Cabin Creek is a small, but scenic creek that flows down between Cabin Ridge and Wilburn Ridge. The creek was named for small hunting cabin that once stood along its banks and Lee Massie, one of the first settlers in the area, lived above the creek. The Cabin Creek Trail runs along the creek and makes an easy, casual hike of about 1.8 miles. From Massie Gap, the trail heads down towards the stream and splits. Taking the left fork, the trail crosses a stream before meeting with the creek and following it upstream. Along the way, there are several small cascades and a really pretty 25-foot waterfall, Lower Waterfall on Cabin Creek. Depending on water levels, the waterfall can have three distinct streams that flow together at the bottom, but you can't see the three falls when the water level is low. The creek is very rocky so there are many opportunities to hop out into the creek and relax, take photos, or enjoy a picnic lunch. Further upstream, the trail makes a tight right turn and switchbacks away from the creek as it heads back to the intersection. If you pass the switchback and bushwack a bit upstream, there is another waterfall, Upper Waterfall on Cabin Creek. This one is more of a series of cascades and it's not possible to see or photograph the entire thing from one place. But, if you've made the trip down to the creek, it's worth the short hike up to see it.
Haw Orchard Mountain, the highest point in the park, has two prominent pinnacles with great views of the surrounding mountains and landscape. There are two ways to access the pinnacles. The first is to park at the Visitor Center and take the Twin Pinnacles Trail. The trail is a 1.6 mile loop with little elevation gain as you start out almost at the top of the mountain. The other option is to park at Massie Gap and take the Big Pinnacle Trail, which is less than half a mile, but gains about 400 feet of elevation. The trail ends at the Twin Pinnacles Trail, just below Big Pinnacle, so you can hike the loop to see both pinnacles. Big Pinnacle, at 5,068 feet, is on the northern end of the mountain and provides great views to the north and west, including Mount Rogers and Whitetop, Virginia's two highest peaks. Little Pinnacle is closer to the Visitor Center, and is actually the highest point at 5,089 feet. This pinnacle has great views to the west and south, with the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee in the distance. Another interesting thing along the trail is the tree between Little Pinnacle and the Visitor Center. The tree is elevated several feet off the ground over some big rocks, with its giant roots stretching down to the ground.
Probably the most popular hike in Grayson Highlands is to Mount Rogers, outside of the park (see my Mount Rogers page for this hike). However, there are several nice trails within the park that are often overlooked. And most of these trails are only a mile or so. Cabin Creek Trail starts from Massie Gap parking lot and leads down to its namesake creek, with a pretty 25' waterfall. There are two trails that lead to the pinnacle on Haw Orchard Mountain. Big Pinnacle Trail, a strenuous half-mile climb, also starts at Massie Gap parking, and leads up to Big Pinnacle. An easier, but longer route is the Twin Pinnacles Trail that starts at the visitor center (you can drive up to here) and leads to Little and Big Pinnacle. Big Pinnacle is a great spot to watch the sunset from. Wilson Creek Trail starts across the street from the camp store at the family campground and leads along its namesake creek passing numerous cascades and small waterfalls.