Exploring Graveyard Fields in 2002

Map of the Graveyard Trail System
Graveyard Fields Trails.

Graveyard Fields from Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook. Shows lower falls and fall colors
Graveyard Fields and Lower Yellowstone Prong Falls from Blue Ridge Parkway

In October 2002 we had time to explore the trails at Graveyard Fields off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Graveyard fields is one of the prettiest spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway especially in the fall. The fall colors and the three waterfalls on Yellowstone Prong are spectacular. You can enjoy the place from the various overlooks, but it is well worth the time to hike the trails.

Second and Lower Yellowstone Prong Falls

View of  top of lower Yellowstone Prong Falls
Top of Lower Yellowstone Prong Falls
Yellowstone prong at top of lower Yellowstone Prong Falls
Second Yellowstone Prong Falls

Our hike started in the parking lot and down the stairs to the paved trail to the second falls, This is easy and should be on everyone's agenda. The hike is about 0.2 miles

When we got to the second falls, we stopped and took some picture. On really nice days we've seen kids (and some adults) wading in the water.

We then headed out on the trail to the lower falls. This trail is not paved all the way, is somewhat steeper than the paved trial, and ends in a long set of stairs. We saw a pretty little stream that crossed the trail on its way to Yellowstone Prong. Parts of the trail were a bit muddy, but we were able to bypass the mud without too much trouble.,

Stairs to lower Yellowstone Prong Falls
Stairs to bottom of lower Yellowstone Prong Falls
Small stream on trail to lower falls
Small stream on trail to lower falls
Lower Yellowstone Prong Falls
Lower Yellowstone Prong Falls
Looking downstream from base of lower falls
Looking Downstream from Lower Yellowstone Prong Falls

After we had enjoyed the view at the base of the lower falls, we were faced with the climb back up the stairs to reach the trail to the upper Yellowstone Prong Falls. The climb up was hard work, but we made it.

Stairs the have to be climbed
Stairs back up to trail

Upper Yellowstone Prong Falls

Except for the climb up the stairs, the trail to the upper Yellowstone Prong Falls is easy. The trail basically follows the Yellowstone Prong. The trail was a little messy in spots. But we bypassed the messy spots without much trouble. We noticed numerous camp sites along the Yellowstone Prong so if you want an easy introduction to backpacking, this is the place.

Yellowstone Prong
Yellowstone Prong
Yellowstone Prong
Yellowstone Prong

We enjoyed the easy walk to the base of the upper falls and looked for the trail to the top of the falls. We found it. The trail turned out to be steep and rocky in places. But was not too long so we soon got to the top.

Base of Upper Falls
Looking up at the Upper Yellowstone Prong Falls
Looking down from top of Upper Yellowstone Prong Falls
Looking down from Upper Yellowstone Prong Falls

We enjoyed the view from the top of the falls and then decided to head back to the parking lot. Heavy fog was rolling in and it was starting to drizzle. The fog kept getting heavier and heaver as we walked back. By the time we got back to the car, it was hard to see across the parking lot.

Looking into the fog
Fog Graveyard Fields

See Graveyard Fields for more about Graveyard Fields.

A note about the pictures on this page. Our 2002 visit here was in our pre-digital days. I haven't scanned the photos from this trip yet. The picture here are stills taken by my Digital 8 video camera. The stills are 1.8 Megapixel photos.