Backpacking Grayson Highlands State Park: A Complete Guide

If you’re looking for a beautiful, thrilling outdoor adventure, look no further than Grayson Highlands State Park. Located in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern Virginia, this park is home to stunning views, plenty of hiking trails, and of course the well known wild ponies that have made the park their home.

Whether you’re an experienced backpacker or just getting your feet wet, this guide will help you feel prepared and excited for your trip. Let’s get into it!

Before You Go: Planning Your Backpacking Trip

Before you embark on your backpacking adventure through Grayson Highlands State Park, there are a few key things to know.

For starters, there are many trails that run through the park which make it easy to create loop trails for your trip. provides a number of trails that run through the area of various lengths. However, in general, you’ll want to keep in mind that some of these trails can be strenuous with lots of hills – so make sure you come prepared!

Also keep in mind that the Appalachian Trail runs through here as well; if you visit during certain times of year, you may encounter “through hikers” along the way. If you’re up for a workout you can hike up to Mount Rogers, the highest peak in Virginia, while you’re there as well.

The Ponies: What to Know

The main attraction at Grayson Highlands State Park is the wild ponies. These friendly creatures are not afraid of people and often approach visitors for treats – but remember not to feed them human food! Before you set off on your backpacking journey through Grayson Highlands State Park, make sure to get an overnight permit via the state park’s website.

When to Visit

When planning out what time of year to visit this magical state park, keep in mind that while the views throughout the park are absolutely gorgeous all year round (especially during fall when the leaves change colors). While you can hike this area year-round, it can get cold during winter months. So plan accordingly and bring lots of warm layers!

There’s no doubt about it – Grayson Highlands State Park is one of those places that needs to be seen and explored first-hand in order to truly appreciate its beauty and uniqueness. With its stunning views and friendly wild ponies, this park serves as an ideal backdrop for any backpacking journey. So why not start planning yours today? With this guide in hand, you’ll have everything you need to make your trip one to remember. Happy exploring!






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