In this series highlighting Grayson Highlands as the featured park of the month, I have told you a lot about the park and what makes it a state treasure. But there is no real way to express the remarkable impression the park leaves.
Most people who have heard of the park know about the wild ponies and that the park serves as an access to the Appalachian Trail. I wanted to share a snippet of my personal reasons why I think you should visit Grayson Highlands State Park:
#1 I never cease to be amazed at the rock formations in the park
Over the course of time, they have served many functions. I can remember my mother telling me about growing up in what is now the Grayson Highlands State Park. She would take her baby dolls and play house under the cover of the rocks. As they grew older, she and her sisters shared their secrets sitting on the rocks. As I came along, they served as a good playground which made the perfect hiding place for thrilling a game of Hide and Go Seek.
Now, as an adult, I see the wonder of their size and magnitude. A growing number of park visitors come for these rocks and what the rocks provide. They come to use these rocks for bouldering. Grayson Highlands is one of the top destinations for this extreme sport. Fishermen come to fish among the rocks which create a great habitat for fish. And of course, they make an astounding focal point for photography.
This is how memories are made
Grayson Highlands one of the premier spots to boulder
When you are surrounded by mountains you may expect to see a waterfall but what about when you are close to the top of the mountain?
It is true; Grayson Highlands has a waterfall along the Cabin Creek Trail. The 1.8 mile trail is a difficult trail loop and one of the most popular.The trail is easy to hike most of the way; however the roughly 110 yard hike to the falls is steep, rocky and slippery. That portion of the trail is what earns the trail the difficult rating. If you are up for a little challenge, the end is worth it.
The waterfall makes the hike worthwhile
Enjoy the falls
#3 Amazing Vistas
The waterfall is not the only view the park offers. Scenic views surround the entire park (unless it is a really foggy day). And the best part is there is a vista for people of all physical abilities. The Sugarlands Overlook is an overlook where visitors can park and enjoy the view. On a clear day, nearly 70 miles of natural beauty can be seen. From the Visitor Center parking lot, Buzzard Rock Overlook is just a short walk and is also wheelchair accessible. The Twin Pinnacle Trail is a 1.4 mile moderate trail that connects the highest points of Haw Mountain. Visitors are treated to a nearly 360 degree view from the top. At the elevation of 5,087 feet. this trail leaves you feeling like you are on top of the world.
Buzzard Rock Overlook
Twin Pinnacle Trail
#4 Staying Cool and #5 Fall Foliage
The climate at this park is a little different from the surrounding areas. With the elevation changes, it is possible to see weather change from one end of the park to the other. But the elevation and climate help to create one of the most breath-taking places in Virginia. Wake up with the sun rising over the mountains and go to sleep with the sun setting over the mountains. Rhododendrons line many of the trails and bloom in June. Blueberries are ripe at the end of July or beginning of August. Visitors are welcome to pick the blueberries in the park. The peak of fall foliage is generally by the first or second week of October. Don't forget it is always so much cooler at Grayson Highlands State Park than the rest of the state. The average high for summer is below 80 degrees. Click here to see current weather conditions in the park.
Sunset at Grayson Highlands
Rhododendron are a sure sign of summer
If you want to get away from it all and just enjoy the beauty in nature you can’t beat Grayson Highlands State Park.