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Grayson Highlands State Park

Photographing feral ponies and catawba rhododendron sound interesting?  How about bagging some awesome views of the Commonwealth? Well, you can do it all here, at Grayson Highlands State Park/Mt Rogers National Rec Area.

The Grayson Highlands offers some of the best mountain scenery in the state of Virginia, due to the stunted growth of the vegetation. No other area in the Commonwealth offers the views that can be found here.  Hopefully, we will get lucky, and get close to the feral ponies as well. For those attending, we will park in Massie's Gap parking area, walk up the spur trail[masked]miles) leading to the Appalachian Trail. The spur trail will place you inside the "fence" perimeter and this is a great area to get close to the herd. Some of you may want to walk further up the AT and view more of the scenery, the views only get better the further up the AT, you go.

The catawba rhododendron (in this area) usually are in bloom between the 1st and 3rd week of June

Please bring plenty of water, sturdy shoes/boots (the further up the Appalachian Trail you walk, the rockier it gets), and snack(s).  Also, the park charges $3-5 per vehicle to gain access to the park.

Directions for those who live south of Roanoke and wish to meet us at GHSP. Interstate 81 south to Exit 45. Take Exit 45, make a left onto Rt 16. Travel approx 33 miles, then make a right on to US Rt 58 West. After making a right onto US 58, travel approx 7.5 miles and the park will be on your right. After entering the park, drive to Massies Gap Parking (several parking spaces along the main road within the park). Those of us who leave from Roanoke, should be there around 10-10:30am, For those who wish to meet at the Roanoke/Salem Park-n-Ride, we can do so at 7am and perhaps meet those who wish to use the Christiansburg Park-n-Ride around 7:30am

NOTE: In the interest of SAFETY; Due to the elevation of the area (4700+ feet) (this area has the highest elevation(s) in the state), and being on an exposed ridge,  I will check the weather Thursday evening and make a final determination by 9pm, as to whether or not this trip is a go. The weather, brutal at times, in this area, easily changes from day to day and can be difficult to predict even at a week out. My goal is for all of us to have a good time. Look forward to see each and everyone of you



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  • A former member
    A former member

    Outstanding perfect-day meetup! ()()

    1 · June 16, 2014

  • Sharon G.

    I was comparing my photos in the fall compared to now of the mountains. Seems the range of mountains was in full view compared to the spring/summer. I learned from Saturday with the bright sun how it affected my shots in some scenes without filters added. So I tried various techniques with shots. Still trying to learn as much as I can.. Thanks again Mike for organizing this meet up for us. Was a perfect day!

    2 · June 16, 2014

    • Mike Y.

      You're Welcome, and THANK YOU for the kind words

      June 16, 2014

  • Glen M.

    Grayson Highlands is my new favorite state park. This was a great meetup and it was nice to mingle with the other members. Photographing brown and black ponies with their nearly-pure-white offspring made for an interesting metering challenge.

    2 · June 16, 2014

    • Mike Y.

      Glen,
      If you and yours are into camping, it's by far the best summer spot to camp. We awoke to 50 degree mornings

      1 · June 16, 2014

  • June -.

    Photos are wonderful. Sorry I missed this one...AGAIN :-(

    June 16, 2014

  • Mike Y.

    Glad everyone had a good time.

    1 · June 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Adding the last two photos I had selected to upload by themselves because I didn't realized how these turned out until I viewed them on my PC and they show PERFECTLY the way most all of us felt that day!!! HEE >>>>> HAW!!! :-) :-) Thank you Punk-Rock for saying so perfectly what so many of us would have said about the enjoyment of our day!!

    2 · June 15, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had a great time. This was my first meetup event and I really enjoyed talking to the folks on this trip. Grayson Highlands is a special place and I hope to see you all down here again on your next trip.

    2 · June 14, 2014

  • Lauri B.

    Had a wonderful time. Breath taking views. Enjoyed talking to a few friends and meeting some new ones. Great photo ops. Loved it.

    2 · June 14, 2014

  • Dennis W.

    Awesome trip, beautiful day, great group of people and lots of time to photograph the ponies!

    2 · June 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Gorgeous views and the ponies were amazing. Wonderful company too. Will definitely do again!

    2 · June 14, 2014

  • Tom C.

    Lovely place and fun people to see it with. Super photo possibilities.

    2 · June 14, 2014

  • Robin L.

    Can't wait to go there again. Next maybe get to see the waterfalls too

    1 · June 14, 2014

  • constance l.

    fine but not enough time

    June 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Spectacular day, with gorgeous views, adorable ponies and foals, lovely plants and butterflies and best of all the joy of being around the fantastic folks in our Exposure Roanoke meet up group!!

    2 · June 14, 2014

  • George R.

    Beautiful views of mountains, wild ponies and flaming azaleas

    2 · June 14, 2014

  • Sharon G.

    It was really great! So much fun! Wonderful day. Thank you

    3 · June 14, 2014

  • Glen M.

    Looks like I'll be able to go after all. My wife and daughter will be with me so I'll meet you all down there.

    June 13, 2014

  • Regina W.

    Is anyone planning on stopping at the Park and Ride in Christiansburg? If so, I will let the NRVExposure group know. I am planning on going straight from my home, since I am closing to the Floyd area and would be back tracking going to Christiansburg.

    June 13, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      If we don't have a full vehicle we will be happy to stop by the Christiansburg P&R. If anyone in Christiansburg wants to check, feel free to call me @[masked] if you want to try to coordinate.

      June 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Robin, I am new to Roanoke and visited a place on Franklin Rd called Taj Mapaw…you CAN drop off on Saturday at 830am…I felt nervous about the whole place. sigh. so I am canceling my participation in the trip Saturday until i try this place out for a day of daycare or find another one…there is one in Danville I love, Hollywood Pets, and used a lot when I lived in Martinsville but that is long drive from Roanoke.

    June 12, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      thank u. i will go check them out...

      June 13, 2014

    • Robin L.

      Thanks you for the info

      June 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Due to dog daycare issues (really my issues) :) I won't be able to make this trip…I'm sorry.

    June 12, 2014

  • Terri

    Guys I just got a new job! Been out of work for over two years, it's not much, just part time at the Dollar Store. I will not be able to make it this trip, I get my first pay check next Friday. Hope to see everyone next time!

    June 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    i will be meeting you at the venue. i will be leaving roanoke after dropping dog at daycare…7am.

    June 12, 2014

    • Robin L.

      Karen what daycare do you use on Saturdays?

      June 12, 2014

    • Kathryn F.

      I just don't see boarding for 2 nights for a Saturday day trip. Looking for someone who can keep mine at their house all day. :)

      1 · June 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    My husband and I will be there hoping for great weather :-). We have a 7 passenger Toyota Highlander and will be happy to drive. drive. My number is [masked]

    2 · May 21, 2014

  • constance l.

    I will be at the car pool location by 7 am. Will anyone let me know if they will be there too?

    May 21, 2014

  • Carolyn C.

    I would love to attend this event. What time do you expect to return to Roanoke?

    1 · June 10, 2014

    • Robin L.

      I would like to know the answer to that too

      June 11, 2014

    • Mike Y.

      There is no set time to return. For starters, I am staying over night after the meetup is over. I suggest, if you're going, arrive at the Park N Ride, coordinate with someone who's schedule that closely resembles yours, and carpool together

      June 11, 2014

  • George R.

    Mike
    Just a quick confirmation question:
    Are we meeting at the park and ride at exit 140 on I-81 at 7:00 am Saturday?
    Thanks!

    June 11, 2014

    • Mike Y.

      Those who are car pooling are meeting at Park N Ride, Exit 140, at 7am. I'll meet y'all at GHSP

      June 11, 2014

    • Robin L.

      I will see you there to

      June 11, 2014

  • Tom C.

    Mike,

    Is an[masked] zoom long enough for this trip?

    June 10, 2014

    • Tom C.

      Love the "can you see me now" photo!

      2 · June 11, 2014

    • Kathryn F.

      Wish I was going. Have to be on my way out of state tho

      June 11, 2014

  • Richie S.

    Unfortunately, I have to back out. I have a job interview in Durham, N.C. on Monday for which I need to prepare. I hope everyone has fun!

    June 11, 2014

  • Robin L.

    Are dogs allowed?

    June 8, 2014

    • Mike Y.

      I would rather people leave their dogs at home.

      June 9, 2014

    • Robin L.

      I can do that

      June 9, 2014

  • Mike Y.

    For those who attending this trip: Please keep in mind many of the Mare's are now attending to their foal's. Therefor, are protective of their young. Since these animals are still considered wild, please use good judgement when approaching them.

    June 8, 2014

    • Kathryn F.

      Also if you have food in packs make sure it is sealed well. I was once robbed of a pack of strawberry twizzlers that the ponies apparently smelled.

      1 · June 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    oh my…now to figure this one out! thank you for including me.

    June 8, 2014

  • Sandra W.

    Just opened up a spot. I have been "booted"-- not from the group (I hope) but because of a bad ankle. Not able to do all the walking. I know you all will have a spectacular time!

    June 5, 2014

    • Mike Y.

      I'm going to miss you. Feel better soon. Still want to show you some of my favorite spots.

      June 5, 2014

    • Sandra W.

      I'd love to see them as soon as I can wear 2 matching shoes.

      June 7, 2014

  • Lauri B.

    I am confused - my RSVP has been changed to "not going" I do plan on attending. My earlier post was to let everyone know that one of the guest I had ask could not make the outing and therefore a spot might be open. Do I now have to go on the wait list? I don't understand what happened.

    June 3, 2014

    • Tom C.

      Lauri, you may have forgotten you also signed up through NRVE for this same meetup on the same day. Mike merely changed the RSVP's for you and others who had done the same thing. You should still be signed up through NRVE and since we'll be there the same time, and probably intermingling anyway it really doesn't matter.

      June 4, 2014

    • Lauri B.

      OOPs! I am soooo sorry! Jon pointed it out to me. I don't remember signing up on the NRV site, but I guess I did. So sorry and I apologize for my over site.

      June 4, 2014

  • Mike Y.

    I posted a message, here, 4-5 days ago, reqeusting those who RSVP'd here, as well as the NRVE meetup for Grayson, to give up their spot for those who are on the waiting list. A few of you have already made changes. And, I THANK YOU for doing so. A few minutes ago, I took the liberty to make some adjustments, so those who are wait listed, can attend. For those affected, it is nothing personal. I did this out of fairness to those who are on the waiting list, so they could attend as well. THANK YOU

    June 2, 2014

  • Lauri B.

    I have reserved a spot for myself and two others. One can not make it, so it will be myself plus one. That may free up a spot for someone. Unsure if the count was by members only or members plus guest. Just wanted to let you guys know.

    June 2, 2014

  • Dave

    Took myself off the wait list and will go with the NRV Exposure peeps. Thank you Mike Yeatts for posting an earlier comment making me aware another group is going to the same place since it may be problematic any spaces will be opening up here. Looking forward to the event! Cheers :o)

    1 · June 2, 2014

  • constance l.

    Now I'm confused. I thought the place to meet up was off I 81 at exit 140. George say 311 at Hanging Rock. Please tell me where to meet.

    May 28, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Take I-81 south
      Take exit 140 for VA-311 N
      Turn LEFT onto VA-311 N
      Take the FIRST LEFT onto Mountain Heights Dr.
      Take the FIRST LEFT onto Edgewood Rd.
      The Park and Ride lot will be on the LEFT

      May 29, 2014

    • constance l.

      thanks

      May 29, 2014

  • George R.

    Mike,
    Thank you so much for working to free up enough spots that wound up letting me go to Grayson Highlands. I am really looking forward to my first meetup experience! Question: We meet at the park & ride in Salem just off 311 (Hanging Rock) exit at 7:00 AM?

    1 · May 28, 2014

    • Mike Y.

      Correct. 7am @ the Park & Ride.

      May 28, 2014

  • Mike Y.

    Photogs,

    Those who have signed up for this outing, and signed up under the NRV Group, as well. I respectfully ask that you give up your ER spot. I have some folks who are on the waiting list. And, it would not be fair to them if you're occupying a spot for both ER and the NRV Exposure Groups.

    May 27, 2014

  • George R.

    I just joined in the past week and am on the waiting list to join the trip to Grayson. Will I be notified if room for me is freed up?

    May 23, 2014

    • Mike Y.

      Yes, you'll be notified.

      May 23, 2014

  • Mike Y.

    For those who are carpooling from the Park-N-Ride from exit 140 (I 81), I will be unable to join you. However I will meet you at the park. The directions are posted above.

    May 21, 2014

  • Terri

    I changed my RSVP this is a three hour trip for me and my old car has 243 miles on it. I had no idea it was that far. Maybe next trip I'll have a new car.

    May 21, 2014

  • Regina W.

    I changed my RSVP, so someone on the waiting list can go. I am going with the NRVExposure group.

    May 17, 2014

    • Mike Y.

      Regina,

      Thank You for giving up you spot. So, someone on the wait list is able to attend. See ya there

      May 17, 2014

  • Terri

    I'm still on the waiting list? Too many people going?

    May 14, 2014

  • Mike Y.

    Carpool location is I 81 south at Exit 140. Upon taking exit 140, make a left. The lot is less than 1/8 of a mile (from the left turn) on the left.

    1 · May 13, 2014

  • constance l.

    Am I to be at the park by 7am or is that the time to meet with other people to carpool? Besides, I would like to either carpool or follow someone from around the Roanoke area.

    May 12, 2014

    • Mike Y.

      7am at the carpool location

      May 12, 2014

    • constance l.

      where is the carpool location (thank you)?

      May 13, 2014

  • Kevin B.

    I am waiting on the official your calendar IS clear from the Studio Manager AKA Wife should know tonight .... And definitely want to connect with anyone there the night before would be great fun

    May 12, 2014

  • Kevin B.

    If I wish to meet everyone at the Park where should I meet you I will be coming down the night before and camping most likely?

    Thanks Kevin

    May 12, 2014

    • Kathryn F.

      Kevin there may be others camping the night before as well.. we should make plans to meet up or go up for sunset

      May 12, 2014

    • Mike Y.

      Kevin, did you sign up to go? For some reason I don't see your name.

      May 12, 2014

  • Richie S.

    Wow. I had already planned to go in June, but this makes it even more fun! Awesome.

    March 30, 2014

  • cheryl c.

    Can I ride with you from Lynchburg Mike?

    March 30, 2014

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