is there a place where I can hang my keys while i tube?

YES. We have two key racks at the entrance to the Tube Corral (where you pick up / drop off your tube). We HIGHLY suggest that you leave whatever you don’t want the river to take in your vehicle (keys, wallet, phones, earbuds, etc.). ASk to see our collection of lost keys!

How long does the entire float take?

About an hour, depending on the water level.

How cold is the water?

NOT COLD! The water stays in the 80’s to as high as 91 degrees through September.

Do you have lunch for sale?

NO. We do have snacks, drinks and ice cream for sale in the Office.

When is the best time to go tubing?

ANYTIME! But if you want to avoid the crowds and save some money, come on a weekday!

Can i pass the yellow buoys and go to the left side of the river without my tube on a yellow day?

NO. Everyone who is using New River Junction’s facilities MUST stay river right and pass between the yellow buoys for the rapids on a yellow-level day.

What is A usage fee?

NRJ’s Usage Fee is a small fee for guests who bring their own tubes, kayaks or boats, but would still like to access the river, use Big Falls Park, and use the bus service. These visitors also have access to the grills.