Grayson Highlands State Park

Quick Facts

Grayson Highlands State Park

Virginia

(276) 579-7092

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The park is adjacent to the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, a part of Jefferson National Forest. While pets are allowed in the park, they are not allowed inside public facilities including the bathhouses, visitor center and office.

Grayson Highlands was established in 1965. The community overwhelmingly supported this park, beginning with a fund-raising effort for land acquisition and continuing with the donation of items on exhibit in the visitor center. Many areas in the park are named after early settlers. Massie Gap takes its name from Lee Massey, who lived in the gap with his wife and five children in the late 1800s and early 1900s. At that time, the present park area was thinly settled by people who managed to live off the land. They made, grew or gathered most of their necessities.

Wilburn Ridge is named after the famed hunter Wilburn Waters. His reputation as a bear hunter and wolf trapper made him renowned throughout the region.

Map of Grayson Highlands (VA)

Latitude, Longitude: 36.612496, -81.497612

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    There are a number of trails to take you mountain bike on.

    If you don't own a bike, you can rent one. Bike rental outfitters include Blue Blaze Bike and Shuttle Service

  • Camping

    Camping and a camping lodge (bunkhouse) are available. Rental rates for cabins and camping vary by season, dwelling and park. You might want to read details regarding reservation cancellation and transfer policies. A fee is charged per pet per night for overnight stays.

    Camping: Total sites of each type: E/W, 37. STD, 32. HorseE/W, 23. CovStall, 38. OpnStall, 29. RV50-EW, 4. GrpTentStd (GT1), 1. CampLodge, 1.

    Site type:

    E/W - Electric and water sites; various equipment. Up to 40 feet. No horses allowed.

    STD - Standard campsites; no hookups; various equipment. Up to 40 feet. One tent site is handicap accessible. No horses allowed.

    HorseE/W - Stable area campsites; electric and water hookups; various equipment. Up to 40 feet. Horses are alllowed only in this area, which is solely for equestrian campers except when the area is used for primitive camping March through April and in November when this area only is open for camping.

    CovStall - Covered stalls for horses; stable area; all are tie-in standing stalls; each is approximately 4' x 10'; park provides sawdust for stalls. Bring your own hay bag and water bucket.

    OpnStall - Open horse stalls, about 5 x 8 feet; some amenities in stalls. Bring your own hay bag and water bucket.

    GrpTentStd - Please see below for details.

    Total campsites: 96

    All campsites are dirt/gravel with picnic tables and grills at each site. Maximum of six campers per site. Most sites are wooded; one site is handicapped accessible near bathhouse. The horse campground is far from the park's other campgrounds. There are fire ring grills on gravel for tent sites and rectangular grills mounted on concrete for E/W sites; stable campground sites all have fire rings; all are available for campfires. Firewood and ice are available at the park. Please deposit all trash in the dumpster as you exit the campground. No more than two vehicles per campsite and the camping unit are allowed but additional visitors' vehicles may park so long as the vehicle is safely off the road. There's additional parking beside The Country Store. Two vehicles per site. Each additional vehicle on the campsite will be charged the parking fee. Guests can visit overnight campers but must leave the park by 10 p.m.; no one is to roam around the park campground after 10 p.m. Note: Primitive camping is centralized in stable area campground (HorseE/W) during March and April and in November; there are pit toilets only, and water is unavailable at this location. Drinking water is available at the park office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Camping fees are lower during the primitive camping season.

    Group Camping: Grayson Highlands has a group camping area (GrpTentStd).

    This group camping area accommodates up to 35 campers. Sites have no water or electric hook-ups. No minimum number of campers to be considered a group. A standard bathhouse is about 500 feet away, and water is available within 50 feet of the campground. Toilets are within 100 feet. Parking is available in the camp store lot or a lot across from the store - campers will have to walk between 20 and 40 yards to reach the camping area. Tents only are permitted. The group camping area is between the amphitheater and the turn-off loop to the regular campground. The group area has five large tent pads, five picnic tables and three fire rings. Groups may apply at the park for a special use permit allowing use of the amphitheater and a large fire ring. (This might prove useful for special ceremonies, such as those undertaken by scout groups.) There is a small processing fee for the permit, which must be approved two weeks beforehand. The permit must be arranged through the park. There cancellation fee for group camping is higher than that for other camping.

  • Climbing

    Please call the primary number for more information. Please call the primary number for more information. Please call the primary number for more information. Please call the primary number for more information. Please call the primary number for more information. Please call the primary number for more information. Please call the primary number for more information.

  • Fishing

    Nearly 10 miles of wild trout streams lie within Grayson Highlands State Park. Cool mountain streams offer anglers native brook and wild rainbow trout as well as breathtaking scenery. Several streams are Special Regulation Wildlife Trout Streams which require the use of single hooks and artificial lures, and all trout less than nine inches long must be released unharmed. All required state fishing licenses and creel limits apply to fishing within the park. A National Forest Permit is required when fishing on national forest property.

  • Hiking

    There are hiking, bicycle trails (mountain bikes only), horse trails, self-guided trails.

    Hiking trails: The park has nine hiking trails averaging a mile in length. These trails lead to panoramic vistas, scenic waterfalls and a 200 year old pioneer cabin. The park also offers access to the Appalachian Trail and trails in the surrounding Jefferson National Forest. Details about the park's trails are listed below.

    There are several nearby backpacker shuttle services: Creeper Trail Bike Rental and Shuttle, Whitetop, Va., (276) 388-3056; Mount Rogers Outfitters in Damascus, Va., (276) 475-5416; Sundog Outfitter, Damascus, Va., (866) 515-3441.

  • Horseback Riding

    Bridle trails: More than two miles of bridle paths wander through the park. These paths also lead to bridle trails in Jefferson National Forest. Parking facilities for horse trailers and overnight stables are available at the park. The park does not provide horses for trail rides.

  • Picnicking

    The picnic area is next to a rebuilt homestead site, complete with two log cabins, a spring-house and a cane mill. Picnic facilities include drinking water, grills and restrooms. Picnic shelters are available by reservation on a first-come, first-served basis by calling the Reservation Center

Seasonality/Weather

Spring and fall are generally comfortable with precipitation possible. Summers can be hot and humid with average temperatures in the high 80s and with sudden thunderstorms possible. July and August are the hottest months. Winters can be cold with average temperatures in the winter of 41 degrees with variable precipitation.

Park Partners

Directions

Driving

The park is on U.S. 58 midway between Independence and Damascus and is reached from I-81 at Exit 45 in Marion; turn south on Route 16 and travel 33 miles to US 58 in the community of Volney. Turn right onto US 58. Travel eight miles to the park's entrance.

From I-77, take Hillsville Exit 14 to U.S. 58. Travel west on U.S. 58, 40 miles to Volney. Turn left to stay on U.S. 58 and go eight miles to the park entrance.

Drive Time: Northern Va., 6.5 hours; Richmond, 5.5 hours; Tidewater, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, 7.5 hours; Roanoke, 2.5 hours; Winston-Salem, 2 hours; Charlotte, 3 hours; Raleigh, 4 hours.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(276) 579-7092

Links