The best reason to go to Grayson Highlands…
So as I quickly mentioned last week during our getaway to Virginia we also went to Grayson Highlands. As you can probably guess from my jaw line in this picture my mouth was wide open and so excited to hang out with these little guys. My husband has backpacked out here a few times during the winter with a friend. (He is weird and loves to sleep outside in the snow.) One of the things he always mentions about Grayson Highlands is seeing ponies.
So I really wanted to see some wild ponies myself because why not. I demanded ponies and I got ponies. So many in fact! I learned from a ranger that the ponies were brought in the 1960s to help clean up the bald of the mountain and now its the main reason they get tourist. It also intersects with the Appalachian trail so if you ever plan on through hiking make sure you take a minute to see the ponies. While there are tons of hiking to be done around Grayson we stuck to a small 3 mile loop since we got in late in the day from driving up there. The ponies stay in a fenced in area called Massie Gap, the rest of the state park has beautiful views of the mountains. Like this one.
One thing I do want to mention is that there are signs every where telling you not to feed or pet the ponies. While they are technically wild they are use to seeing people. So don’t be surprised if they follow you around hopping to get some food from you. Try to resist the urge to feed them because the whole point of them being there is to keep the trails clean and we don’t want them to become dependent on humans for food. That being said there are no signs that say you can’t take a selfie with a pony.
Hiking around here was so much fun. I literally laid on the ground for like 30 minutes just taking in the view and feeling the wind. (Note: on the bald of a mountain it is bald because there are no trees, duh, so it makes it very windy.) Especially going in the fall you can see the leaves in all the different colors. Even Jeremy was impressed because normally when he goes the trees are all bare.
We also stayed in the camp grounds on site. For car camping they were really good. There were multiple facilities for restrooms/showers. There is also a small store with memorabilia and food, along with an visitor center and amphitheater. We happen to come on a night that had s’mores for those camping, which I totally will admit I had two. I will definitely come back to hike some more and say hi to the ponies again. Have you ever been here before? Let me know.
Enjoy. Encourage. Explore
I’m going to leave here with a few more pictures of the ponies.