Grayson Highlands State Park, VA
October 6, 2010
Near: Whitetop, VA
Route: Upchurch Rd Tr, Orchard Seed Rd Tr, AT, Wilson Creek Tr
Type: Out and Back
Distance: 8 miles
Conditions: Sunny, nice
Impression: I wanted to take in some of the Fall colors and knock off another trail in the Highlands area...this was a nice hike and the solitude allowed me to let my dog run around off the leash...it's an uphill hike along the road trails, but it's very gradual and nothing too strenuous at all...i enjoy walking old forest service roads, there's plenty of open space to take in all the beauty of the forest...Wise Shelter, along the Appalachian Trail, was a nice place to stop for a snack and to read the shelter log...those things always make me nostalgic for my thru hike...as i often say, "any day my path crosses the AT is a good day..."
on the way back to the car, i decided to take the Wilson Creek Trail...what a great choice! that is one of the best trails i've ever been on...only a mile long, there were at least 5 waterfalls, all unique and spectacular...as i walked along, i also saw two or three campsites that would make an amazing nights stay, spots that i will definitely return to...though this was a short trail, it certainly packed in the scenery and is highly recommended...it's a great choice for those who've already seen the Wilburn Ridge Trail and are looking for something else to do in the Highlands...
Directions to Trailhead:
From Damascus, take Hwy 58 east just past the Grayson Highlands State Park entrance to Service Road 783...follow that for almost 2 miles until it dead ends into a closed gate and the trailhead for the Upchurch Road Trail...