Explore the most popular birding trails near Troutdale with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I did half of this coming from Grayson Highlands down to Fairwood road as part of a two day hike. Camped up near the Scales. Was a beautiful hike. Ran into some very rocky trail after going through the gate above Old Orchard Shelter - rough on the ankles but still a very nice walk.

1 month ago

An excellent hike. I left from Massie Gap parking area in Grayson Highlands State Park and it took me about 5 hours round trip. That included some time for detours to scenic spots, snapping photos, and sitting down for a quick lunch.

The summit is surrounded by trees, so there is no view. However, not far away there are some some outstanding scenic overlooks.

The map and some of the posts are a little misleading in that there are three routes to the summit starting at these areas:
1) Grayson Highlands State Park
2) Grindstone Campground Trailhead (this is the route shown on this posting)
3) Elk Garden Trailhead

Fees for parking in the state part are $5 for VA residents and $7 for non-residents. Here is the link to a helpful map for Grayson Highlands Park: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/document/data/trail-guide-graysonhighlands.pdf

I will also post a pic I took of a poster with information on Mt. Rogers. It has history and shows the three routes.

2 months ago

Worth the hike. The view is something from a lord of the rings movie making it very rewarding from the climb up. The horses are beautiful. It has became a yearly visit from PA.

One of my favorite hikes to date!! Went March of 2017 and it was extremely cold but it was so beautiful. If we ever go back to VA we would definitely do it again.

Amazing and Beautiful!!! I hike it weekly

Absolute, hands down, favorite hike to date. It's more about the scenery on the way to the top of Mt.Rogers that makes this trail worthwhile. We started at the Massie Gap parking area, went along the Rhododendron Trail to the AT trail (I believe). Every part of the trail getting to Mt.Rogers is stunning. We saw tons of the wild ponies and cattle along the trail which made this an amazing unique experience. We may have gotten rained on the first half of the trip but it didn't make it any less awesome. The view from the peak of Mt.Rogers is all wooded but it is beautiful nonetheless. Worth it to say you've been on the peak of the highest mountain in VA! I believe the hike is marked hard for how long it is because it really isn't challenging otherwise. Just make sure to wear good shoes and bring lots of snacks/water.

Enjoyed a nice, wet, quiet hike with the significant other. Unfortunately couldn't camp in the Highlands area due to bear activity. Always properly handle your food folks. Trail can be a little slippery in some spots but pretty much impossible to get lost. Definitely a lot longer than the listed 10.8.

Good hike. Started from Massie Gap. Three hours up via Wilburn Ridge and stopping for the ponies. Two hours down at a pretty steady pace. Recommend skipping Wilburn. Two markers at the summit. One is an error. They're on two boulders, about 30 feet apart. No view there, and notably cooler.

This is a beautiful challenging trail and I say that after having hiked it in a pretty heavy rainstorm so couldn't even
see all the views!! The flora is great and you MUST start at the Massie Gap parking lot so you can come up through Rhododendron Trail to Appalachian Trail to the spur at the Thomas Knob shelter. This way you pass the wild ponies which is a wonderful experience.

5 months ago

Hands down, Mt Rodgers Area is the best hiking destination in the south east. From constant valley views, to curious wildlife, this Area has a trail for you!
We started at The Scales. Big open field, with Privy. Yes, you will need a high clearance vehicle to get here, and yes, it will take you about an hour to go 3.5 miles up the fire road to Scales due to the VERY ROCKY ROAD!
I highly recommend you do this loop counter clockwise if your are overnighting due to water sources being towards the last 1/3 of the hike.
Began our hike on Crest Trail, missed our turn off for Pine Mtn trail because it looked like it back tracked. (It doesn't. Take the Pine Mtn to avoid a steep climb) Connected with the AT, jumped over to Mt Rodgers to say we did, back tracked, and cont. on the AT northbound. Stayed overnight at the Wise shelter. (Has Privy and water source) The next morning we decided to shave off 2 miles and take the Scales trail straight UP back to The Scales. (We had a 7 hr road trip ahead)
Couldn't have asked for more.

5 months ago

It’s a beautiful a trail as I have seen, bar none. Watch out for the bulls though.

5 months ago

This whole area is a gem, western views for us eastern folks. The AT thru here can be rocky so wear good boots. Decent water sources and plenty of great camp spots. Take side trips and explorer. This trail is only a good introduction. BTW it is Rhodo Gap not Rodie. Tons of Rhododendrons in the area.

Nice trails, rocky. But the trails are NOT marked so that you can easily find your way.

I think it’s worth pointing out that this apps directions take you towards the Grindstone Campground trail head.......which is 1.) a 14+ mile hike and 2.) Not the side of the mountain with the wild ponies. Once we got closer and realized it, we put the correct location in our GPS and found out it was going to be a 5.5 hour drive to the other trail head for us.

The trail was beautiful, regardless. It was a bit longer than we expected and we had been pretty excited about the ponies- but the terrain was great. Not sure I’d rate it difficult, but my feet were definitely hurting by the end of it.

If you do the Grindstone CG route, on your way back down from the summit definitely take the mini detour down to the Thomas Knob shelter with the rock lookout (follow the Rhododendron trail down to the left at the fork).....it added less than half a mile overall and was worth it!

7 months ago

did this as a day hike with my dog on 5/19/18. Had been a rainy week and the trail was flooded out in spots. Rivers running right down the trail. But despite the wet trail, it was very nice. Started at Grindstone campground and took Mt. Rogers trail up to the A.T. to the summit. 7 miles from the campground to the summit one way. All the wonderful views are on the A.T. and the are well worth the effort!

9 months ago

loved this trail, I've hiked it twice. great views and an easy trail

Really fun, not that hard.

10 months ago

My dog and I did this trail 2 days ago. great hike! Very scenic! We took Lewis fork and wow did I under estimate the trail, it's pretty tough. I enjoyed every step though. I will definitely visit the surrounding trails! the horses are so cool. they were on the trail and refused to move so we scooted past and pet them on the way past!

10 months ago

Completed the hike 2/20/18 to bag the state high peak. The lush, mossy forest made for neat scenery but also made for a wet and rocky trail. Majority of the trail, as well as the summit, is in the trees which leads to a fairly underwhelming view, but none the less an enjoyable hike with some scenic views here and there. Wish the ponies were out! Trail is longer than the 10.8 mi posted, RT from the trailhead is 12.6 miles. Glad to have VA's tallest peak in the bag!

amazing views, wild ponies, doesn't get much better in the south east

11 months ago

This is probably my favorite hike on the east coast. We did this over a cold winter weekend. The wind was fierce atop the mountain, but the views were breaktaking. The wild ponies were definitely the highlight of the trip. Be careful and pay attention to the route - we ended up getting lost more than once. I reviewed the trail in great detail here for thoes who want to check it out before making the journey! https://adventuresinroamance.com/backpacking-in-the-south/

Monday, January 01, 2018

We did this over Thanksgiving holiday to bag another state high peak. It was cold but clear. The trail is easy with no steep parts. The views were just ok, as compared with other eastern mtns. The weird thing was the summit was in a group of trees? No view at al from there. We didn’t see the ponies, but their poop was everywhere on the high trail. The only thing that makes this hike tough is the length, it’s not that long but it’s frankly boring for at least 75% of it, makes it seem longer.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Loved this hike. Highest peak in Virginia. Really sore though

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Beautiful views, wild ponies, climbing rocks, this trail is awesome! When you reach the summit you are in a lush, green forest. Take the map that they give you with you and use it. You can easily get off trail and lost if you don't look back to it. Around every bend was a new, incredible view. We stayed in awe the whole time we hiked it. Lots of places to camp out. Plenty of people hiking in at sunset to stay overnight.

on Cliffside Trail

Saturday, October 14, 2017

I must have missed something in the descriptions. Parked in the layby where it was signposted Lewis Fork. First part was v easy walking. Cliffside trail was marked as a trail 1 mile ahead. One crossed a bridge and then forked off to the right. We got as far as Istvan's recording. I had to wonder when one would ever reach a view. Perhaps we needed to have ventured much further.

on Mount Rogers Trail

Monday, October 09, 2017

A hike of 2 parts. Started in the rain, trudged upwards trying to avoid the numerous streams that had created on the trail. By the time I reached the summit, my boots were sodden and I was wringing out water from my socks. Retracing to the trailhead, the weather was considerably brighter with some sunshine. Sharp contrast to be heading down with the sun peeping through the trees. Trail is longer than the 10.9 miles posted. At least 12.2 miles.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Amazing!! Stay overnight, the sunrise is wonderful.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

makes you feel like your out west with the terrain wild horse and long horn cows no view at the top but with the thick Forest and the beautiful green moss it is breath taking

Monday, September 25, 2017

This is actually a 12.5 mile hike, out and back. I do not recommend children on this hike if you are planning to hike the entire thing. It's tough in some areas of the trail. If you do plan to hike this, I recommend planning it for the entire day and take your time to enjoy the beauty. The smell of the pine trees that swallowed us was amazing and refreshing!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Started from Grayson highlands, and went clockwise. Made for a fun weekend backpacking trip. We were surprised to find a large herd of long horn cattle on the northwest corner of the loop, where we camped the first night. Besides having to avoid cow patties, a great trip.

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