This trail is also the highest point in Virginia, and because of wildfires, it is all big skies and pine trees, making it feel like somewhere out west rather than Southern Virginia.

First of all, who doesn't love wild ponies!  There are tons of ponies here, and although they are wild, they are not afraid of people and you can get pretty close (just don't feed them!).  

Once you enter Grayson Highlands State Park, you will see a parking lot for Massie Gap a few miles in, park here. There is an obvious trail, the Rhododendron Trail, that you will follow for about .5 mile until you reach the AT. Turn left, follow the AT to Wilburn Ridge, go past the Thomas Knob Shelter until you reach the short spur that leads to the Mount Rogers summit. There are no real views at the summit, but plenty along the hike to get there. Round trip the hike is 8 miles.

In the springtime there are tons of rhododendron, blueberries in late summer, and fiery colors in the fall.  To top it all off, there are plenty of great campsites and shelters as well as nearby water sources.  Dogs are also welcome and from personal experience, love this hike :)  This can also be done as a day hike if you don't want to camp.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Camera
  • Food
  • Water treatment + bottle water
  • Stove
  • Backpack
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RT Distance 8 Miles
Elevation Gain 1080 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

over 1 year ago

Best Backpack In Virginia

Such a beautiful hike with so many different terrains and landscapes! I felt like I was somewhere far far away from Virginia! There are tons of great backcountry campsites as the trail is located along the AT. It's super dog friendly and the ponies come right up to you!

about 2 years ago

Our Favorite Hike To Date

We hiked in from Massie Gap to Mount Rogers in late June and we quickly decided this was our favorite hike we've ever done. This hike offers the most beautiful views I've ever seen in the United States, and hiking among the ponies is one you won't soon forget! Plenty of beautiful camping spots. We hope to come back one day.

Gorgeous Scenery

I seriously loved this hike and it easily tops all the other hikes I've done this far in Virginia!


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