Before becoming known as Radford the area hosted many historical events and locations including the famous Ingles Ferry. Radford’s first permanent settlement within the present boundaries occurred at the New River crossing of the Wilderness Road. Radford was incorporated as a town in 1887 and in 1892 it attained city status with a required population of 5,000.
Rich in opportunity, energy and beauty, Radford is ideally located along Interstate 81 with easy access to I-77 and U.S. Routes 11 and 460. Excellent transportation via air, rail and freight allows for easy movement of goods and services in and out of the City. Prime industrial and commercial sites are presently available – all with miles of surrounding rolling terrain in which to live and play.
Nestled in a large bend in the New River, Radford covers 9.8 square miles and is a diverse city full of commercial and recreational opportunity. Radford is the geographic center of the New River Valley with the Blue Ridge Parkway on one side and Jefferson National Forest and Appalachian Trail on the other.
The New River not only provides the City with a variety of recreational opportunities, but also with an unlimited supply of water for residential, industrial, and recreational uses. With recreation being very important to the citizens, the City maintains and operates a 100 acre park and recreational area along its 8.5 miles of riverfront. Radford is also home to 5 miles of professionally designed and constructed biking, walking and hiking trails and 7.5 miles of mountain bike trail.
Radford’s public school system K-12 consistently ranks among the best in the state in both academics and athletics. With low student teacher ratios and 60% of its teachers with graduate degrees, Radford’s education system is second to none.
The City has an extensive telecommunications infrastructure with all City, University and public schools linked by a fiber optic network. The City owns and operates its own modern water and electric utilities with interruptions to services nearly nonexistent.
Sheltered on 200 beautifully manicured acres within the City and with student enrollment over 9,000, Radford University continues to be one of the top public universities in the south according to U.S. News and World Report. With 1700 faculty and staff, the University is the City’s largest employer.
In addition to the great educational offerings Radford University also hosts numerous theater, art, dance, and music productions throughout the year. RU’s Planetarium also creates an interesting option to consider while in Radford.
Today Radford is a quaint small university town with a thriving business community made up primarily of specialty shops.