A pristine evergreen forest awaits hikers on the high of Mount Rogers, the official highest level in Virginia, towering within the sky at 5,729 toes above sea stage and also known as the ‘Mount Washington of the Southeast.’ Positioned in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, this fantasy-like path as much as the staggering summit showcases among the most immaculate and delightful surroundings that appears strikingly much like the Pacific Northwest; all blanketed throughout an space that is delightfully explorable on foot.


Named after William Barton Rogers – Virginia’s first State Geologist who later based the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise – the mountain and its swish summit is not the only real reward; the entire journey is, as a stretch of nature’s terrains the place feral ponies roam free throughout lush landscapes and wildflowers bloom in spring. Commanding a there-and-back hike to Mount Rogers’s tip, that is one hike that nature lovers simply do not want to miss, be it in winter, spring, summer time, or fall; it is a year-round route with breathtaking scenes that rework with the altering seasons. With a number of methods to deal with this path, the one represented on this information is the most well-liked and mentioned to be essentially the most scenic, although that is higher left determined by those that go on to discover it!

The place Are The Wild Ponies On The Appalachian Path?

The path to Mount Rogers consists of a part of the well-known Appalachian Path, alongside which over 100 wild ponies roam within the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and the neighboring Grayson Highlands State Park in southwestern Virginia. In fact, this isn’t the only Virginian spot to find feral ponies, nevertheless it is without doubt one of the most well-known and combines equine recognizing with an exquisite hike showcasing essentially the most elegant sights that the state has to supply its guests.

The same old journey to the Mount Rogers summit begins on the car parking zone in Massie Hole in Grayson Highlands State Park earlier than twisting and winding 4 miles up the route – utilizing the Appalachian Path for essentially the most half. It is throughout this preliminary part of the trek that hikers have an ideal likelihood of recognizing the well-known horses that had been launched to the park in 1974, who, as a feral neighborhood, now stand someplace between 120 and 150 people sturdy.

The Grayson Highlands ponies are left for essentially the most half and maintain the grasses maintained as they graze year-round; nonetheless, to forestall an excessive amount of grass from being munched on and management their inhabitants, the ponies are rounded up every Fall, with some auctioned off on the Grayson Highland Fall Fest. They’re all given a as soon as over to make sure they’re in good well being as nicely, being checked for sickness and accidents earlier than a number of are taken to what shall be their new properties whereas others are launched again into the wild.

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The a number of pony herds are left to their very own units for many of the 12 months besides for his or her annual round-up, which implies that, primarily, they’re certainly feral creatures. Though they’re snug and assured round people and generally even method folks mountain climbing alongside the path, feeding and petting the ponies is forbidden since they’re classed as wild – plus, some people could change into protecting if there is a foal close by. Nonetheless, regardless of feeding and petting being large no-nos, guests are inspired to {photograph} the animals, observe them, and respectfully get pleasure from their presence as they traverse the path.

What Is At The Prime Of The Mount Rogers Loop Path?

Among the journeys to the excessive level at Mount Rogers that takes place alongside the well-maintained Appalachian Path undergo Rhododendron Hole, the place attractive panoramas of dense floral bushes may be loved earlier than arriving on the Mount Rogers Path to the summit. As soon as explorers have reached the tip, a dense spruce-fir forest awaits, and, because the northernmost of its form, it actually affords the sensation of being within the Pacific Northwest than wherever else within the nation – a pure area surrounding the summit with mossy timber with aged uncovered roots that go deep into the bottom. Whereas the luscious timber obscure views from the summit, being within the midst of the verdant, damp previous forest plush with tall pines marks the magnificent finish to the lengthy hike to the highest.

How To Hike To Mount Rogers Summit By way of The Appalachian Path

The most well-liked Mount Rogers hike is an out-and-back 10.5-mile path and is undeniably top-of-the-line and most gorgeous within the Japanese United States as considered one of Virginia’s premier trails. To begin, the hike units off on the Massie Hole car parking zone, the place the trailhead is positioned instantly north by means of the close by subject. The gate throughout this subject alerts the start of the Rhododendron Path – the purpose at which the Massey Hole connects to the Appalachian Path. This preliminary 0.8-mile part is brief, however what it lacks in size, it makes up for in pure magnificence when the path’s namesake flora is in bloom.

Heading alongside this portion of the route may be complicated, notably as a result of it is the place the Rhododendron Path intersects with the Mount Rogers Appalachian Path Membership and the Virginia Highlands Connector Path. Most maps present all three trails assembly on the identical spot, and though they do, it isn’t so obvious whereas mountain climbing, regardless of signposts displaying data. Anybody navigating this stretch can discover their technique to the Appalachian Path by going southbound, which is the place a superb GPS or use of a mapping app turns out to be useful to make sure hikers are on the precise path.

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As soon as trekkers have reached the Appalachian Path part, they need to observe it for round a mile earlier than turning left onto the Wilburn Ridge Path – a brief a part of the hike that contains loads of rock scrambling sections full with among the easiest views available on your entire path to Mount Rogers summit. If climbing over rocky obstacles is a bit an excessive amount of, this non-obligatory part of the path may be skipped in favor of continuous the Appalachian Path; nonetheless, the enjoyable and vistas are definitely worth the effort.

Subsequent, hikers arrive at Rhodendron Hole after following a couple of mile of the Wilburn Ridge Path, at which level it rejoins the Appalachian Path. At this marvelous dot on the journey, hikers can climb Pinnacle Rock to take in sweeping 360-degree vistas of your entire panorama and revel in a pit cease whereas doing so – however it may get relatively windy up at this level since there are not any timber to shelter the breeze. Then, as soon as hikers have loved their break with a view, they’ll proceed the Appalachian Path for an additional one and a half miles, throughout which they will move by the Thomas Knob Shelter, enter the Lewis Fork Wilderness, and arrive on the Mount Rogers Summit Path – upon doing so, they bear proper.

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Granted, the views alongside the best way are surreal, however the summit evokes a distinct sort of awe that is fully distinctive to the journey that obtained hikers to the highest. As talked about, there aren’t any views on the tip because of the thick, forested hemlock grove. Nonetheless, the tranquility of standing on this enchanting area enveloped by Mom Nature delivers a robust sense of serenity, totally extraordinary in its personal manner. Resembling extra Washington’s plush forests than Virginia’s, the eerie summit of Mount Rogers appears like a postcard from the Pacific Northwest, the inexperienced gradients mixing collectively, tender moss rising on wooded surfaces, intertwined tree roots on show, verdant ferns nonetheless within the moist air, and a wealthy, damp woodland aroma that fills the nostrils with forest fragrance.

Mount Rogers Mountaineering Suggestions

Mount Rogers Path-goers ought to notice just a few pointers earlier than heading to deal with this rewarding but probably difficult hike. To raised put together for the journey, take into account the next suggestions:

  • This hike is taken into account family-friendly. Nonetheless, it is pretty lengthy and may be taxing for younger kids, these with lesser-abled our bodies, or people who find themselves rather less match than the typical particular person.
  • Canine are permitted to stroll the path with their house owners, however they should be stored on a leash in Grayson Highlands State Park and the Mount Rogers Nationwide Recreation Space.
  • It doesn’t matter what journey guides say, there isn’t any fast technique to attain the trailhead, so planning additional journey time is at all times a smart transfer.
  • There are additionally just a few campsites alongside the route.
  • The most well-liked technique to entry this hike is in Grayson Highlands State Park at Massie Hole off VA-362. Put ‘Massie Hole parking’ into Google Maps to discover a handy parking spot.
  • In Grayson Highlands State Park, the parking and admission payment is $7 on weekdays and $10 on weekends from April to October.
  • The climate can usually be unpredictable, which suggests hikers have to be ready for intense temperature and adjustments and sudden rain seemingly out of nowhere.
  • As a result of wild ponies are peppered all through many of the path, numerous gates are current to comprise them in sure areas. Hikers are kindly requested to shut any gates behind them to forestall any ponies and to roam cattle from going the place they should not.

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How To Get To Mount Rogers Summit

Though this information mentioned the most well-liked technique to entry and problem the hike beginning at Massie Hole, there are just a few others. These are:

  1. Guests can entry the trailhead for the Mount Rogers Path (TR 166) off Route 603 on Laurel Valley Street, alongside which guests can park.
  2. One other separate path hyperlinks to the Mount Roger Path from Grindstone Campground.
  3. A 3rd entry level is discovered off Route 600 at Whitetop Street on the Elk Backyard Trailhead.

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With wild ponies and grazing cattle roaming freely throughout the picturesque path, emerald-green forests and flowering flora, and views akin to the Pacific Northwest, the hike to Mt. Rogers summit is none apart from implausible and otherworldly. Granting a sense as if guests have been transported to the opposite aspect of the nation, the surroundings and wealthy forests look as if they have been airlifted over from the northeast. Lastly, as a hike that is doable even for these with much less stamina and little legs, this jaw-dropping Virginia path is not as onerous as folks would possibly suppose – the troublesome half is protecting the digicam within the backpack.


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