Hubby and I were planning on doing our final spring trip before I start nursing school around Mt. Rogers. Since it seems some of you have hung around the area what is the best map?
Is the Mt. Rogers Trails Illustrated map good for the a wide area, or is it just for Mt. Rogers? I generally like the Trails Illustrated maps, but we would like to do a large loop somehow with the AT. Is there another map out there that will do the job? I am about to order a new daypack from REI and may just throw the map onto the order to save S&H.
Oh, and trail suggestions and good hanging locations are always welcome - I want to see some ponies!
I think the Mt. Rogers Trails Illustrated map (by Nat Geo) is one of the better maps I've used there.
A few basic notes on the area...
The Mount Rogers Recreation Area (MRRA) is part of Jefferson National Forest.
The MRRA covers over 120,000 acres of high country mountain lands with over 400 miles of trails (taken from the map mentioned above).
With in the MRRA lies 3 wilderness areas & one state park, Greyson Highlands State Park (GHSP)
The ponies are in GHSP & the areas just north of GHSP.
The Appalachian Trail forms a sort of a horse shoe in this prime pony spotting area, with several trails that can be used to make a loops of various sizes, so that may be just what you're looking for.
It's one of my favorite places to hike & hang out.
When you get a map in front of you we can help with more specifics.
Also, the trails you choose will depend on how much hiking you want to do in a day & how many days & nights you plan to be out.
Hope this helps a little for starters.
Thanks very much, I'll order the map today! I'm so excited, I have heard such good things about the area.
You're welcome. And yeah, it's a unique & beautiful area to visit.
its a beautiful area to explore, I go there every year at thanksgiving. 10+ trips.
park at massie gap. Hike up to the rhodedendrum gap and camp on the ridge. my favorite spot! A great hike through the rocks. Skip the thomas knob mud shelter. Camp before you reach it on the ridge in the trees.
It can be windy up there though so be careful.
If you have another night i like to then hike to wise shelter and camp across the river north of wise. A very nice little spot by the wilson.
2 ways to get there...take the AT north from the rhodo gap about 5 or 6 miles tops or take the trail from rhodo gap to the next shelter north of wise...mostly downhill and not too hard, the first few miles on a fire road almost rather than a trail, but this way is longer maybe 7 or 8 miles i bet.
I don't have a map with me so forgive the estimates and lack of names here but ifyou have a map it will be easy.
The only tricky part is going up to rhodo gap from wise in that there are 2 or 3 paralell trails. They are sometimes a little confusing but they all go to the same place.
I love grayson highlands! Have fun!
The map came today - I'll look at the trails you mentioned.
Hubby and I are looking at a 4 to 5 day backpacking trip. I'll make up some routes and post them for 'approval.' I just hope my dog won't be to scared of the ponies, she is scared of horses and barks at them.
If the weather's not to bad there may be horseback riders as well as the ponies.
Here is a helpful bit of advice I was told years ago & try to share w/ others.
Horses in general tend to be easily spooked by things they aren't sure of, including hikers, especially w/ those things on their backs (backpacks:)).
If you meet Horseback riders on the trails shared by both hikers & horses, it is best to steep off trail well before the horse riders get to you.
Step off on the low side of the trail. This makes you seam smaller & a little less treating as apposed to being "Up above" the horse.
Talking to the horse & rider as they approach may help the horse accept you as a non-thread too.
I am getting ready to take a trip to the same area in 2 weeks. I was wondering if there were any good hangs near thomas knob. My trip takes me from fox creek to damascus.
Originally Posted by slowhike
Thanks for the info about going low instead of high. We normally get far off the path so the horses and the dog are less scared but we normally go uphill (don't know why - who wants to hike more up hill). We have hiked at East Fork Lake in Ohio, there are crazy amounts of horses there and she has gotten more used to them from that trip. She even let a foal come up and sniff her before hiding behind me.
We did have trouble at Cave Run Lake in Ky once when some horseback riders came up on us really fast, I didn't hear them coming in time and we barley got off the trail. Arwen barked and one of the horses almost hit a tree. It was a multi use trail that allowed mountain bikes so running the horses in my opinion wasn't a good idea. The poor horsie was fine though and the rider wasn't angry.