Graveyard Fields

Graveyard Fields is a popular pull off area on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It has access to three major waterfalls, acres and acres of blueberries, and several good campsites. The good news is that this area is easily accessible to almost anyone (with the exception of the physically handicapped). The bad news is that it's easily accessible to almost anyone, which means that the area is bombarded with what I call pull-off hikers, meaning people in sneakers, tank tops and flip-flops with screaming kids who leave their soda bottles laying on the trail. Also, because there is little tree coverage the noise from Parkway motorcyclists tends to further deteriorate the natural serenity of this beautiful area. Therefore the best time to visit is during the week when there are far fewer people and Harley riders are busy robbing banks or starting bar fights or whatever it is those guys do during the week.

The trail that will take you to Upper Falls and Lower Falls and Graveyard Ridge and can be found here. It's a short 3.2 mile loop.

Many dead trees such as these are located throughout the "graveyard".

This is the upper section of Upper Falls. The entire falls cannot be photographed all at once from the ground.

Lower falls is the easiest to access.

This is the very top portion of Yellowstone Falls which is a 125 foot cascading waterfall. It can best be seen a mile or so away, on the Parkway. There is no trail leading to it, and two different popular NC waterfall guidebooks advise against traveling to it. Nevertheless we had a very nice quiet lunch there away from the crowds. Since it is dangerous, I'll not give step-by-step directions for getting there. The falls are listed on National Geographic trail map number 780 and if you follow your nose, and eventually your ears, you can find it. If you find this exact area, you will be at the top and you can easily slip on a rock and fall to your death, so be careful, and don’t take small children.

Below is a short film shot here inspired by the location and the book Flatland.

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Location: N35 19.217 W82 50.841
Distance from downtown Greenville: 68 miles
Local Geocaches


dentonharryman said...

A great post as always. I especially like your photos and explanation about the upper falls.