Incredible views at Graveyard Fields Loop Trail

With spring in the air and summer close on its heels, cabin fever is at a peak. Those looking to get out during their Asheville getaway will enjoy Graveyard Fields Loop Trail, one of Asheville’s favorite hiking trails!

There’s plenty of opportunity for outdoor adventure in Asheville and Bent Creek Lodge is quite literally surrounded by them. Some of the area’s most popular hiking and mountain biking trails are just minutes away. Lovely destinations like the Bent Creek Experimental Forest, the NC Arboretum, and the Bent Creek portion of Pisgah National Forest are all just minutes away.

Those willing to travel a little farther afield are encouraged to check out Graveyard Fields Loop Trail, one of the area’s most popular hikes.

Graveyard Fields Loop Trail

Graveyard Fields Trail is located about 27 miles south of our Asheville bed and breakfast at milepost 418.8 along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The area’s odd name comes from the fact that it was once populated by moss covered stumps resembling headstones. The area has since burned, however, removing the evocative stumps. Despite this, plenty remains to beckon visitors.

Graveyard Fields is known for its waterfalls, spring wildflowers, summer rhododendron and blueberries, and gorgeous autumn colors. Best of all, it is all accessible via family-friendly trails detailed both online and at the Graveyard Fields parking lot.

Visitors can enjoy a short, 1/3 mile hike to Second Falls (aka Lower Falls) or engage in the full, 3.5-mile loop to reach Upper Falls. The Upper Falls are just over a mile ahead along a fairly level trail, though the last section has some elevation gain.

A fork in the trail just before Upper Falls offers two options for viewing the waterfall. The right fork leads to the main drop of the falls. The left leads to better views but a climb up the rock face. The return trail to the the parking area from Upper Falls is only around 3/4 of a mile.

As mentioned above, the area is gorgeous with spring wildflowers and summer rhododendron. Blueberry bushes fill the high mountain meadow and blueberry picking is very popular around mid-August. Come fall, the colors are spectacular all along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Trail Details

Graveyard Fields Loop Trail is rated moderate for difficulty. A rating based primarily on the last stretch of grade before Upper Falls. The rest of the trail is fairly level and family-friendly. You’ll still want to wear some decent hiking shoes for traction in the streams and riverbed, though. The trail is approximately 3.5 miles in length, with an elevation gain of 450 feet. This takes an average of around 2.5 hours to traverse.

Graveyard Fields Loop Trail

The area is perfect for a picnic lunch. This is true whether you decide to stop at Lower Falls, continue on to Upper Falls, or even only make it as far as the viewing platform. This is black bear country, however, so remain aware. Also, please stay on the designated trails to help preserve the area’s unique and fragile ecosystems. The parking area includes bathroom facilities.

Graveyard Fields is a very popular attraction. Consequently,  you’ll want to get an early start during the busy seasons to arrive before the parking lot fills up. Visit the trail website for directions, trail maps, and more information.

No matter what it is you like to do – shopping, hiking, boating, dining, relaxing – you’ll find it in Asheville and Bent Creek Lodge is here to help. Just let us know what you’d like to see or do and we can get you pointed in the right direction! Book your stay today!