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“Beautiful Views and Wild Ponies”

Grayson Highlands State Park
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 24 June 2012

Grayson Highlands State Park is a great place to visit, either as a day trip or a camping trip. If you choose to camp, the family and group campgrounds are very nice. There is a camp store to buy snacks or anything you may have forgotten, flush toilets, and individual showers with massaging heads. Great after a long day of hiking! Most people who come here hike into Mount Rogers National Recreation Area along the Appalachian Trail. This is a good way to see the wild ponies.

Herds of wild ponies have been introduced to the alpine meadows of Grayson Highlands State Park and neighboring Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Their grazing helps keep the pastoral character of the mountain balds and act as a draw for tourists. You can usually find them along the AT up from Massie Gap through Mount Rogers NRA. They are very used to seeing humans and will not stop grazing if you pass on the trail. They may even come over to greet you and if you've been sweating, you may find one licking or nibbling your arm for the salt. Enjoy watching the ponies and taking pictures, but do not harass them or allow your pets to harass them in any way. And please don't feed them. Unfortunately, not everyone obeys this rule, so if they think you have food, they may act aggressively. I've seen them try to open backpacks and heard of them damaging tents and other equipment rummaging around looking for food. But if you act responsibly, they are wonderful to visit and not to be missed if you're in the park. And they keep vegetation low along the mountains so the views are spectacular.

And don't miss the trails that are within Grayson Highlands State Park. Most of these trails are only a mile or so. Cabin Creek Trail starts from Massie Gap parking lot and leads down to its namesake creek, with a pretty 25' waterfall. There are two trails that lead to the pinnacle on Haw Orchard Mountain. Big Pinnacle Trail, a strenuous half-mile climb, also starts at Massie Gap parking, and leads up to Big Pinnacle. An easier, but longer route is the Twin Pinnacles Trail that starts at the visitor center (you can drive up to here) and leads to Little and Big Pinnacle. Big Pinnacle is a great spot to watch the sunset from. Wilson Creek Trail starts across the street from the camp store at the family campground and leads along its namesake creek passing numerous cascades and small waterfalls.

6  Thank jmpncsu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"appalachian trail"
in 31 reviews
"massie gap"
in 22 reviews
"wild ponies"
in 93 reviews
"great hiking"
in 8 reviews
"huge rocks"
in 3 reviews
"day hike"
in 8 reviews
"breathtaking beauty"
in 3 reviews
"roam freely"
in 3 reviews
"highest point"
in 5 reviews
"visitor center"
in 18 reviews
"degrees cooler"
in 3 reviews
"quiet hours"
in 3 reviews
"camping facilities"
in 3 reviews
"mount rogers"
in 11 reviews
"miles and miles"
in 3 reviews
"cabin creek"
in 9 reviews
"highest peak"
in 4 reviews
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230 - 234 of 249 reviews

Reviewed 2 June 2012

One of my favorite state parks in VA. The views are outstanding, and there are great hiking trails. This is a must see.

1  Thank TravelerJohnW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2012

I did a 3-day backpacking trip in Grayson Highlands with a group of friends. The pony encounter was simply delightful. These ponies are harmless. To make our wildlife experience seem more dangerous we jokingly referred to them as Vampire Ponies.

Grayson is a terrific place to visit for a day hike or extended multi-day adventure. The sudden weather changes means you need to be prepared. So if even on a day hike keep the weather in mind.

We started at the backpackers overnight parking lot (36.633504,-81.505146) to Scales (Wise Gap) to Thomas Knob (Mt Rogers) and returning to the parking lot.

I posted a video of our adventure on YouTube. Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dxYwZukPPY

3  Thank BradSmithSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2012

We stayed six nights at GHSP, it was our first time camping here. The campground was very nice well maintained, very clean all around. Got to say the bathhouse was "top of the line" of all the places we've camped at. Very Very clean, very private. The camp hosts were very helpful and very friendly. Many trails , lots of views, and the ponies were great. The only thing we didn't like was the sites were a bit small. We camped in a pop-up and barely had room for our stuff. kinda tight but we adjusted. Also you could here the neighbors talking at a low talk. But other than that this place was great. Nice store on the grounds for icecream and just small stuff. The closest grocery store is twenty-five miles away, so make sure you bring enough.

2  Thank Tim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 May 2012

Beautiful vistas. Great camping and picnicing facilities. Excellent hiking trails. Visitor's center was very helpful.

1  Thank ddieter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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