You’ll fall in love with the Kirkner Lake Cabin at the New River Retreat in Draper, Virginia. Journey back into America’s vibrant history at Kirkner Cabin, a log home built in the 1840s. This nostalgic cabin building is a testament to the passing of time and a reminder of simpler days. The sturdy chestnut logs were hued and stacked traditionally. If you look closely, you will find an opening in the wall near the fireplace that reveals how the cracks were carefully plugged, then filled with natural mud chink. Gather around the stone fireplace just as families have done for over 160 years. Many stories have been told by the light of the fire and families found comfort in its warmth. In the 1970s, Kirkner Cabin was moved and reassembled alongside Claytor Lake. Before the logs were restacked, Mrs. Kirkner hand-washed each one in the river, creating the brilliant golden hues still visible today. Take a voyage through time in this historical log cabin overlooking America’s oldest river.
The New River Valley is filled with many opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to satisfy their thrill of adventure. Whether you want to explore the river on a kayak trip, get on a bike and explore the trail, learn how to climb trees, or just take a van tour of our local wineries, you will be sure to nurture your sense of adventure with the New River Retreat. The following are just some of the things to do during your vacation stay.
Claytor Lake State Park. Ideal for swimming, camping, hiking, and picnicking, Claytor Lake is known for sport fishing and boating. The park has a full-service marina with docking slips, supplies, fuel, boat rentals, and refreshments. The Water’s Edge Meeting Facility is perfect for weddings, receptions, and reunions, and wedding packages are available. Three lodges and 15 cabins overlook the 4,500-acre lake, offering visitors a scenic retreat. The historic Howe House has interactive exhibits describing the ecology of the lake and the surrounding areas. Guests can also rent bikes and enjoy a universally accessible fishing pier, picnic shelters, a seasonal snack bar, and playgrounds. There are also two gift shops.
George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. From lush forests and cold mountain streams to unique mountaintop balds, over 1.8 million acres of Appalachian forests in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky are yours to explore. The Appalachian Trail, also known as the A.T., is America’s footpath and the first National Scenic Trail. The trail traverses 14 states and is marked with two-inch by six-inch white vertical paint blazes. Virginia hosts more A.T. miles than any other state with the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests home to 325 of the trail’s 2,190 total miles. The Virginia section of the A.T. passes through a variety of ecosystems, including the high country of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, the ridge and valley area of the Eastern Divide Ranger District, and atop the Blue Ridge of the Glenwood-Pedlar Ranger District. Elevation ranges from 265 feet at the James River Footbridge to 5500 feet at Pine Mountain.
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