Did you know that Virginia has nearly 40 state parks? Ranging from the beach to the river and mountains, these places are spectacularly diverse and lovely. It would be difficult to single out just one as the most beautiful, but you can safely say that Grayson Highlands State Park is not one to be missed. From its scenic viewpoints to its opportunity for adventure and exploring, you’ll want to plan your trip to southwestern Virginia as soon as possible.
Covering nearly 5,000 acres of beautiful land, Grayson Highlands State Park is the third largest in the state. As you might have guessed, there is plenty of room for all the activities you could imagine: camping, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, climbing, boating, and more.
Established in 1965, this park happens to be located near the highest peak in the entire state, Mount Rogers. This picturesque area lies within the Jefferson National Forest area, adjacent to Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Long story short: you'll find plenty of gorgeous mountain views here.
Grayson Highlands has the highest elevation of Virginia's state parks and that means plenty of spectacular sunset views. On especially clear days, visitors can gaze out up to 70 miles into the mountain range.
Many park-goers enjoy fly fishing along Wilson Creek. Whether you're a fishing pro or just there to enjoy the water, it's an ideal spot to spend a few hours.
While Grayson Highlands is breathtaking in every season, you might argue that fall is the time when the park truly shows off. The oranges and reds of the foliage combined with the deep blue mountain range make for a true spectacle. Even this beautiful photography doesn't quite do justice to seeing this area in person.
Another remarkable aspect of this state park is the presence of wild ponies. While they are very accustomed to hikers and humans in the area, it's never a good idea to try to pet or interact with the horses. These majestic creatures can and should be admired from a respectable distance.
This glorious park has over 16 trails for hiking and exploring. The longest of these trails is known as Old Upchurch Road and is a very reasonable 3.7 miles long. Grayson Highland is also home to 2 miles of the Appalachian Trail, so you might have the opportunity to hike alongside thru-hikers. The park has even received the Outdoor Recreation Award for its hikes and vistas.
So whether you stay for just an afternoon or an entire weekend, you'll quickly understand why Grayson Highlands is such an incredible spot to visit.