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Grayson Highlands State Park, Mouth of Wilson

4.9
#12 of 101 in Nature in Virginia
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
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Grayson Highlands State Park is a state park located in Grayson County, Virginia, United States. It is adjacent to the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and lies within the Jefferson National Forest. The park was established in 1965 and contains a total of 4,502 acres (1,822 ha). The park hosts a number of outdoor activities including hiking, camping, mountainbiking, horseback riding, and backpacking. A 2.8 mile (4.5 km) portion of the Appalachian Trail runs through the park in addition to a number of other hiking and horseback riding trails. The state park is musically notable as the home for the Grayson Highlands Fall Festival as well as weekly jam sessions by local folk musicians, who draw upon the traditional styles of the Blue Ridge area. The park is also home to the Wayne C. Henderson Festival and Guitar Competition, a regionally important festival and guitarist contest named for local notable guitar-maker Wayne Henderson.

The park also has a campground cabin store with candies and ice cream inside.

The park hosts forests like those on nearby Mount Rogers, as well as a number of mountain meadows or balds. These meadows provide excellent views of the surrounding area and present a striking change in scenery from the surrounding forests. The balds are dominated by large rocky outcroppings clear of vegetation excepting the occasional windswept tree and low grasses.

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Grayson Highlands State Park reviews

TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
331 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • The visitor center and country store were closed. The roads were clear but it had definitely snowed and temperatures were threatening to remain below freezing. Was this really necessary? Yes, and.....  more
    The visitor center and country store were closed. The roads were clear but it had definitely snowed and temperatures were threatening to remain below freezing. Was this really necessary? Yes, and.....  more »
  • Totally worth the $7 admission. Easy hike to see the wild ponies. We are planning to go back in the spring and hopefully see baby ponies. 
    Totally worth the $7 admission. Easy hike to see the wild ponies. We are planning to go back in the spring and hopefully see baby ponies.  more »
  • Beautiful State park! Excellent view, and the wild ponies is the best part!! They offer easy trail and hard one too, the rangers are very friendly and helpful. The sign on trail are very informative.....  more
    Beautiful State park! Excellent view, and the wild ponies is the best part!! They offer easy trail and hard one too, the rangers are very friendly and helpful. The sign on trail are very informative.....  more »
Google
  • Hiked up to see the wild horses and we found them!! So cute and small like ponies! They came right to us....pushed my friend out of the way as one was trying to walk down the path!! The hike was invigorating with beautiful landscapes and views! We had a gorgeous day for a hike. Great for families, even with small children as we saw many on our hike.
  • We had lots of fun at the Highlands Festival. Plenty of vendors with their homemade crafts. Great food (barbecue chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs). They had homemade molasses, apple butter, and cider. My favorite was hobo pies. Live music was all day long. Then we drove about 5 minutes to see the wild ponies and the wonderful views. Highly recommend for a fun day especially for the kids.
  • This was a bucket list trip and did not disappoint!! Like so many others we came to see the wild ponies and 🥺🥰🤩 I was in paradise. This park is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, down what felt like endless curving roads. We hiked multiple trails, including two waterfall trails, a part of the Appalachian Trail, ate lunch at a gorgeous overlook, and visited the little country store. It was not crowded being a weekday after most the leaves were gone. But the ponies!! There was a baby and a young pony who stole the show. The young pony doing zoomies like my pup would 😂. We sat and admired them for almost an hour in silence. An amazing experience.
  • We took the Rhododendron Trail at the Massie Gap/Wilburn Ridge area. We saw deer, bunnies, the wild ponies and tried to go far enough to see the cows but we got there late in the day. The trail wasn't too bad there wasn't any steep inclines, it was a fairly easy hike. Great if you have someone who needs a less strenuous hike. We only went for about an hour in a half or so but you can go as long and fast as you want. There is areas where the ground is more raised but it's mainly flat and a little rocky. You will see the animals almost right away or at least as long as they are grazing in that area. We saw at least 16 ponies or more. There are a ton and they are very sweet. Someone said they were territorial but maybe the ponies sensed some bad vibe from that person because they were incredibly chilled out and sweet. Overall this place is gorgeous and my new favorite! Also, I can't believe the temperature difference in the middle of summer. It's actually cool enough for a fire later in the day and you can camp up there. It's for backpack camping only but the trail is not too bumpy so you could bring a wagon with tires on it. I highly recommend this place just please help keep it clean and keep the peace.
  • Beautiful high country hiking. We went in early September and found it to be cool and sunny. Dogs are allowed on leash, as there are wild ponies. Ours loved it, and we let her drink from a creek briefly to take in some fresh water. Be prepared for parking challenges, lots of parking along the road if the lots are full.

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