I got up early to meet my brother and his family at Virginia’s Grayson Highlands State park on Saturday 10/23/2021. I am so glad I did despite the four hour drive from my house. I have had this park on my list for a long time. October was the perfect time to visit as the park was in exquisite fall regalia.
We hiked about six miles total starting with the Twin Pinnacle trail, behind the visitor center. The two overlooks: Little Pinnacle and Big Pinnacle are over 5,000ft in elevation and provide fantastic views. This trail is moderate because of all the tree roots, there is also a short climb up to the Big Pinnacle overlook worth the effort.
We then proceeded to Cabin Creek trail to see the waterfall. There were several beautiful small falls or cascades along this trail. Fall foliage was absolutely beautiful everywhere we looked.
Last but not least we hiked the Rhododendron trail where we saw the wild ponies. I was surprised that they were not scared of us or anybody else. They pretty much ignored all the visitors and continued their grazing even though some people got very close to them.
Parking for Massie Gap allows for 150 vehicles. It was very crowded and difficult to secure a spot in the middle of the day when we reached it. This is where we started the last 2 trails. I suggest you get there early (or late) if you intend to see the ponies. The park is open 8am to 10pm but check their web site for any last minute changes. It cost $10 to get in. The 4500 acres offers yurts, scenic horse trails, picturesque hiking trails and access to the Appalachian Trail. Its highest point is the little Pinnacle trail at 5,089 ft. elevation. Grayson Highlands was established in 1965. If you intend to visit, I suggest you check the park’s calendar as they hold several interesting events from hiking to pony rides to star gazing. It’s a beautiful and popular park as you can tell from the photos below. I highly recommend you add it to your list.
Reference Park Web Site