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  1. #1
    Registered User jeremyupham's Avatar
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    Default info needed on short hike in grayson highlands

    Hi all, we're headed to Grayson Highlands on Oct 9 and my wife and I have never hiked the area. We have only 2 days to hike and need info from those that know the area on a good loop (maybe 10-15miles or so) with a beautiful view to camp overnight (anniversary weekend). We would like to see the ever so popular ponies as well. I've read somewhere that there is a field area where we could wake up to grazing ponies but can't remember where I read that. We are going to stay away from hiking up Mt Rogers until we have more time. Also, where can we park overnight? Your help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

  2. #2

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    pm wolf. he is the master of this domain.

  3. #3
    Registered User toegem's Avatar
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    I would suggest coming in at Massie Gap go either north or south on AT Use the Pine Mnts Trail to close the loop. I thought this area was a really nice place to hike plenty of views as long as it does not rain, lots of interesting features. We saw some ponies at Wise shelter and Thomas Knob Shelter. Some really nice places to tent with good views in the Thomas Knob Shelter area.
    Some else maybe able to chime in with parking, I'm not sure but there maybe parking available at Scales, I saw alot of day hikers in that area.
    The journey of 10,000 miles, begins with the first step.

  4. #4
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    Toegem's loop is excellent, ~12 miles.
    You can park at Scales if the vehicle will make it. It's not steep but VERY rocky from SR603 side. Massie Gap is the best parking without 4-wheel.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by toegem View Post
    I would suggest coming in at Massie Gap go either north or south on AT Use the Pine Mnts Trail to close the loop. I thought this area was a really nice place to hike plenty of views as long as it does not rain, lots of interesting features. We saw some ponies at Wise shelter and Thomas Knob Shelter. Some really nice places to tent with good views in the Thomas Knob Shelter area.
    Some else maybe able to chime in with parking, I'm not sure but there maybe parking available at Scales, I saw alot of day hikers in that area.
    My last loop was along Wilburn Ridge and across the fence stile and onto the Pine Mt trail and thru Scales and circled back on the AT, I think. Massie Gap has a fine overnight parking lot which costs about $2 a night.

  6. #6
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    10-22-2002
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    Listen to toegem. Park at Massey Gap in Grayson Highlands State Park (a couple of bucks a day to park, but safe.) Park in the backpacker's lot, and follow the blue-blaze access trail to the top, where it intersects the A.T.

    Due to a quirk in the trail layout, the A.T. makes a large loop, and you are standing at the bottom of that loop. You can hike in either direction, and use the Pine Mountain Trail to close the loop at the top. (This is really obvious on a map.)

    There are many camping spots on this loop. One of my favorites is in the middle of Pine Mountain. There is a small saddle with tons of tent sites, and a good spring inside a corral (filter or treat this water.) Hiking down the PMT to this saddle, you'll know you are there when you intersect the Lewis Fork Trail. Walk up the LFT into the grassy meadow (NOT down into the woods), to find the water source.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  7. #7
    Registered User jeremyupham's Avatar
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    How rocky are we talking at the scales? I am driving a small front wheel drive car.

  8. #8
    Registered User jeremyupham's Avatar
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    Sounds like Toegem suggested a good loop. I think I'll take his advise and hope the weather is good. Thanks all. Any other ideas are certainly welcome.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyupham View Post
    How rocky are we talking at the scales? I am driving a small front wheel drive car.
    I've done a few times, but I've lost a coupla mufflers too.
    The first half mile used to be the worst, but they moved the road, now that's the best. It's 4 miles @ about 8-9 min per mile in a 4WD.
    People do it in small cars, but the issue is ground clearance.

  10. #10
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Don't drive to Scales, there is no real reason to do so. Park at Grayson Highlands.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

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