Getting High in Virginia

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OK, sorry for the provocative title; no, Virginia is not going the way of Colorado anytime soon. This refers to hiking to one of the highest points in Virginia. Mount Rogers at 5,729 feet is as high up as you can get in the Commonwealth. But at nearby Grayson Highlands State Park, you can get almost as high.  Main Entrance
To get to the park, your drive will be an adventure in itself. It’s a few miles from Damascus, and if you’re not used to mountain driving, you’re in for an experience. Winding two lane roads, dips and rises, and forests close up to the road are in store for you on your way to the park. But once you get there it’s worth it.

Lots of hummingbirds at the Visitor Center

P1020092Like at most state parks in Virginia, there are camping facilities, horseback riding trails, an amphitheater, and picnic areas. Virginia has some of the best state parks in the country, despite paltry budgeting by the General Assembly.

We selected the Little Pinnacles Trail to hike. It’s listed as “moderate” in difficulty, but we had no problems. The trail is mostly through a forest path with some rocks to clamber over. At the top of the trail, we were at an elevation of over 5,000 feet. The views are spectacular!

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The hike back down is not bad; we’ve always felt going downhill can be harder than hiking uphill. Grayson Highlands State Park is definitely off the beaten path, but absolutely worth a visit.

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You’ll find wild blueberry bushes on the trail. Delicious!

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This was a very determined tree.

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Flower garden at the Visitor Center

http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/grayson-highlands.shtml#general_information

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3 Responses to Getting High in Virginia

  1. Lisa says:

    Great pictures! Thanks for the tip -I look forward to “getting high” (by hiking!) sometime this Fall.

    Like

  2. What an adventure. Hiking is a high!

    Like

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