After a few days hiking in NC, I visited Grayson Highlands in Virginia. The park has everything a hiker or day camper can want. It’s trails are easy to the most advanced.
Some of the trails are part of the AT. If you go on a weekend, expect large crowds. People really like this park.
When I arrived at the park it was just breaking 8:00am and I was told by park service employees that the campground was not open to new arrivals until 4:00pm. So I decided to park my rig and go take one of the many trails that were available. The Appalachian Spur Trail meets with the AT and takes you to Mt. Rogers. This is about a 5-6 mile hike and I thought it would be a good one to hit that early in the morning.
Unfortunately for me, the mountain was socked in with fog and it was pretty hard to see more than 20 ft at a time. That caused the hike to go much slower than I wanted it to, but in the end it worked out great because I was literally the only hiker for miles.
About a mile and a half from Mt. Rogers, I caught one of the many rocks that doted the trail and got a stone bruise. Not that it bothered me at that point but as the trail went on it was harder and harder to place my foot without sharp. I did make it to Mt. Rogers but what should have been a 4 hour hike turned into a day long affair.
The fog burned off to a degree later that day, but really never left the mountain. It turned chilly and after my long hike, a warm coat and fire was just the ticket. Of course a good book and drink helped too. With temps in the mid 50’s and a cool wind, sleeping was pretty easy.
The next morning the fog did burn off and anyone hiking had a great day. I on the other hand, had a swollen foot so my time on the mountain was over for this trip. Grayson Highlands is a blast and should be put on anyone’s got to hike list.
Oh, I almost forgot. In the fog, I walked right up on a couple of wild ponies that are native to the area, thank goodness they weren’t the bears that are frequently seen on the trials early in the mornings!
Watch your six.