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Below is a brief overview of things you should know about hiking in Grayson Highlands State Park:

Entry Fees:

  • There is an entry fee for the park, so bring some spare cash.  I recommend ones as it typically operates on the honor system and there will likely be no one there to give you change.

Weather:

  • The weather is unpredictable and consistent wind gusts of up to 40 mph are not uncommon.  It can snow as late as May and as early as September.  During the main season, average daily temperatures are between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit and between 30-59 degrees Fahrenheit at night.  The average elevation in the park is 4200-4400 feet.

Fires:

  • Fires (unless there is a state-wide ban) are permitted using grills, camp stoves, and fire rings
  • No fires are permitted in the Little Wilson and Lewis Fork areas (locations within the Jefferson National Forrest)

What to Bring:

  • An extra layer of clothes & a hat (as there is limited shade)
  • A daypack with extra food and the usual emergency items
  • Trekking poles or a hiking stick
  • Camera
  • Map
  • Compass

Hiking & Horseback trails:

  • Please see park map below 

Activities:

  • The park hosts a number of outdoor activities including camping, fishing, hiking, mountain-biking, horseback riding, and backpacking
  • The park also features the annual Fall Festival and the Wayne C. Henderson Festival and Guitar Competition

Additional Information:

  • Pick up a map at the visitor’s center (on your left, just past the main entrance) before hitting the trail.
  • If you plan on camping during the main season (May-September), you should make a reservation.
  • Hunters frequent the park during the fall months. Consider wearing a bright orange hat or vest so they can easily spot you.
  • If you bring a dog into the park, you are required to use a leash.
  • Do not feed the wild ponies.  It is against park policy.
  • The State Park borders the Jefferson National Forrest.  The Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area is tucked inside the National Forrest and boarders the park on the north, east, and west sides.
  • There are limited waterholes, so bring plenty of water.
  • There are a few cool bouldering spots in the park, so if that’s your bag, bring your mat and enjoy!

Additional Resources:

My blog on Grayson Highlands

Virgina State Parks

Grayson Highland State Park Trail Guide & Map

The foothillstrail.com

Local Hikes-Grayson Highlands

Friends of Grayson Highlands

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