Monday, January 21, 2008

Mt. Rogers and Grayson Highlands Described

Jack Horan has an article in the Charlotte (NC) Observer dated 20 January 2008 and titled "Having a high old time; Great views, pony herds among attractions in Mount Rogers area." It's a sort of trip report about winter hiking the Mount Rogers area.

Some interesting notes about the ponies:
"One of the prime attractions in the Crest Zone and adjacent Grayson Highlands State Park are four herds of 120 or so feral ponies that range within two fenced areas. They resemble Shetland ponies with stocky bodies and long manes.

"Sara Schell, NRA recreation officer, said by e-mail that some of the ponies are believed to have originated from stock owned by a local farmer who was trying to develop a small stature, hardy mountain horse. She said three herds live in a fenced area of nearly 3,000 acres. The fourth herd of about 30 ponies roams state park land."
I didn't know there were actually separate herds up there. And I think it's great that some of the people 'in charge' don't really know exactly how the horses got there ("...are believed to have originated..."), leaving a little mystery in life.

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