Graveyard Fields Trail is a 2.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
305 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

26 days ago

Trail was pretty muddy in spots possibly due to the rains from recent storms. There are lots of alternate routes to get around the mud without too much problem. I liked the challenge of finding the path of least resistance. Otherwise it’s nicely packed with roots and stones for steps and bridges when necessary. Plenty of shade and cross winds for a pleasant temperature. To get to the very top of the falls one must climb a short path which is very steep but worth it. This is a technical trail due to some of its hazards but they are only a small part of the overall hike which allows you to keep going.

1 month ago

Path to Upper Falls not marked well but came across other hikers who missed it too and guided us in the right direction. Make sure to see both falls. Great hike and the dogs enjoyed it. Lots of water access for them!

birding
1 month ago

Now this is a trail. Love it.

hiking
2 months ago

The terrain here is beautiful, and the altitude changes nicely (but be careful about loose stones and slippery wetness). If you want to see how the different faces and altitudes of the region affect the trees and local insects (open grassy fields, hickory, berries, oak, various evergreens, bees among the rhododendrons and ragweed, flies on the bear and dog scat), this is a good trail for that purpose over just a few miles. Also, there are several crossing routes and side trails so that you can modify your hike to your needs, but remember to walk the extra mile or two to catch all of the falls.

hiking
2 months ago

Review of Lower Falls, Upper Falls, and Graveyard Fields Loop, hiked with one dog, two children ages 7 and 10 who are intermediate hikers. 

I grew up hiking this trail and today I passed the torch on to my boys (7 and 10). Graveyard fields is a well known and popular hike for locals and tourists alike. During the Summer time and weekends you can expect heavy foot traffic. Being a Tuesday we had the trail to ourselves for the most part. We started off by visiting lower falls just under 1/2 mile from the parking area down several flights of stairs. This area is a popular swimming area and where we saw the most people on our trip today. If you have very young children, older dogs, or anyone in your group with difficulty getting around this will be your go to spot. This spot offers several large boulders to take a breather on or sunbathe. A small waterfall you can rock hop your way up to. There are also a couple of small swimming holes for everyone to cool off in on warmer days. Be sure to rest up and keep in mind the stairs can be tedious on the way back out. If you are looking for a more adventurous hike then head back up the stairs and to the fork you passed on your way in. Keep right to start a 1 mile hike to upper falls. Note this trail is not well marked, and underbrush often takes over the path. You will be forced to hike single file, wade through mud, rock hop across several creeks, and navigate over tree roots, rock steps, and boulders. This trail is not recommended for young children, or pups that might struggle to get around well. Several of the areas are slick from the cooler wet environment and can be challenging to navigate in areas. As you hike you will come to another main fork go left to take graveyard fields loop or veer right to continue on to upper falls. This is where the trail can become challenging, as you make your way to Upper Falls. Once you arrive at upper falls you can choose to stay where the trail meets the water or continue to hike on up either the boulders or along a small trail that will take you parallel to the water and to the top of the waterfall. There are several areas among the rocks where you can wade through the water and admire the waterfall. Be careful though as these rocks are often very slick and can be tricky to navigate. There are several trees that offer the opportunity to hang up a hammock for a nap after a nice picnic. Once you're ready to head out, back trackthe same you came in. You will once again find yourself at the fork for graveyard fields loop which will bring you out at the lower end of the parking lot or you can follow the same route you hiked in on. This hike is a great way to spend the day relaxing with friends and family with beautiful flowers, ample views of water it will feel like your own little paradise. Come prepared to get your feet wet and muddy and bring towels for your four legged family members. 

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice hike. Went to the lower falls then graveyard ridge trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Once again, this used to be a favorite hike for us. That was when there was no restroom and the parking lot held 5 cars but there was usually only 1 or 2 there. Now if it’s a weekend, be prepared to walk from a half mile down the road with the rest of the cars lined up along the way. This is a steep hike at the beginning and end with an easy to moderate hike the rest of the time. You have two waterfalls to choose from, the upper falls or lower falls. The upper falls is a longer harder hike, and the lower falls has a swimming hole. But be prepared to fight for space among the 30-60 other people trying to swim in that one little hole. Also please watch out for rattle snakes. They are very abundant in the fields.

hiking
2 months ago

Viewed the lower falls and then hiked to the upper falls. The trail to upper was pretty muddy but not at all un-passable. We hiked back to the parking lot by going on the graveyard fields trail to add some variety. Lower falls were very crowded but the hike to upper falls had more solitude and when we arrived at the upper falls we were the only ones there.

2 months ago

Beautiful trails and waterfalls!

3 months ago

Nice trail. The waterfalls are gorgeous but the trail to the upper isn’t well marked. Never saw a blaze and went off the path for a little bit. Fortunately there are a ton of people who you will run into at some point to redirect.

3 months ago

Upper falls is worth it despite wet trail and many offshoots.

3 months ago

Easy and mostly flat.

3 months ago

Swimming hole!   Bring a towel and get your paws wet.  

This is a must stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway.   Get there early!   The parking lot fills up early.

Theres a fair amount of elevation change.  Fortunately there are stairs at the top, stairs in the middle and stairs at the bottom.  Lots of well maintained stairs plus a bridge and a bordwalk with an asphalt trail in between.   There's really not much of a trail to get your paws dirty.   Thanks USFS!  A great trail for older owners or owners with younger children. 

Four rest rooms in the parking lot if you need to do a quick change into dry fur before resuming your journey.   They're pit toliets but they're clean and well maintained if you need to do your business and can't sniff and pee along the trail like I can. 

Remember to practice safe waterfalling.  Stay at the bottom.  No climbing.  Finally, remember to always keep your owners on a leash so they don't get lost. 

Five woofs.

hiking
3 months ago

I went in October with a group of friends. First trail I did after breaking my ankle and it was amazing

4 months ago

Beautiful falls and great time playing in the river.

4 months ago

Took the huskies. Got dirty. Beautiful views.

4 months ago

Only had time to go to the lower falls where we soaked our feet after a long day of hiking.

hiking
4 months ago

Popular loop with optional out-and-back at its west end featuring two nice waterfalls. A lot of the crowds stay near Lower Falls at the east end of the loop, so you will get some solitude if you hike the entire loop. Trail is not blazed, but it is not hard to follow. Encroaching vegetation needed to be cut back in some areas, and other areas are quite eroded. Overall, a good introduction to high-elevation hiking, North Carolina style.

4 months ago

I wish I could rate this higher because the upper and lower falls were beautiful but the lack of blazes/signs made it very tricky to navigate. It was muddy in some spots but easy to get around. Great little hike overall!

hiking
4 months ago

We took the Mountains to Sea Trail instead of the Waterfalls hike . The terrain is definitely moderate , some areas steep . Would not recommend this for young children or if you struggle w hills . We didn’t encounter one hiker & the area is very remote . We Enjoyed the beauty of the woods , but you need to pace yourself . It took us 3 hours round trip . The trails are only clearly marked in the beginning, you must pay attention to the few markers on the trees .

5 months ago

Lower trails muddy after rain. Trails not that well marked so definitely pay attention. Beautiful at lower falls and good swimming holes along river for smaller kids.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike, few unmarked trails, you gotta pay attention. We took a wrong turn and ended up going an extra half mile away before we knew it.

hiking
5 months ago

While the lower trails are very flat and easy to traverse the path to the upper falls is very rocky and relatively steep. I took my 5 year old son with me and I have to say he was a trooper. The lower falls are beautiful and the upper falls are just as nice I highly recommend the journey to the top it is worth the trip. As for the mud given the recent amount of rain I would assume the trails aren't always this muddy.

hiking
5 months ago

Very difficult hike to upper falls. Not many signs to follow. Beautiful views along the way. Very muddy in spots.

hiking
6 months ago

Bushwhacked to the top of the upper falls for a stunning view!

hiking
6 months ago

Always love graveyard fields and specifically love this section of the parkway. The Upper Falls are beautiful if you visit them before the leaves fill the trees (spring) and block the view. The best way to use the Upper Falls Loop Trail is to begin the hike at the stairs on the SOUTH end of the parking lot - not the main stairs closer to the building. Follow the trail signs. The trail veers of once in while for the campsites and fly fishing peeps - just stay on the main trail. When you reach the intersection for lower falls & upper Falls - continue to upper Falls ... the last 1/2 mike gets a little rocky, but not difficult. You’ll reach a section to walk out on the rocks to see to Falls - or continue to the top. It’s worth the final climb! When you walk back down, take a left at the loop intersection, to walk back towards lower falls. This will take back to the main staircase UP and back to the parking lot. About 4 miles in all!

6 months ago

Easy hike to the waterfall. Never did find the upper falls because the trails are not well marked- there’s offshoots everywhere and very confusing! I wandered around with my dogs for a while and they liked the river but otherwise do not feel compelled to hike here again.

6 months ago

Signs or trail markers would have been super helpful as there are multiple forks. It was pretty though!

hiking
7 months ago

I went on this hike with my wife and two younger daughters. We intended to take the trail to the upper falls but strayed right and had to come back after we figured we had gone the wrong way. We eventually made it to the upper falls. I have to say I’m disappointed with this hike as it wasn’t worth the view at the falls. Just our opinion. However, we did the lower falls a few days ago and that one is well worth it. Only .3 miles and the water is much better suited for kids. I’d recommend the lower falls all day any day and will definitely go back during warmer weather with my kids.

hiking
7 months ago

This trail was perfectly fine. You have to choose which direction to take several times while signs are there to help about twice. It’s annoying, but not too bad. The upper falls were pretty, but nothing exciting. I would not recommend this because you could find better trails to use your energy on.

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