Grayson Highlands State Park is located in the Appalachian Highlands near Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. Established in 1965, this unique state park in the Jefferson National Forest has been on our must visit list for a long time as the 4800 acre park is home to over 150 wild ponies that naturally maintain the vast grassy balds. I am over the moon that we were able to visit and found some of the pony herd scattered throughout Massie Gap. It was extra fun to visit with both our dogs who apparently really like ponies and were really well behaved even though they were super excited about these big furry friends.
The moderate 2 mile hike that loops up the Rhododendron Trail to Massie Gap is surrounded by the most wonderful views. Everywhere you turn is spectacular! The unique geology and rock formations are just amazing and the area calls to be explored and played in…plus ponies! It is kind of a dream to adventure there!
We will be coming back as I now need to see this special place in all the seasons. We are truly thankful for all the people that work so hard to manage these conservation areas. If you visit, please keep in mind to leave only footprints, take only photos, and try to remember that the ponies are wild so refrain from feeding/petting them. Hard to resist those sweet faces, but it is better for them to receive as little human interaction as possible.
Photography by Camilla Calnan Photography
Location: Grayson Highlands State Park