For many years,
Camp Elk Shoals provided a place for faith-directed recreation for persons of all ages, races and
faiths. However, in the last several years, the Camp has been financially unable to cover all of its
expenses, including necessary maintenance of the facilities.
Since July, 2012, the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and
Camp Board have been working together to find a way to make the Camp viable and self-sustaining.
Even with much thought and consulting assistance, they were not able to find a way to maintain the
operations of the Camp without great external support. In 2015, the Board made the difficult decision
to sell the Camp property back to the Conference. The Conference would like the property to be added to
New River State Park.
In 2016, NRC began negotiations with the Conference to purchase Elk Shoals. Protecting water
quality is paramount to New River Conservancy and New River State Park. This project will add 3 more
miles of river to the watchful eyes of this partnership.
NRC has worked to restore the riparian buffer on this property and facilitated a
conservation easement on a third of the property. Adding this parcel to the New River State Park
will guarantee that the rest of the property is protected forever
The Elk Shoals property is in Ashe County approximately 5 miles to the east of West
Jefferson, NC. This project is approximately 12 miles upriver from the Wagoner Access of New River
State Park. It would become the most upstream access part of New River State Park. Each access of the
park are approximately 12 miles apart creating a convenient multi-day river camping experience. This
acquisition would add an additional day, from 3-4 days to 4-5 days, to this opportunity.
New River State Park (NRSP) is New River Conservancy’s (NRC) primary focus area in NC. Since
2004, NRC has helped add more than 1,000 acres to NRSP, including the largest single tract at 640
acres in 2006. This acquisition would add another 350 acres and 3 miles of river to the park.
NRC has partnered with NRSP on many riparian restoration projects as well as water quality
and species monitoring projects. When purchased, NRC will schedule many outreach and education events
on the Elk Shoals property.
NRSP will manage the property as an access to the river with beach, picnic, fishing and camping
opportunities, and facilities. There are buildings that can be converted into cabins for overnight
rentals. The property has known threatened and endangered species on it and in the river around it.
It has the largest population of Virginia Spireae on the South Fork of the New River.