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Celebrate National Trails Day in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains – June 1, 2019

Published on May 31, 2019 by Shannon Payne

One of these stunning parks is the perfect destination for National Trails Day this Saturday, June 1, 2019!

Grayson Highlands State Park

Located near Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, Virginia’s two highest mountains, Grayson Highlands offers scenic views of alpine-like peaks more than 5,000 feet high. Facilities include a visitor center, campgrounds, and hiking trails leading to waterfalls and overlooks. 

 

The inhabitants of Grayson Highlands--a herd of wild ponies that roam freely.

The following guided hikes are planned throughout this year's National Trails Day. 

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Hike on the Appalachian Trail to Mt. Rogers, meet at Massie Gap

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Trail maintenance on Rhododendron Trail, meet at Massie Gap

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Trick Your Stick at the Campground Amphitheater

8 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Salamander Meander at the Visitor Center

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/grayson-highlands

New River Trail State Park

New River Trail is a 57-mile linear park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. The park parallels the historic New River for 39 miles and the scenery is magnificient. The trail is relatively flat and appropriate for all skill levels. A trail entrance is located in Fries, VA at 323 Firehouse Drive.  From Route 94, go south to town.  Parking is available near the town park.

Untamed beauty along the trail.

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/new-river-trail

Virginia Creeper Trail

The Virginia Creeper trail is a 34.3-mile rail-to-recreation trail, traversing through two counties from Abingdon, Virginia, through Damascus, and ending just past Whitetop Station in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, at the Virginia-North Carolina border.  Cycling the Creeper Trail is perfect for riders of varying ages and fitness levels due to it's slight decline.  

To get to the Whitetop Station trailhead, follow US 58 east from Abingdon into Grayson County. Turn right on State Route 726 and head south toward the North Carolina border. You will see the parking area off of 726.

To get to the Abingdon trailhead, head south on Main Street/US 11 in Abingdon and turn left onto Pecan Street. There is a large locomotive engine on display by the trailhead, which you can see to the left of the parking lot.

https://www.vacreepertrail.org/

 

 

Meet The Author
My husband and I both grew up in the wonderful small town of Fries, VA. We purchased River Mist Retreat from family in 2009. We have a special connection to this property as we shared many picnics here while we were dating. The property is truly a relaxing retreat. It’s secluded with enough amenities to keep you occupied (hammocks, a fire pit, horse shoes, volley ball, playhouses, the creek, and the river). The head of the New River Trail in downtown Fries is five minutes from our property. As an old railroad line, the terrain of the New River Trail is gently sloped without hills, making it perfect for visitors off all ages to hike, bike, and ride horseback. For adventure seekers, canoes, kayaks, tubes, and bikes can be rented from New River Outdoor Adventures. Several guests have enjoyed a four hour float from the public boat landing at Riverside on Route 94 back to River Mist Retreat. We hope that our guests enjoy River Mist Retreat as much as we do and create memories to treasure!
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