Driving to Grayson Highlands State Park is a B-E-A-UTIFUL drive down Highway 58. With the windows rolled down and my ponytail smacking me in the face, The Mr. and I both kept mentioning that we couldn’t have picked a more clear, sunny, and warm day to visit the park. We read that the park offers miles and miles of (mostly short) trails with some of the best views of the area, so we were excited to visit! And I can’t forget to mention that there are “wild” ponies that roam through the park. Apparently these “wild” ponies will eat out of your hands, so I was itching to get a glimpse. Until we rolled up to the gate. After scanning the sign at the entrance, I realized I must have skipped over the part in my research that would have told me we had to pay to get in. So for all my other fellow hikers planning on parking in Grayson Highlands State Park, it costs $5 on the weekend. Hopefully you didn’t just skip over that sentence and roll up to a surprise when you get there.
After forking over our $5, the ranger at the gate gave us a park map, so we figured we should pull over and get a plan together because we wanted to get in as much as possible. We pulled over at the Sugarlands Overlook and I jumped out to snap some photos, while Charlotte and The Mr. decided on where to start.
After hoping back into the car, we drove all the way to the back of the park and parked in front of a gift shop to begin our journey on the Twin Pinnacles Trail.
I really liked this cool tree growing on top of this rock.
First stop . . . . .
Then over to . . . . .
Then down to . . . . .
Then take a left to hike the . . . . .
A quick stop to marvel at these . . . . .
These Big Tooth Aspens are at the southern limit of their range and are very uncommon in this area. What a tree treat to have the opportunity to see these!
Waldo Charlotte go?
Then back out of the trees to Massie Gap and up the . . . . .
We finally made it up to the spot where the “wild” ponies are rumored to visit the most often. We found them.
With our camera on full zoom because they were all the way over there . . . . .
( I paid $5 and all I got to see was a blurry pony.)
Since the ponies were an hour hike away, we decided to call it a day and head back up and over the mountain to the car. Charlotte wanted to stop and take a break in the little house first.
How To Get There:
Grayson Highlands State Park is in Virginia on Hwy 58 midway between Independence and Damascus and is reached from I-81 at Exit 45 in Marion. Turn south on Route 16 and travel 33 miles to Hwy 58 in the community of Volney. Turn right onto Hwy 58. Travel 8 miles to the park’s entrance.
(This post was originally published on our sticks or stones blog, which is no longer in publication.)