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Grayson County, Virginia — The Ultimate Destination for Outdoor Adventure!

Grayson Virginia

We are home to the highest peaks in Virginia, as well as home to the second oldest river in the world. Grayson County has endless hiking and biking trails throughout the county. It also contains creeks, rivers and streams around every bend that are full of colossal fish, rock bluffs and boulders that will challenge even the most experienced rock climbers, and a river through the middle of the county that will have you itching to kick back and relax on its’ banks. There are outfitters who rent canoes, kayaks, or tubes for a day on the New. These outfitters are experts who can guide and shuttle you to rapids or peaceful float trips. 

New River kayaks
Kayaks along the New River, photo by Shannon Tate

We have public or private campgrounds all over this beautiful county, whether you like to rough it or camp in luxury, and miles of trails and plenty of horse camps throughout the county to accommodate horse enthusiasts. Take a guided horseback ride up to Mt. Rogers. Our experienced guide offers tours lasting from a couple of hours to overnight trips. 

Grayson Highlands
The View from Grayson Highlands, photo by Will Simpson

One of the greatest benefits of being away from the hustle and bustle of the city is the amazing light show you get to experience every night. Just step outside on a clear night in Grayson and you’ll be blown away by the beauty of the stars above. There is very little light pollution in our corner of the earth!

Whitetop, Grayson County, Virginia
Sunset at Whitetop, photo by Jared Leagan

We are home to some of the most beautiful parks in the world. With such a vast array of beautiful natural areas, you will never run out of wilderness to explore. Grayson Highlands State Park is home to two major attractions, Mt. Rogers, the highest peak in Virginia, and the Wild Ponies attraction, a small herd of beautiful ponies that roam freely in the park. Long horned cattle roam freely spring to fall, and the spring flora is incomparable. In addition to the gorgeous views, thereare numerous hiking and horseback riding trails, picnicking, and camping areas and a visitor’s center/museum.

Virginia Creeper Trail
Cyclists at the Virginia Creeper Trail 

You’ll also find the Virginia Creeper Trail, Whitetop Mountain, the second highest peak in Virginia, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, a 191,000-acre mountain recreation wonderland within the George Washington & Jefferson National ForestsMatthews State Forest and the New River Trail, among others. The Virginia Creeper Trail is one of the most visited bike trails in the United States. Rent your bike in Whitetop to ride downhill to Damascus and then be shuttled back to your car. The New River Trail parallels creeks and the river in various areas. It isflat with a slight incline making it a loved trail for bikers, hikers, and horse riders. The views are gorgeous. 

Matthews Living History Farm and Museum
Matthews Living History Farm and Museum, photo by Randy Leagan

In addition to a nice motel in Independence, the county seat, there are all kinds of vacation rentals dotted throughout the county. Stay in a farm house out near the Blue Ridge Parkway and visit the Blue Ridge Music Center for a concert or visit their exhibits; hike their trails. Find a rustic cottage in Elk Creek to enjoy the panoramic views especially the Fall foliage. Camp near the highlands. Stay in a luxury cabin at Whitetop, or a renovated barn in the middle of it all! 

The Dam at Fries, Grayson County, Virginia
The Dam at Fries, photo by Jared Leagan

Grayson County is proud of its cultural and musical heritage. Beginning in March and lasting through October, many festivals, concerts, and events happen throughout the county. In March, see maple syrup being made up at Whitetop or participate in the ramp eating contest at the Ramp Festival in May. The town of Fries hosts several cruise-ins down by the river and music festivals all summer long. There is no place better than Independence to enjoy the 4th of July! They also host the state’s only privy race during the Mountain Foliage Festival in October. Yes, they actually compete to see who can roll an outhouse down Main Street the fastest! It is guaranteed that at every festival in any area of the county, you will find traditional arts and crafts on display and listen to some of the best musicians in the world performing Bluegrass and Old-Time music. Check out our events calendar for events happening during your visit. 

From scenic drives to music festivals, farm tours to the great outdoors, Grayson County is full of fun! We are the best kept secret of outdoor recreation. There is no better place to practice social distancing. You will never run out of exciting and entertaining things to do! Get outside and come to Grayson County today! You will have the time of your life! Guaranteed.

Cover photo: “The Comet” at Dream Rock Silo, photo by Will Simpson

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