The Rhododendron Trail at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia is one of the most popular hikes at the park because the trail leads to one of the most populated areas for viewing the Grayson Highlands wild ponies.
The wild ponies live year-round at 4,000+ foot elevations and there are about 120 of them at Grayson Highlands. The hike up to the ponies is just over 0.6 miles one-way, thus the 1.3 mile out-and-back trip. It's mostly uphill, so it's a moderate hike for people who don't regularly hike.
This trail is extremely popular and you cannot miss parking on the road - just look for the massive collection of cars and follow the hikers up the hill. At the top you'll likely find a couple of wild ponies, with a ton of people around them. Take your time, give them distance, and do not touch the wild animals. There are amazing views from the trail as well of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and TN.
As of 2017, the park charges $5 for in-state vehicles and $7 for out of state, but it's well worth the money to see the wild ponies and to check out the Grayson Highlands Overlook Trail.
Hikers can find parking along the road near the coordinates provided. Plenty of main parking lots exist, but are often completely full, hence the road parking.
Dogs are allowed if leashed and their waste must be carried out by the hiker. Also note that it's probably best to not bring your dogs along this hike if you want to enjoy the wildlife.
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