Backpacking in Grayson Highlands State Park


for directions on this adventure go here

The other weekend we headed south to the Grayson Highlands to get a healthy dose of fall foliage and do some backpacking. The weather was perfect and cool and we could not have landed a better campsite, I mean, look at those views!! We started at 1:00pm on Saturday and the parking lot was absolutely full and cars were lining both sides of the road. We found a spot, geared up and off we went. We hiked up the Rhododendron Trail since it's a little bit more scenic than the backpackers parking lot route. Once up in the highlands we saw some wild ponies and TONS of people, however, after leaving Grayson Highlands the crowds thinned considerably and we were rewarded with amazing views in every direction. When we reached the Thomas Knob Shelter we realized that a majority of the campgrounds were quickly being taken up. We turned around to head back towards a clearing we had just hiked by and I was able to claim the last campsite with an uninterrupted view of the mountains to the south. Michael and Will peeled off their packs and left to climb on things while Mel and I relaxed in the sun. We had a huge dinner with all of us sharing our food and some whiskey. We called it an early night because the sun went down so early. It was such a fun, much-needed weekend for all of us!