One of my good friends hikes at Grayson Highlands all the time. I’ve been dying to go with her for a long time, but since it’s 2 hours away and the hike we wanted to do takes 3-4 hours, it definitely takes up most of a day. Finally we found a weekend we were both free and decided to go!
This place is seriously like something out of a story book. Wild miniature ponies roam the state park, helping to keep briars and other unwanted brush at bay. You can hike up to the tallest point in Virginia, which is actually kind of in a wooded area, but the views on the way up of the Blue Ridge Mountains are incredible.
We went through Grayson Highlands State Park. It’s $5 to get in, but worth it. (I also got us in for free because Virginia had an extra benefit for state employees this season, allowing us to visit state parks for free throughout October. +10, state job!)
Once we were in the park, we parked at Massie Gap and took either Horse Trail North or the Appalachian Spur up into the highlands. From there, we split off onto the Appalachian Trail that goes up to Mount Rogers. You get to stand on a big rock and say you’re in the tallest point in Virginia, which is pretty cool.
Some days I just can’t get over how beautiful Southwest Virginia is.
(More photos can be found on my Flickr if you’re into that sort of thing.)