Graveyard Fields and the Upper Falls

11:10 AM

At milepost 418 of the Blue Ridge Parkway lies the beautiful Graveyard Fields Loop trail. The 3.2 mile loop takes you through a scenic valley with stops at 3 waterfalls. We actually decided to stop here because we saw the lower waterfall from the road and I’m so glad we did.

The name of this area comes from the catastrophic fires that destroyed the forest many years ago causing the tree stumps to look like gravestones in the aftermath. What was once a dense forest of spruce and fir trees is now filled with soil that lacks nutrients which many plants struggle to take root in. Slowly, the nature here is recovering.

The Hike

The start of the trail takes you down a stone staircase and through a tunnel of trees. After emerging from the thick trees you will see Yellowstone Creek.

Here, we saw children swimming and playing in the water and families having picnics on the smooth rocks. This part of the stream is actually paved, I’m assuming because of how many visitors this area sees. 

After crossing the wooden bridge, we went left, towards the upper falls. There are plenty of signs along the trail to help guide you and lots of friendly hikers willing to give you tips on your way.

You will continue past a fenced area and end up walking over the wooden path through a meadow. The mountains in the background of this low-lying area were breathtaking. During the summer, this area is a popular spot for blueberry picking!

The Falls

You will cross another stream on foot before making it to the upper falls. The rocks here are slick and covered in wet mosses so step carefully. The 70ft falls are a beautiful spot to stop and take photos before heading back out or even onto one of the many other trails nearby.

Overall, the views here were amazing and the hike was very easy as it is mostly flat. If you happen to be near the area in the Fall I highly recommend it!

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