Near Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, Virginia's two highest mountains, Grayson Highlands offers scenic views of alpine-like peaks more than 5,000 feet high. Facilities include a visitor center, campgrounds, and hiking trails leading to waterfalls and overlooks. Scenic horse trails and a horse camping area with electric and water hookups, stables and parking for trailers are available. The park provides year-round access to the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail.
Hikers on the highlands trails are likely to encounter wild ponies. They were introduced to the park in 1974 to prevent reforestation of the highland balds. The pony herd is managed by the Wilburn Ridge Pony Association. During fall roundups of ponies for an auction held in conjunction with Grayson Highland’s annual Fall Festival, association members check the herd for health problems.
Visitors should not approach, feed or pet the ponies. They bite and kick when they feel threatened, and human food is bad for them.
8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
The park is on U.S. 58 midway between Independence and Damascus and is reached from I-81 at Exit 45 in Marion; turn south on Route 16 and travel 24 miles to US 58 in the community of Volney. Turn right onto US 58. Travel eight miles to the park's entrance. Latitude, 36.628322. Longitude, -81.496889.
From I-77, take Hillsville Exit 14 to U.S. 58. Travel west on U.S. 58, 40 miles to Volney. Turn left to stay on U.S. 58 and go eight miles to the park entrance.
Its address is 829 Grayson Highland Lane, Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363; Latitude, 36.628322. Longitude, -81.496889.