Grayson Highlands Fall Festival; Sept 23-25, 2011
NOTE: See links for Spreadsheets at the bottom of this post.
In addition to this 1st post, you will find most of your questions answered in these posts...
336, 339, 372, 422, 435, 413, 449
This annual event the Fall Festival) takes place in the Grayson County State Park, VA (GHSP), which is located with in the much larger Mount Rogers Recreation Area.
GHSP has also been the location for the annual HF "Mt Rogers Winter Hang", the first established & longest running "HF Annual Hang".
It's a beautiful section of the south east US, with high elevations, boulder covered balds & wild ponies.
As we worked in making a slight change to our actual camping site this year, the rangers at GHSP proved to be good folks & very helpful w/ the details of our "Mt Rogers Annual Winter Hang". They were also interested in our hammock set ups.
As a couple of the rangers visited & chatted with us in our winter camp at GHSP I mentioned the possibility of having another HF "group hang" during the active camp ground season.
In addition to our HF members just having a good time in the park & surrounding hills, the weather & additional people activity in the park would be an even better opportunity for those interested to see how hammocks are being used.
At least one of the rangers we were talking to in camp (maybe both) immediately suggested we might even go so far as to promote it as an educational program. We talked about HF reserving the same group site for that purpose.
We learned that both of the Rangers visiting with us, Kevin & Marceia, have experience with using hammocks for camping as well.
I have been part of two different groups in years past that used the same (& only) group campsite at GHSP on the weekend of the Grayson Highlands Fall Festival & it proved to be a great weekend.
Not only do you have all the day hiking you want, but the Fall Festival is pretty neat too! It includes all the typical things you would expect, including crafts, making of apple butter, molasses, apple cider, good food & live music.
The park will be at full capacity that week end.
The festival is held in the picnic area (a road you pass before the camp ground road) so you don't deal w/ that crowd unless you drive around to were it's at.
Also on the same weekend, they do the annual round up of all the wild ponies. They are checked out by veterinarians, & some of the young ones are auctioned off. That all so takes place in an area off the picnic road.
Here is a little about the festival.
And a like to GHSP
I see that as an exciting opportunity. Not only can we educate a few campers visiting the campground, but the rangers at GHSP will have opportunity to see the latest in back country hammock use as well.
It also has potential to spread a positive good word about hammock use to other state parks.
In another thread I suggested this as a possibility & Rockdawg69 was kind enough to go ahead & make the reservations for the GHSP group site.
So it's ours!
I spoke by phone today with the head ranger, Kevin. For a man with such responsibility, he's a great guy to talk to.
We have plenty of time to work out the details but one possibility suggested Kevin made was having a hammock education area (or what ever we want to call it) in the wooded strip between the open field were the food is (BBQ sandwiches, BBQ chicken, hot dogs, etc) & the open field were the music stage is.
He does a program for kids in that basic area as well.
I'll plan on myself & another hammocker (or several) riding up at a time when we can look & talk things over with Kevin. He suggested that May might be a good time.
I don't know if it would be of interest but it could be possible that one or more of our hammock vendors would want to reserve a site in the "Vendors Area".
I'm sure it would not come close to something like Trail Days in sales, but it could do OK, especially if promoted.
I personally find this an exciting idea & hope each of you will give it consideration. There is plenty of time for preparation so I envision an attractive Hammock Education program!
One other note of interest... I did learn that there are trails that can be walked between the camp ground & the Festival area (Picnic Area) for those that would rather walk.
Here are Spreadsheet links for...
Group Meals... https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...hl=en_US#gid=0
Hammock Education Event ... https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...hl=en_US#gid=0