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Grayson Highlands Backpacking 3 Days, 2 Nights (Easy)
FANTASTIC NEWS! As of 2 Oct 18 the camping ban has been lifted. (however as of[masked]OCT19 the camping ban order is still on the Forest Service Web Site and should be taken down shortly...BUT... the office giving the order, MRNRA, has assured me the ban is indeed lifted) Therefore....GET READY FOR GRAYSONS!! This is our annual fall foliage trip to Grayson Highlands! Video of Fall 2017 trip https://youtu.be/1r9XhqRXIV4 (please fill free to subscribe, also find videos of OCB past trips to many places!) Friday: 2miles. We'll meetup and hopefully carpool to the backpackers parking lot at Grayson Highlands State Park. From the parking lot follow the AT spur trail uphill to the AT, then turn RIGHT on the AT. Follow the AT down into the trees, be careful and make sure to follow the blazes as there are a couple of RIGHT turns that are easy to miss. Continue past the Wise Shelter, over a fence, across a bridge, then up a small hill that borders the creek you just crossed. Immediately on the LEFT, bordering the creek, is a meadow where we'll camp, probably a few hundred feet into the meadow. Saturday: about 5 miles. we'll follow the AT, through the 'scales' (snack/lunch stop, forest toilets), then up the ridge on the AT to the Crest Trail, then LEFT (WEST) on the Crest trail to an obvious meadow overlook with trees, just past the fenced in spring. If this spot is taken, we'll continue 1.5 miles on the crest trail, through rhododendron gap and Wilson ridge to a series of spectacular meadow overlooks about .5 miles before the Knob Shelter. There is a spring at the Knob Shelter. On Sunday, we'll climb up and follow Wilson Ridge to the parking lot. There has been recent bear activity here so you should be prepared to hang your food (10' up and 10' out) or have some other bear resistant containers such as a bear vault or ursack. We'll observe Leave No Trace practices, so be prepared to dig a hole to bury your waste and paper. There is a forest service toilet at the Scales. It will be necessary to filter water. There is a creek or spring at or near both campsites. I think you only need to carry about 1 liter (others will say 2). More photos at https://philreedshikes.com/

Grayson Highlands State Park

829 Grayson Highland Ln, Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363-3581 (Mount Rogers State Park) · Mouth of Wilson, VA

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What we're about

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” John Muir

Have you ever driven in the Blue Ridge Mountains or the Rockies, or been to Yosemite National Park or the Grand Canyon? Have you car camped in one of our National Forests or National Parks? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to venture out beyond the campground or overlook?

We are the one Meetup in the Hampton Roads area that ventures into beautiful mountain forests, following trails that meander over high ridges and cross beautiful mountain streams. We hike in the 'tree tunnels' along the Appalachian Trail, lined with Mountain Laurel and Rhododendrons. We hike over the passes of the Colorado Rockies and fish in the glaciated lakes of the Wind River Wilderness. We see views that only those who leave the trail head will ever see.

Our trips are normally Friday thru Sunday, with two nights camping and about a day and half hiking. Normally, we arrange carpools and/or convoys from this area to the forest trailhead and link up at the Friday night campsite. Due to differing work schedules, some people can arrive Friday in the afternoon, some may not be able to drive down until after work, arriving later in the evening, setting up in the dark by head-lamp. Saturday morning is breakfast and a meet-n-greet for late arrivals, then it's off down the trail to that days destination. Saturday night usually has a campfire with people preparing their meals and socializing. Sunday morning after breakfast, the group heads back towards the trail head and heads home. Many times the group will stop for lunch or early evening meal (victory feast!) for one last chance to socialize with everyone and to say 'so long'.

Backpacking can be expensive and time consuming and may not be for everyone. But if you're looking for get-a-ways that allow you to break-contact with the day to day rat race, commune with nature, make new friends, and above all, have fun, then please considering joining one of our trips!

We ask that you try to answer all profile questions and provide a photo when joining. This gives trip organizers a glimpse into the experience levels of those signing up for trips, as some trips are more difficult than others!

So, whether you are already an experienced backpacker who wants to hike with a new group of friends, or even lead trips, or if you've never taken that first step away from car camping and have wondered what it would be like to hike over that mountain and camp by a beautiful mountain stream, then give backpacking a try and join us today!

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