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Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers

Appalachian Trail

Blue Ridge Highlands, Virginia

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Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers

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  • A hiker follows the Rhododendron Trail.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • Rolling mountains viewed through the trees near the trailhead.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • A fence was erected to keep native endangered plant species alive for scientific study.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • A hiker looks out over the trail ahead.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • One of the bulls that are allowed to roam free on the outskirts of the Grayson Highlands.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • A hiker heading uphill to a lookout.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • Two foals playing while their mothers graze.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • A slot in the rocks that serves as a quick pass if you can squeeze through.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • A pony grazing in the flats on the Appalachian Trail.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • A natural staircase leading down to the Lewis Fork Wilderness.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • Signs and blazes are well-maintained and help to direct you along the trial.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • A mid-afternoon view of the mountains from the Appalachian Trail.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • A herd of ponies near the Thomas Knob Shelter.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • The friendly ponies are very used to humans.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
  • A night shot toward the North Carolina border from a campsite on the Appalachian Trail.- Grayson Highlands State Park to Mount Rogers
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Wildlife viewing.
Cons: 
No shade. Few water sources.
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Region:
Blue Ridge Highlands, VA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,942.00 ft (591.92 m)
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
10.00 mi (16.09 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,786.00 ft (1,153.97 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

This is a 10-mile hike that contains a portion of Grayson Highlands State Park and follows along the Appalachian Trail to Mount Rogers. It is extremely busy on weekends and only slightly-less busy during the week. As such, the trail is very well worn, well-blazed and marked with signs that help to steer you in the right direction. The trail is mostly in direct sunlight without many water sources for about 8 miles until you reach the Thomas Knob Shelter along the Appalachian Trail. The trailhead begins at the Massie Gap parking lot located in Grayson Highlands. From the parking lot, follow the blue-blazed Rhododendron Trail for 0.5 miles until you intersect with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail toward Mount Rogers. You'll pass the Thomas Knob Shelter, which is the only place to get water on this trail after leaving Grayson Highlands. Be sure to bring a water pump and extra containers if you'll be staying overnight. To find the spring, follow the blue-blazed trail to the left of the shelter to the fenced area. 

You'll see herds of wild ponies during your hike through the park and then again once you reach Jefferson National Forest. These ponies are used to humans and will come right up to you, but it is against state park rules to feed them. Dogs are allowed to roam free on this trail, but be aware of how they will interact with the wildlife.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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