Horse News

Wild horses in the highlands of Virginia


t1200-IMG_3684   Photo by: Dennis Forney   I would say this one is profiling, wouldn’t you?

by Dennis Forney

A group of us traveled ten hours to the southwest to ride bicycles and hike trails in the Virginia highlands.  In Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, the mountains rise to over 5,700 feet.  No peaks, but the trees at that level approximate the vegetation of Nova Scotia, especially the dark-trunked red cedars.  On the summit of Mount Rogers – more of a hump than a peak – a National Geological Survey metal marks the highest point in Virginia.

Wild horses also mark the Virginia highlands. The herds look very healthy and it seems like every spring when we go – about mid May – many of the horses have just foaled. The horses see plenty of people and aren’t fearful.  They don’t seem to have much in the way of natural predators on the Alpinish meadows where they like to hang out.  We picnicked alongside a meadow where the horses were grazing. One particularly handsome specimen – looked a little like Rod Stewart – strolled over to where we lounged amid rocks and rough grass.  Then it proceeded to start licking the salt off my arms and others too.  Up close and personal.

Grayson Highlands State Park, considered one of the nation’s best, offers great hiking and horse watching.  The Appalachian Trail passes through the park and the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.  As a ridge trail, it takes full advantage of the magnificent views and the endless ridges of the Appalachians.  Here are a few photographs to give you a sense of the horses and the highlands.

t600-IMG_3677  This shows the herd of horses that our friend strolled away from for a visit.

t600-IMG_3760  A foal and its mother.

7 replies »

  1. This sounds like a lovely vacation spot. Perhaps we should act to protect it from the BLM and other government agencies before they ruin it. I would love to visit this magical place!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would like to visit there also, Jacqueline. It reminds me of my birth state of Maine with rolling hills and pine trees.


  2. This is what most of the west would look like if the welfare ranchers and the BLM didn’t exist along with oil wells dotting the landscape.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve previously lived in Virginia for almost seven years and I never knew about this! The next opportunity my parents and I get to visit the state, I am going to try to talk them into us visiting this park.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This did not need to be publicized. The next thing you know these ponies will disappear. People in the area know about them and they are just part of the landscape.


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