Best Waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway

My Favorite Place on the Blue Ridge Parkway

In my humble opinion, the best waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway is Graveyard Fields. I first discovered Graveyard Fields when I lived in Asheville a decade ago. A new friend named Jamie introduced me to the Parkway. She is also from the Chicagoland area and we instantly connected. The first time she took me here, we jumped in the cool mountain water and swam around. She advised me that this was a “rolly” waterfall, not a “droppy” one. Also, we hugged the waterfall and talked to it. Had we been drinking? Yes. Yes we had. Would I hug a waterfall sober? Yes, yes, I would.

History of Graveyard Fields

So why is this spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway called Graveyard Fields? There are several theories. According to Wikipedia, the two most popular theories are either a windstorm or logging left behind a multitude of tree stumps that kind of looked like gravestones. The sign that greets you in the parking lot also seconds this theory. It no longer looks like a graveyard as the trees have all regrown. But, still a cool name.

How to Get to Graveyard Fields

Here is how you get to the best waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Graveyard Fields has two waterfalls, but the only one of consequence is the lower falls. Coming from Asheville, hit the Brevard entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Head south to milepost 418.8 and park. From the parking lot, you will hike down through a rhododendron forest. Then, you will navigate down a series of boardwalks and staircases down to the lower falls. It is quite the hike down, so don’t make this trek if you have bad knees or limited mobility. Once you’re at the bottom of the stairs, you will have to scramble over some boulders to get to the idyllic swimming area at the base of the lower falls. It is perfect for a mid summer dip!

Planning a Trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway

While the Blue Ridge Parkway is accessible year around, there are perks to visiting at certain times of the year. Spring is great because of the rhododendrons. Rhododendrons are trees that bloom with beautiful pink flowers and they are all over the parkway. Graveyard Fields has an especially beautiful rhododendron patch you have walk through to get to the falls. Summertime is great because you have longer days and better weather. In the fall the mountain explodes with color from the changing leaves. In the winter, the Parkway can be harder to access but the snow creates a beautiful winter wonderland. Whatever the season, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a must see.

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