Grayson Highlands is Virginia's third largest state park with 4,935 acres of land and is located in Grayson County near Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. The elevation is higher than any other state park in Virginia and they are best known for beautiful long range views and the wild ponies that live in the highlands. Grayson Highlands State Park was originally named Mount Rogers State Park and was established in 1965.
On a clear day, you can see the Blue Ridge Parkway some 70 miles away and in the fall the red leaves of the sugar maples create a beautiful sight. The park offers 15 miles of trails for hiking plus year round access to the 2,184 mile long Appalachian Trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. For equestrians, they provide access to the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail, a beautiful trail that takes horse lovers 68 miles through national forest.
Grayson Highlands offers access to Mount Rogers, Virginia's highest peak with an elevation of 5,729 ft. The summit of Mount Rogers is covered by a thick spruce-fir forest and offers no views, but the trails to the summit pass through open meadows and cross bald ridge tops with far reaching vistas. To reach the summit from Grayson Highlands you can gain access through the Massie Gap. This park also offers camping, picnicking, fishing, hunting and horse stables.
Grayson Highlands State Park is the only park in Virginia to provide a special area for visitors to bring and stable their own horses. The area is also popular with winter campers, cross-country skiers, trout anglers, deer and turkey hunters, and scientists who come to examine the unusual high-mountain bogs (swampy spots) of Grayson County.
The picnic area is next to a rebuilt homestead site, complete with two log cabins, a springhouse, and a cane mill. Like other mountains in the Blue Ridge range, the peaks of Grayson Highlands are rounded, not sharp…the result of eons of wear by wind, rain, and melting snow. The high peaks in this area, however, are composed of rhyolite, a volcanic rock almost as hard as granite. That is why they eroded slower than surrounding mountains and why they remain today the highest cluster of peaks in Virginia.
There's special events that take place in the park every year which include Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition held the third Saturday in June and the Grayson Highlands Fall Festival is held the last full weekend in September and also the Albert Hash Memorial Festival is held in August every year.
Nearby events include the Whitetop Mountain Maple Festival which held at the Mt Rogers School every year in March. There's also the Whitetop Mountain Molasses Festival which is held in October and the Mt Rogers Rampfest which is held in May every year, both of these are held at the Mt. Rogers VFH.
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