The Most Beautiful Place in Virginia

Can you guess it?

I have been through a lot of Virginia. All of it? No, of course not. There are some famous places I haven’t been yet. But I have been to Shenandoah National Park (numerous times, obviously, if you read this blog) and to parts of Southern Virginia. When my son and I went to Grayson Highlands State Park back in March of 2018, I was blown away. I knew I would need to return, multiple times, to experience the area.

The Beautiful Mountains

The day after we hiked The Channels, we drove over to Grayson. My daughter was a big jealous we had gotten to see the ponies who live in the park. Keep in mind that she was feeling jealous while visiting The Galapagos in Ecuador… (insert laugh here) I told her we’d go and check another box before she leaves for college. When we first arrived to the park, we headed straight for the visitors center so my girl could get a shirt. I told my daughter that I expected to hear, “Wow!” at least once, unprompted. That’s how beautiful the area is and if she didn’t notice it, I’d be mad. And then we had to go to the camp store to get some pain medication for my son. Finally, we arrive at Massie Gap to start looking for ponies. We climbed up the Rhododendron Trail and on to the horse trail. We saw a white spot out in the distance and got excited. The climb seemed so easy. When my son and I hiked the area it was thick with snow and seemed to take us forever.

Rhododendron Trail at Grayson//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

We got closer and closer to the white spot and then…. it was a steer. Cows also roam the highlands and we got fooled from far away. Thankfully, as we looked over to the Appalachian Trail we saw more! Off we went! We were treated to a group of about 5-6 ponies who were happily munching on the grass and vegetation. We stood for awhile watching them. It is always a thrill to me to encounter animals on a trail and ponies are no exception.

grayson pony//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Finally, we decided to hike back. We still had to drive 5.5 hours back home on a Sunday on the dreaded I-81. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to climb higher elevation and see the mountains go on forever. I wanted to hike on to Mt. Rogers and finally stand at the highest elevation in Virginia. Basically, I didn’t want to leave. I see a lot of mountains from blogs that I read. I have visited the Rocky Mountains. The Tetons. The Great Smokey Mountains. I have been in Arizona and Yosemite. All beautiful. The Blue Ridge Mountains, though, give me a feeling I can’t quite describe.

elena with ponies//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Just two weeks left before I take her to college…. *tears*

About Jennifer G

Nature lover. Being outside keeps me sane and balanced.

Posted on August 19, 2019, in Appalachian Trail, Virginia State Parks and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I loved Grayson as well. And the ponies are fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jennifer, hope your day is going well!

    You may be interested in watching a recent series of three YouTube videos by Brant and Garvey on their hike though the Grayson Highlands. Brant lives in Damascus (works at an outfitter there too), and Garvey is his wonderful canine hiking companion. As you take emotive photographic images, his videos do the same, taking you to the places he hikes.


    Regards,
    John from Canada

    Like

  3. Great post, and I agree the blue ridge and Virginia is some place special! I’ve been to Grayson once but had to turn back early, I vow to one day go back. Thanks for sharing

    Like

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