Graveyard Fields has now been reopened after being closed for several months for some much needed “upgrades”. This is an extremely popular Blue Ridge Parkway destination, and just wasn’t designed for the amount of traffic it has become accustomed to in recent years. While I was in the area in mid July, I stopped by to see the changes for myself.
The first thing that stood out to me was the restrooms. Yes, Graveyard Fields now has restrooms. They are the “dry” kind, but they are better than nothing.
The next improvement made was the parking. The parking lot was extended from 17 spots to 40. I am pretty certain that even this will not suffice on a weekend day or holiday, as this 40 car lot was nearly full when I made my visit here on a Monday morning. There will be no more parking along the Parkway now as “No Parking” signs have been posted in each direction and from what I hear, tickets are being issued. If the parking lot is full, it’s probably just best to keep going and visit some other attractions in the area like Looking Glass Rock, Skinny Dip Falls, Mt Pisgah, Black Balsam, or the Devils Courthouse. There really is a lot do do in this concentrated area of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The next improvement I noticed was the new boardwalks that have been constructed on the way down towards Second Falls. I am not certain that these were an absolute must, but they sure are nice. I am guessing that the purpose here is to try and protect the resources from the excessive foot traffic in this area.
The last part is my favorite…the waterfalls. Second Falls or Lower Falls is a beautiful 60 ft cascade along the Yellowstone Prong that makes a great place to cool off in the summer. It is very scenic, and beautiful any time of the year. However if you are able to visit this place in October, the colors here are amazing. This waterfall can also be seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it is definitely worth the short walk down for a closer view. After that, you can either head back up the paved path to the parking lot or continue upstream to Upper Falls and complete the 4 mile loop. I chose to head back to parking lot this day.