PEMBROKE, Va. (WFXR) — Sometimes you just have to drift through life, and Giles County is just the place to do it.

Almost as much a state of mind as it is a place, Giles County is home to a stretch of the New River where you can float away your troubles, and lose yourself in the current as the stream winds its way through breathtaking scenery.

The other thing that stretch of the New River has is solitude.

“We have groups out today, but we’re spread out over sections of the river, and we’re not seeing anybody,” said Tangent Outfitters’ owner, Shawn Hash, as he paddled a drift boat. “You can have the river to yourself.”

Tangent Outfitters operates out of Pembroke. It offers canoe and kayak rentals, guided fishing trips, tubing, and float trips among other things.

“There is just so much to do here, and it’s beautiful,” exclaimed Hash.

Shawn Hash of Tangent Outfitters

While the river is the focus, the Appalachian Trail is close by, and so are the Cascades, making it a hiker’s paradise.

As for lodging, there are a wide range of options. Tangent offers overnight camping floats with tents set up on mid-stream islands.

“There’s an island we camp on down here,” said Hash. “You float down, set up camp on the island; sand, trees, fire pit, I mean it’s just absolutely gorgeous.

If you prefer something with a roof, there are rustic riverside cabins available for rent.

If you like a little luxury to go with your float trip escape, there are the Mountain Lake Lodge and the Inn at Riverbend nearby.

The scenery is spectacular with mountain vistas that can only be seen from the river. Plus, there’s plenty of wildlife. Blue herons, egrets, eagles, mink, otters, bears, and deer are common sights.

And then there’s the fishing. The New River is one of the top smallmouth bass and muskellunge fisheries in Virginia. However, it’s just one of the many things you can do as you find the solitude to recharge your inner batteries.

Specatular views along the New River

“It’s absolutely gorgeous. You can come down and float, canoe, kayak,” Hash added. “There’s neat places to stay, and we have miles of not only the New River, but the Appalachian Trail, and really cool waterfall hikes; really neat destinations.”

The key to all of it is that it’s a place where you set the pace. You can forget about the stresses in your life for a few hours or a few days, do some reflection, and rediscover yourself.

And that is good for the soul.

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