Grayson Highlands SP / Mt Rogers-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Grayson Highlands SP / Mt Rogers

    Hey all,
    Thought I'd contribute a bit.
    Live in SC now but we head up to VA whenever we can (originally from Fredericksburg, went to VA Tech & fell in love with the mtns).
    Anyway, we just took our third (what is turning to be an annual event) trip to GHSP. Pulled the trailer into the CG and then I rode some of the trails.
    My brother and I headed out on what I think is this route: Wilson Creek to Scales trail (to Scales of course) then on to Rhododendron Gap on the Crest trail. First try we got halfway there and a storm got us, trail turned to absolute mud and we got covered from the ride back. Next attempt 2 days later, I went by myself and rode all the way to R. Gap, 6 miles one way. Took me 1.5hrs up and 30mins to ride back. So I'm not a climber, the reason for my name.
    Some observations:
    Beautiful scenery. Great temperatures, maybe close to 80 deg, just fantastic.
    Rocks. Up to and somewhat beyond Scales it isn't too bad, can usually pick a line through - but about 3/4mi from the Gap it just got crazy with some switchbacks and being really steep as well. On my new (to me) Prophet that I'm sure can handle it but I can't yet. Had to walk over some of the stuff. I guess I got my first exposure to "rock gardens." I swear there wasn't a fixed stone to ride over at all - everything was big and loose. But - coming down was a blast. Managed to turn some of those rocks into some fun jumps.
    Horses. Everyone was friendly, one crew was searching for their pet goat (I kid you not, they were riding horses and drinking Bud - interesting). Just watch the horse patties. The nice things about horses is that they're pretty animals and they've made a line through the rocks - the bad thing is that line has poop from time to time, and they really churn up the trail - so nothing is hard packed. When the rain comes, you've got a mud trail that has you-know-what mixed in.
    Overall, I'd call this a climbing workout (at least for me) with technical rock work / poop dodging mixed in, great summer temperatures and beautiful scenery. I only wish more trail was available to ride in GHSP and Mt Rodgers, and that there was some real singletrack. This was all on what seemed to be old forest roads. Still, I had a blast, if for just the temperature difference. Beats 90deg in SC!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Lots more riding close by

    Grayson Highlands and the surrounding high country is a cool area w/ lots of open views & exposed rocky trail. Unfortunately, very little of that trail is open to bikes. The Mt. Rogers NRA covers much more ground though with plenty of bike legal singletrack. Look up Iron Mtn. Trail (37 miles of used-to-be-the-AT w/ lots of connecting trails). On your next trip this way maybe check into camping at Hurricane Campground or maybe Grindstone Campground (Forest Service campgrounds), they will put you closer to the bike trails. Assuming you are coming up 77 north to 81 southbound either of these will also shorten your drive a little.

    Ahh, sharing trails with horses......just think of it as recycled grass...and keep your mouth closed.

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