Virginia is for Hikers

I feel as though it’s been forever since I’ve been on a good hike. Between adulting and traveling, we haven’t had an opportunity to get back to the Earth. I was very much ready to go back out though. We looked up a couple of trails that we have not yet ventured to and came upon Grayson Highlands in Virginia. We were interested in GH for a few reasons: waterfalls, plenty of trails, and some of the trails are part of the Appalachian Trail.


We got up early, packed up, and headed out. Well, we kind of packed up. Turns out we never packed any food. That became an issue.


Normally we spend about two hours or so hiking. This go around, we spent about four hours roaming around the trails. We started on Cabin Creek Falls. This one is a loop and we decided to go clockwise. Extremely glad we went this way. There’s a part where it’s somewhat steep and wet. It seemed like going up was terrible, but I think getting down would have been significantly worse. These aren’t massive waterfalls, but they are beautiful nonetheless.


We lost our map on the trail so we decided not to continue to the overlook. We walked back to the middle grouping and grabbed a new map. We rested there a bit and then continued on to the Rhododendron Trail. The trail was quite short, but landed us on the Appalachian Trail. The Trail goes in and out of the park, which is actually pretty neat because you’re able to see how different the trail can be.


What’s also awesome about this part of the trail: Wild ponies. I had seen some images of the ponies on the park website, but for some reason I just thought someone had a pony on the trail. We saw some signs referencing the ponies so then it clicked! Wild ponies. I totally wanted to see a pony. It became my mission. When we decided to turn around to walk back, we hadn’t yet seen a pony. I was starting to lose hope about seeing one, but the trail was so beautiful that I was still completely satisfied by our adventures.


We then ran into a family telling us that they had seen a pony and her calf about 400 feet ahead and that they were about 20 feet off the trail. SO EXCITING.

So we walked ahead. I tried to look for the pony and not trip at the same time for what felt like forever. Insanely hard.

BUT THEN WE SAW THEM.


It was so neat. I was so excited. They were just so interesting to watch. They were just happily eating along the trail. So we spent about ten minutes trying to make sure we didn’t disturb them too much. The pony liked my boyfriend though. She rubbed her head along his backpack. Totally adorable!


We continued along the trail and it didn’t take us nearly as long to get back as it took us to head out. Which was weird because we were tired. Tired and so hungry. If only we had remembered to pack the food!


I really can’t wait to go back. With the number of trails, we could go back quite a few times and experience something different. Next time, I think we will tackle some of the Southbound Trail and see what else the AT has to offer us.

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