The New River, which runs through North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, flows generally south to north. That's odd, since that course goes against the southwest to northeast topology of the Appalachian Mountains and the west to east flow of most nearby major rivers. Some believe this means that the New River's formation came before its surrounding landscape. The New River (despite its name) is also thought to be among the oldest rivers in the world. In North Carolina, the river passes prettily through Ashe County and is a favorite of canoeists.