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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Greyson Highland Loop Recommendation

    Looking to take a Scout troop on their first hiking trip to the Highlands. Can anyone recommend a two-day loop for new hikers that is both tent (Gasp!) and Hammock friendly. Thanks in advance, the ole Hillbilly.

  2. #2
    New Member Neilbo Baggins's Avatar
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    MANY times we've gone ascended around Grindstone to Thomas Knob first day then through Wise and ended the 2nd day at Old Orchard and it never gets old.

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  3. #3
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    Me and the wife just did this loop Sun-Tue: https://caltopo.com/m/L00N - Saw lots of ponies, long horned steer, a deer, and a couple of non-venomous snakes. Didn't see any signs of bear until we were driving out of the park and one crossed the road about halfway down between Massey Gap and the Welcome Center.

    If you're looking for just 2 days then Thomas Knob Shelter and back (not a loop) would be about 4 miles each day with a couple of nice rock scrambles over a peak before Wiburn Ridge and over Wilburn Ridge (me and the wife made it over both and we're old). It would be more uphill on day 1 and more downhill on day 2 which is not a bad combination

    There's a newer sign to a bear box in a big field on the way to Thomas Knob Shelter that would easily accommodate a large group (I think it is actually on be the Thomas Knob peak if I had to guess) but I don't know of what the water situation there is.

    There's a also a bear box at Thomas Knob Shelter. The shelter itself has two floors and could easily hold at least 16 scouts. Water can be found a short ways down the hill behind the shelter. There are several campsites around the shelter. Some are on the open side of the hill and some are back in the woods. They start anywhere from 50yds before the shelter to past the shelter. Not sure if there's one particular site that would accommodate a large group so I'd be prepared to have the adults split up to different sites with the scouts. We also had regular pony visits 50yds past the shelter.

    Out and Back would look like this: https://caltopo.com/m/UP7T (Click on the graph icon next to the Line "Thomas Knob" on the left to see the elevation changes)


    Another option would be going to the Wise Shelter. Big Wilson Creek is about 600ft past the shelter. There is a bridge over the creek and right across from the bridge you will see a "trail" going up a small hill. There's a large field with plenty of space for tenting and hammocking and some fire pits. The bear boxes are at the Shelter and the creek has lots of easy access for wading, etc. We also had regular pony visits around that field. Another good thing about this loop is that you will pass very close to the State Park campground so if you had any scouts that just couldn't make it any farther they could wait there while someone went ahead to get the van and you could easily pick them up.
    That loop would look like this: https://caltopo.com/m/68RG

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Thank you all for the recommendations1

  5. #5
    Senior Member jeff-oh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chknbone View Post
    I concur on this route. There are plenty of sites where his red and blue lines meet (36.6551, -81.5257) and there is a water spring both at Thomas knob shelter and at 36.6541, -81.5237. Then follow on around and spend night 2 at the Wise shelter. This is a great trip.

    Jeff

  6. #6

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    Below is an almost 19 mile loop that I do a lot. Several good places to camp with water.

    https://www.alltrails.com/explore/ma...s-fall-loop--2

  7. #7
    Senior Member jeff-oh's Avatar
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    The route chknbone described is the route that The Adventure Archives crew just released a full video on just today.

  8. #8
    Rockdawg69's Avatar
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    Brings back many memories. Done this loop a couple of times as well as the AT thru the highlands. As usual, weather is always a challenge at Grayson.
    Rockdawg69

    It's a long way to the top if you want to Rock and Roll ----- those hills!!!

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