Graveyard Fields Loop including Upper Falls

2 reviews #4 hike out of 510 in
3.1 mi
Distance
1 hrs 46 min
Time
terrain
303 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

Graveyard Fields is a beautiful and interesting open field area along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a rare, high altitude (~ 5,000ft) field, with the a beautiful river (the Yellowstone Prong) running through it. It has gorgeous waterfalls at either end and many scenic hiking trails.

Park at the popular, main parking area, which is one of the few spots along the Parkway to have good toilets. This hike first descends to the extremely popular Second Falls before climbing up to Upper Falls, at the upper end of Graveyard Fields.

From the parking area, descend a paved walkway through rhododendron to reach a junction with a spur to the Mountains to Sea Trail. Follow steps and a wooden boardwalkto the base of the Second Falls. Retrace your steps to the MST junction and follow the trail upriver. There are many side paths made by blueberry pickers but the main route is usually obvious. Pass a trail to the left (west) which will be your return route. The trail becomes somewhat rocky as it approaches Upper Falls, which descend 60 feet over ledges. To return to the parking area, retrace your steps and take the trail to the right that you passed earlier. It leads to the west end of the parking area. During blueberry season the local bears will be active.

Getting Started

Follow the Blue Ridge Parkway to mile 418.8. Get there early to get good parking!

Taking Children

This is a great family hike!


    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    4 months ago
    The hike to the Upper Falls is a little difficult, but worth it once you get there. The other issue is this trail is heavily used. There were many side trails that had been made by people trying to avoid muddy wet spots. It caused a little confusion on which way to go and what was the main trail vs. a denture. The Lower Falls has wooden steps all the way down. While impressive I went on a warm summer afternoon and there were tons of teenagers swimming. I like the fact that this old timey form of cooling off is so available, but if you expect a serene and picturesque waterfall wait till a cold day.
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year ago
    Hiked on 10-7-18. Was hoping for more fall color but it is a little later this year. Hiked this same hike a few years back on first Friday of October and colors were at peak. Easy hike. Mostly flat. Very muddy after any rain at all. A lot of secondary trails have been made by hikers to go around the bigger mud holes. Falls had much less water on this trip compared to a few years back. Can get crowded on weekends. I hiked out to falls about 4:30 PM and passed more people than I could even count who were returning from the falls. When I arrived there were only two couples at the base and a few people above the falls. Within 10 minutes they were all gone and I had it to myself.
    ★ ★ ★


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