Hiking North Carolina
by Randy Johnson (Falcon Guides)
© 2016 Randy Johnson/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
One of my all time fave destinations in western NC. The large rocks in the river are fun to walk on, nice swimming hole at the bottom of the lower falls. And the BEST wild blueberry picking locale anywhere! Tons of bushes in season! A bit crowded, particularly closer to the parking lot and lower falls, and during the busier seasons. But worth seeing!
Make sure to hit this area either in a cooler season or early in the morning, as there is very little cover. Pretty crowded, but second falls is gorgeous and worth fighting the crowds. There is an excellent group camp site about half a mile from upper falls. This area is a little more secluded from the parking area and a great stop to stop and camp if hiking on the mountain to sea trail. (Small detour) Overall very interesting area, worth checking out.
Very cool hike, we arrived at about.. 630, so it was dark. This made it kind of difficult to find a campsite, but there are several so eventually we were able to camp. The next day we hiked up the ridge trail. About halfway up there is a random intersection not on the map that leads to the Mountains to Sea trail which loops around the ridge, an easy hike, great views of Balsam, and no trees blocking the view of Graveyard Fields. A+
Graveyard fields is a great starting point for some outstanding hiking. This area fills up rather quickly on nice days so think about your timing if you want seclusion. I suggest hiking up to Ivestor gap via the Art Loeb trail which you can access from Graveyard fields. This hike rolls along the ridge tops and crosses Tennant Mountain where there is a plaque marking the history of theis mountain. At the right time with noone around this place is truly inspiring as the views seem to be endless. Although highly traveled (especially during berry season) this is still one of my sentimental favorites. See you on the trail !!!!!
Access from the Parkway, Great views of
creek and falls. Trails in great shape
with connectors to Ivestor Gap trail.
Graveyard Fields is an area that burned out
years ago and just now starting re-growth.
No hiking gear required, BRP mile marker
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