Grayson Highlands State Park: A Guide to the Place You Can Pet the Wild Ponies and See the Rhododendron Blooms Beautifully

Oct 26, 2020 06:00 PM

Grayson Highlands State Park - Photo by Virginia State Parks from Flickr
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Tripboba.com - Famous for its wild ponies and trails with beautiful rhododendrons, the Grayson Highlands State Park is located in Grayson County, Virginia, United States. It was nearby the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and lies within the Jefferson National Forest.

Want to know more about what kind of pleasure activities to do in Grayson Highlands State Park? Keep reading this article thoroughly and you may find some fun facts you never know before.

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Grayson Highlands State Park Virginia

Grayson Highlands State Park - Photo by Eli Christman from Flickr

Established in 1965, the Grayson Highlands State Park spread over 4,502 acres area and become a favorite place for hiking, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, and backpacking. The most favorite trail in this state park is the Appalachian Trail which runs through the park for 2.8 miles.

If the time allows you to explore at a certain time, you can enjoy some music festivals which host in the state park such as the Grayson Highlands Fall Festival, Wayne C. Henderson Festival, and Guitar Competition, Weekly jam sessions by local folk musicians, and many more.

If you want to experience both sunrise and sunset in the Grayson Highlands State Park, you can bring your tent to stay overnight in the provided campgrounds.

Offering a breathtaking view in every spot, the Grayson Highlands State Park has become home for the wild ponies that wandering in the herd for four seasons. There are about 150 wild ponies that you can easily find in the Grayson Highlands State Park. The best spot to see and pet the friendly ponies is on Wilburn Ridge that you can reach from the Gap parking area.

As for the hikers, you can challenge your hiking skills with over 15 hiking trails with a total of about 25-mile hiking trails run through the state park with easy level to moderate, so you need to gather any information in the visitor center about each trail to prepared your stamina. If you hike in June, then you need to explore the Rhododendron Trail to see the beauty of the rhododendrons when it is bloom.

But, if you want to hike in the summertime, then you need to hike through the Wilson Creek Trail to escape from the heat since this trail offering some small waterfalls along the way. Just in case this is your first hike, we recommended the Twin Pinnacles Loop to hike, because it has an easy level and only takes 1.65 miles to complete the hike.

For you who want to explore this awesome park for more than a day, you can go backpacking in the day and stay overnight in the campground. The backpacking loop is offering beautiful scenery which suitable for you and your family to getting engaged with nature.

Besides offering hiking trails, Grayson Highlands State Park also can be explored by riding your horse through four horseback riding trails. The horseback riding trails start from 1 mile away up to 3.7 miles away.

Grayson Highlands State Park Weather

Grayson Highlands State Park - Photo by Virginia State Parks from Flickr

The weather in the Grayson Highlands State Park may change extremely and the temperature of the highlands can cause hypothermia. So, before you make a plan to explore Grayson Highlands State Park you need to get the latest update on the weather.

The snow may fall in the state park from September through May, so if you want to explore the Grayson Highlands State Park through that month, you need to put some extra consideration because the wind is also incredibly strong. 

The tourists tend to visit the Grayson Highlands State Park in the summer until the early fall to see the beauty of the rhododendrons which bloom happily in the highland.

Grayson Highlands State Park Camping

Grayson Highlands State Park - Photo by Eli Christman from Flickr

If you want to pitch your tent or park your camping car in the Grayson Highlands State Park area, then you can book a campsite in Hickory Ridge Campground. 

The campground will offer primitive tent sites, RV sites that have electric and water hookups, and four yurts. There is also a store in the campground which serves your basic conveniences, ice cream, and firewood (you are not allowed to bring firewood from the outside).

But, if staying in the open area is not your style, you can a reservation in the cabin which offers a bunkhouse that can accommodate up to 14 people.

If you explore the Grayson Highlands State Park with your horses, then you can pitch your tent at the prepared horse camping area which available separately from the regular campsites. 

Every campsite can accommodate up to six people and there is always a picnic table with the grill.


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