The calendar today provides us with a reminder of how quickly summer is speeding by. It’s already July 31st…really? The season’s heavy rainfall and associated weather woes have ruined outdoor travel plans for several weeks in a row. If you are one of the many people still trying to carve enough time out of a busy schedule to escape the pressures of work for even a short time, it’s not too late.
Although water may have ruined your previous plans for adventure, water can also help formulate new plans. There are two great places to go river tubing within an hour’s drive of Roanoke. Tangent Outfitters’ Bissett Park location at 1675 New River Drive, Radford, Virginia 24141 is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. New River Junction just southwest of Blacksburg at 2591 Big Falls Road, Blacksburg, Virginia 24060 is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Having said that, check with them before heading out as water levels have been dangerously high with all of the recent rainfall.
What they offer:Tangent Outfitters Tubing
Distance: 1 – 2 miles
Time: 1.5 hours to 3 hours of tubing depending on river levels
Tangent Outfitters Rental Fees:
- $15 / person Monday – Friday
- $20 / person Saturday & Sunday
On a recent Saturday tubing outing using Tangent Outfitters, rates this writer’s group paid were $15/one trip and $20/all day. Single and tandem tubes are available at the same price per person. The float lasted close to 1.5 hours.
Tangent Outfitters Amenities:
- Shuttle pick-up is included with tube rental
- Shuttle service available for a nominal fee for those who have their own tubes
- Bissett Park has several picnic pavilions with tables and grills
- Public restrooms (not porta-potties) at the pavilions
Directions to Tangent Outfitters Radford location
New River Junction Tubing
Distance: 1 mile of calm and shallow tubing plus a 200-yard set of rapids that are optional
Hours: 11am to 6pm 7 days a week, water and weather permitting. Last departure: 5 p.m. Return tubes by 6 p.m.
New River Junction Weekend Rental Fees:
- Adult Tube: $10
- Child Tube (Under 16): $8
- Cooler Tube: $5
- Cooler: $3
- Life Jacket: FREE
- Parking: $2
- Big Falls Park Pass: $3
New River Junction Weekday Rental Fees:
- Adult Tube: $8
- Child Tube (Under 16): $6
- Cooler Tube: $4
- Cooler: $2
- Life Jacket: FREE
- Parking: $2
- Big Falls Park Pass: $2
New River Junction Amenities:
- All day tube rental
- Shuttle service
- Use of their grilling service at Big Falls Park
- Grills, picnic tables, charcoal, lighter fluid, plates, napkins, and plastic utensils provided
- They will even start the grill for you
- You only need to bring your food and cooking utensils
- Camping is available in their campground
Directions to New River Junction
The river water level has been dangerously high much of this summer in this area and tubing has been canceled quite often, however camping and fishing are still available. Daily updates are posted on their Facebook page. New River Junction is located in a quiet and scenic area that invites guests to simply relax and forget about the day-to-day cares back home.
Whether you’re looking for a few hours of water fun, or you’re looking for a place to get away for a few days, you’ll find that what you’re looking for is just a short drive from Roanoke.