Grayson Highlands! How To Take A Hike With Wild Chubby Ponies
Tiny. Fat. Ponies.
Yes, I planned a 1,300 mile road trip solely based on hiking with ponies. Was I disappointed?? No, I sure wasn’t. 😆 This is where you add Grayson Highlands State Park to your road trip bucket list.
Grayson Highlands is located in southwest Virginia. On my way down I got to drive through beautiful West Virginia. I decided somewhere along the way that the people in West Virginia and Virginia are some of the kindest, sweetest, most complimentary, lovely people I’ve come across in all my travels. Bonus: they have the best accents. ♥
Aaaaanyway, back to the ponies.. Grayson Highlands State Park is DOG FRIENDLY, and admission is a steal at only $4. There are many things to do there.. hiking, fishing, horseback riding, camping, etc.. But if you wanna go straight to the pony party, you’re gonna wanna drive through the park until you see the sign for Massie Gap. There will be a little parking lot, and a super convenient outhouse type deal. Once you park at Massie Gap, you want to follow the signs for the Rhododendron Trail.
GRAYSON HIGHLANDS PONIES FOR THE WIN
Bean and I were only on the trail for about 2 minutes when we were greeted by a little pony, and a little donkey. There is a wooden gate into the rest of the trail, but these two jailbreaks were on the outside of the gate. They took an immediate interest in Bean.
It’s a weird day when you have to keep shooing your dog up a few feet so he doesn’t get kicked by a donkey. 😂
So after some hang time with greeter pony and donkey, we went ahead through the gate and on up the Rhododendron Trail. Make sure you bring water for you AND your dog, because the hike is longer than I thought it would be. Most of the ponies were up where the Rhododendron Trail meets the Appalachian Trail. It was uphill, and it was hot. Bean & I took a few breaks for sure. Also, there are signs posted about drastic temperature drops on mountains. It was 90+ degrees on our way up the mountain, and I swear on the way down it was like 60. So plan accordingly with a hoodie maybe if you go at a cooler time of year.
Up by the Appalachian Trail we started to see a lottttt of ponies. All different shapes and sizes. No one feeds these ponies, they live off the land. A few portly babies were definitely livin’ LARGE.
Fun Fact: The Appalachian Trail that runs through the Grayson Highlands runs alllll the way from Georgia to Maine. 😮
The ponies seem to be very used to people, and dogs. I’d say half wanted to come see Bean, and half just went along on their way.
In addition to the adorable ponies, Grayson Highlands has the highest elevation of any state park in Virginia.
Bean and I inside Windows XP, nbd ↓
You might never want to leave Grayson Highlands. When your pictures look like a painting, you know you’re in the right place. Road trip gold.
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