Grayson Highlands State Park

When I first heard about the park with the wild ponies, I immediately thought “Wow, that’s neat. But how often do people really get to see them?” Well, let’s just say that if you find yourself in Grayson Highlands State Park and…wait for it… you open your eyes, you will see a wild pony. These beautiful little horses are just part of the amazing scenery. (So are their droppings. Be sure to mind your step.)

This breathtaking park located in the Blue Ridge region of Virginia immediately became a favorite of ours. It truly is like no other. There were many moments while hiking when I felt as if this little portion of Virginia was actually located in another country. Highlands are not something I see every day, and I could easily picture Scotland with a similar landscape. I mean, I’ve never been there, but I have watched Disney’s Brave after all.

With such beautiful views, you can pretty much count on some tricky winding roads to reach this gem. Our pop-up camper made it okay (as long as the top speed allowed turtles to pass us), but pulling a larger rig would have my pulse elevated for sure. However, it can be done. And make sure you have what you need before making the trek, as there is not much apart from a couple of adorable general stores near this park. That is part of its charm, I believe. You truly feel transported. 

And that is exactly what it felt like after hiking to the top of Mount Rogers, the highest point in the state. We trekked over open rocky highlands into dense forest, carpeted with such vivid green moss that we half expected to see hobbits or elves pop out from behind a tree at any moment. A small plaque on a huge rock may be all that marks this peak, but enchanting is how it is marked in our memory.

I will tell you right now, this park has many magnificent trails. So get ready for some heavy hiking notes.

Fast Facts (and Opinions)

Location: Grayson Highlands State Park, Mouth of Wilson, VA

Equipment: Pop-Up

Date: September 2020

Weather: Sunny, very pleasant

Kid-Friendly: Yes (ours were ages 8 and 6)

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Site: 33


Cell Service: No (Verizon)

Park Highlights:

Area Highlights:

Park Hikes:

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Other Campsites:

Things to Do Next Time (Because There’s Just Never Enough Time!):

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