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A Photo walk in Virginia's High Country, The Grayson Highlands

Would you like to experience/photograph some of the best scenery Virginia has to offer? How about photographing feral ponies? Well you can. 

The Grayson Highlands offers both. Perhaps 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 walk

Please bring plenty of water, sturdy shoes/boots (the further up the Appalachian Trail you walk, the rockier it gets), a jacket (Temperatures can run at least 5-10 degrees cooler than in the valley, and you will be on a exposed ridge for much of the day), and a snack. The park charges $3 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

In the interest of SAFETY; Due to the elevation of the area, 4500+ feet, 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 in that area easily changes from day to day, and can be difficult to predict this far 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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  • Sandra W.

    Thanks for everything, Mike!

    1 · October 19, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      You're welcome

      October 20, 2013

  • Sandra W.

    Lofty, windy, exhilarating day with avid photographers.

    1 · October 19, 2013

  • John S.

    Thanks Mike! Had a great time. You did a great job hosting, making sure people were having a good time and safe. Look forward to a few more of those "hikes"!!

    1 · October 19, 2013

  • Christine G.

    Thank you so much Mike for sharing this awesome place with us. I had one of the best times of my life seeing the wild ponies and challenging myself on the hike... Thanks

    1 · October 19, 2013

  • Sharon G.

    Very beautiful experience

    2 · October 19, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      Thank You. Glad you enjoyed it.

      October 19, 2013

  • Jan M.

    Hubby and I had a great time! Beautful place...had never been there. We arrived a little late, so didn't see all of you, but had a great time...we took Curt's suggestion and ate at Bone Fire Smokehouse in Abingdon afterwards - the ribs were amazing! Thanks for the recommendation Curt! Thanks for a great meetup, Mike!

    1 · October 19, 2013

  • Jean Poff G.

    Beautiful Place! Fun group! Thank you for taking us there Mike!

    1 · October 19, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      You're Welcome.

      October 19, 2013

  • TK S.

    The weather was PERFECT, even with the clouds. The leaves were at peak! Ron and I had a fabulous time....our first trip there.
    Mike Yeatts, thank you bunches for an outstanding job of taking care of the group. You knew ever twist and turn there. You can be my guide anytime! A GREAT DAY, INDEED!

    1 · October 19, 2013

  • Mike Y.

    Wish the weather was a little better. Otherwise great time with great people. Thanks to each and everyone for participating.

    1 · October 19, 2013

  • Sandra W.

    Have changed my mind--I am a woman after all! Going straight to the Park and Ride in Christiansburg to meet Jean. Should we go on to Massie's Gap or are you all stopping there?

    October 18, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      Sandra,
      I will stop briefly in Christiansburg. Should be there around 8am. I will send you my # via Facebook

      October 18, 2013

  • John S.

    Mike, do you have map of area. Couldn't find one locally.

    October 17, 2013

    • TK S.

      Sandra, where did you get your map? That would be nice to have!

      October 18, 2013

    • Sandra W.

      Damascus for the NG. Others at visitor's center--not sure where that is. There are also some online.

      October 18, 2013

  • Curt W.

    I really hate to miss this one, but I have a family emergency. Looking forward to seeing your pictures! BTW the restaurant in Abingdon is The Bone Fire Smokehouse, 260 W Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210. Totally worth the trip.

    October 18, 2013

  • Jan M.

    We'll be coming from WV, so we will meet you all there!

    October 18, 2013

  • Mike Y.

    Folks,

    As Curt suggested earlier, the BBQ place in/near Abington sounds like a good place to chow down. I'm still up for it. Thoughts?

    3 · October 16, 2013

  • John S.

    Unless something pops up, I should meet the Roanoke crowd at the park and ride Saturday morning. Have room for three if there are some that would like to ride rather than drive. Expedition. so plenty of room for gear as well.

    1 · October 17, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      Thank You, John.

      October 17, 2013

  • Sharon G.

    Ok thank you.

    October 17, 2013

  • Sharon G.

    Where are we meeting off I-81 at Exit 140 so we can follow one another? If so, where do we meet?

    October 17, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      At the Park and Ride

      October 17, 2013

  • John S.

    I am working on re-arranging my schedule to participate in this meetup. Hope to know for sure by Friday afternoon.

    2 · October 15, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      John,
      I hope your schedule works out and you're able to join us

      October 16, 2013

  • TK S.

    Thanks for the directions! We are excited to go, since this will be a first visit. I say WE, because Ron as decided to GIVE UP A HUNTING DAY and go, as well! I'll let you know by Wed. if we are following you, or meeting you there at 10:00AM.

    1 · October 14, 2013

  • Mike Y.

    Directions as requested For the folks in the Roanoke area who want to meet at the Park and ride near exit 140, carpool, lets be on the road by 0730-please. Then we can pick up folks at the Christiansburg Park and Ride. For Folks who live south of Roanoke or want to drive down on their own:
    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

    2 · October 14, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      SAFETY NOTE:
      Please keep in mind you'll be near, or in the excess of, 5000 feet elevation during this trip. The day time high is only suppose to be in the low to mid 50s. Also, there is usually breeze as well as well as being on an exposed ridge for most of the day. Please dress accordingly, bring snacks, and plenty of water.

      October 14, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      Saving the important stuff for last (actually I forgot...LOL) Lets have a good time and I look forward to seeing each and everyone of you

      October 14, 2013

  • Dale O.

    I was hoping that the weather would take a turn for the better and this Saturday would be a go. Even though I've lived in Virginia most of my life I've never taken the opportunity to go to the Grayson Highlands State Park (still on my bucket list) .... really wanted to go on this one.

    Can't make the 19th since I've got a previously planned photo trip to the Smokies over that weekend. Maybe I can make it to the Mount Rogers area next year if a repeat meetup is scheduled.

    Hope everyone has a great time.

    September 19, 2013

    • June -.

      I'm in similar boat Dale. Hoping for a re-do next year.

      September 20, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      I'm hoping to do another one in the spring of 2014. If not then, I'll do one in June '14 when the Catawba Rhododendron are in bloom.

      2 · September 21, 2013

  • Jan M.

    Ahh, glad it's been rescheduled! Really want to go, but couldn't get it arranged..and peak colors will be great!

    1 · September 20, 2013

  • Curt W.

    This meetup has been re-scheduled for Oct 19, please update your RSVPs if necessary. This date falls within the peak fall color window according to what I saw on the Farmer's Almanac, so it could be a chance for some EPIC fall pictures!

    1 · September 19, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      Thanks, Curt

      September 19, 2013

  • Mike Y.

    In the interest of SAFETY, I am canceling this trip. Weather for the Highlands, 80% chance of thunderstorms throughout the day. The weather for Sunday is much better. If anyone would like to go then, I am all for it. Please advise.

    September 19, 2013

  • TK S.

    Am just now reading all of these! Somehow all of the comments, meetups were in my spam folder????
    We will meet you at C'burg Park-n-Ride, when we pick up Jean. We would like to follow you to Massie's Gap! Curt, Bonefish is an awesome resturant!

    1 · September 19, 2013

    • TK S.

      oops, I meant Bonefire!

      2 · September 19, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      Sounds like a great idea.

      September 19, 2013

  • Mike Y.

    In regards to Sandra's recent post. Is there anyone else in the NRV area that would like to meet us at the Park-n-Ride in Christiansburg?

    September 18, 2013

    • Curt W.

      Cburg works better for me.

      September 18, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      Okay, I will meet you there

      September 18, 2013

  • Sandra W.

    TK, Ron, Jean and I are carpooling, so I am guessing we will meet you at Massie's Gap. Always ready to eat, but I'm not driving. Will need the driver's OK.

    1 · September 18, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      Sounds like a plan, Sandra

      September 18, 2013

  • June -.

    Doing this has been on my to do list for a long time...and now that you all are going, I can't make it. Boo-hoo big time! Hopefully there will be a repeat meet-up in the future...

    1 · September 17, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      June,
      I'm hopeful to repeat this one in the spring, as well as, mid June when the Catawba Rhododendron are in full blum

      1 · September 18, 2013

  • Curt W.

    Is anyone interested in eating at an awesome restaurant in Abingdon after a day of hiking? I was here last week and I can't wait to go back: http://bonefiresmokehousebbq.com/

    2 · September 18, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      I'm glad you brought this up. I had been thinking of a place to eat. And, I wasn't coming up with any worthwhile ideas. Thanks, Curt

      September 18, 2013

  • TK S.

    Whoop whoop!!! Plans finalized and Ron and I will be going with you! Can't wait!

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • Robert C.

    Sounds like a great place and I love to hike as well and shoot, but will have to pass on this one and many more as on sept. 1 had a little atv accident in which I now require back surgery, seems they are pretty heavy when rolling on top of you. anyhow not here to cry but I do hope you have one of these in the spring.
    Please everyone post up some great pics or even the not great ones too cause I will see the trip through your photos
    Have fun please and be careful

    1 · September 16, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      Get well soon

      September 16, 2013

    • Robert C.

      thanks I plan on it, I am missing the best hiking/photo part of the year

      September 17, 2013

  • Jean Poff G.

    How about making a stop at the park and ride in Christiansburg so NRV people can carpool too? i81 exit 118 Parkway.

    1 · September 16, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      I see no problem in doing that. I guess, those in C-Burg will meet us around 8am?

      September 16, 2013

  • Darrell P.

    This is one I would really like to go to, but just can't this date.

    September 16, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      Sorry for the short notice. I plan on doing one in the spring. Which, I'll give advanced notice to.

      September 16, 2013

  • constance l.

    I would love to go but at the company I work for, we are allmost allways working on Saterdays. Can you think of having this again on a Sunday? And yes, 7:30am is ok with me.

    September 16, 2013

  • Tracy K

    Wow... I am sorry to have to miss this! Thanks, Mike - what a great opportunity for ER members!

    September 16, 2013

    • Mike Y.

      Thanks. I am hoping to do one in the Spring as well

      1 · September 16, 2013

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