Friday, September 2, 2011

The Mount Rogers Wild Pony Round-Up

Below is a pretty good overview of the annual wild pony round-up and auction at Mount Rogers in Virginia.

Mount Rogers, and adjoining Grayson Highlands State Park, are famous for the wild ponies that roam freely within the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.

According to the Friends of Mount Rogers, fifty ponies were released in 1975 to graze in the Mount Rogers NRA in order to help maintain the high elevation balds. The pony association now keeps roughly 100 ponies in the NRA, and 35 in the Wilburn Ridge Area of Grayson Highlands State Park.

Each year new colts are born and the herd must be carefully controlled to prevent overgrazing. About a dozen riders will saddle up the week before the Grayson Highlands Fall Festival (last full weekend in September) in order to cull the herd.

If you've never been to Mt. Rogers, it's well worth the trip. In fact, I would consider the hike to the summit of Mt. Rogers, the highest point in Virginia, to be one of my all time favorite hikes.


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