Second Falls (Lower Falls)

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina, USA

About Second Falls (Lower Falls)


Hiking Distance: 0.6 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2012-10-17
Date last visited: 2012-10-17

Waterfall Latitude: 35.32373
Waterfall Longitude: -82.84098

Second Falls was essentially our waterfalling excuse to check out the popular Graveyard Fields stop while driving the gorgeous Blue Ridge Parkway.

I’ve also seen this waterfall referred to as Lower Falls (according to the signs here) as well as Yellowstone Falls (according to some maps in the literature, but this is actually a totally different waterfall).

Graveyard_Fields_012_20121017 - Second Falls (or Lower Falls or Yellowstone Falls) in the Graveyard Fields
Second Falls (or Lower Falls or Yellowstone Falls) in the Graveyard Fields

The falls tumbled over several rounded tiers with a cumulative drop of about 60ft.

We saw some people chilling out near the top of the falls though we were content with taking the stairs down to its base for better views (and photo opportunities).

We also managed to check out the Second Falls from stair steps leading to the boulder-fringed creek right at its base as well as from the creek bank itself.

Hiking down to the Second Falls

From the busy parking lot, we followed the trail leaving the northeastern side (facing the overlook to the right) which descended a mix of steps and dirt path through a grove of some bush with twisty branches.

Graveyard_Fields_004_20121017 - Julie taking the steps descending towards the Second Falls (or Lower Falls) in the Graveyard Fields
Julie taking the steps descending towards the Second Falls (or Lower Falls) in the Graveyard Fields

Eventually, the stairs terminated near a bridge over the Yellowstone Prong, which was the water source of this falls and others in the area.

Then, we followed the Lower Falls signs (essentially keeping right at the trail junctions) to continue on the trail downstream towards more stairs eventually leading to its base after about 0.3 miles (0.6 miles round trip).

Due to its relative ease of access, much of the activity going on at the Graveyard Fields stop also spills over to the Second Falls thereby making this falls very popular.

Apparently after the fact, we learned that there was a third waterfall just 0.2 miles downstream of Second Falls called Yellowstone Falls.

Graveyard_Fields_008_20121017 - Julie continuing her descent down to the Second Falls while surrounded by beautiful Fall colors in the Graveyard Fields
Julie continuing her descent down to the Second Falls while surrounded by beautiful Fall colors in the Graveyard Fields

However, perhaps it was better that we didn’t know about it because getting a good view of it is said to require a pretty dangerous descent towards its base.

The Graveyard Fields

The mini valley that is the Graveyard Fields was named after a bunch of tree stumps (resembling tombstones, I guess) that were left after a severe wind storm several centuries ago.

The area was then subject to logging before a fire in 1925 raged through the area.

As a result of this turmoil in the landscape, the Graveyard Fields is said to revegetate much more slowly than the rest of the terrain amidst the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Graveyard_Fields_002_20121017 - Looking down across the mostly de-nuded area of the Graveyard Fields as seen from the parking lot
Looking down across the mostly de-nuded area of the Graveyard Fields as seen from the parking lot

Thus, the Graveyard Fields tends to be more dominated by open spaces and ghostly brush as opposed to the plethora of hardwood trees that are prevalent throughout Western North Carolina.

Authorities

Second Falls (or Lower Falls) resides in the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard in Haywood County, North Carolina. It is administered by the USDA Forest Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Graveyard_Fields_003_20121017 - Looking out over parts of the Graveyard Fields where there appeared to be a few sparse growth of trees with exploding Autumn colors in their leaves
Graveyard_Fields_005_20121017 - Descending the steps from the Graveyard Fields parking lot to the Second Falls
Graveyard_Fields_006_20121017 - Julie making it down the first series of steps to cross over a footbridge before descending the next series of steps by the Second Falls
Graveyard_Fields_009_20121017 - Finally making it down to the base of the Second Falls with some people sitting nearby checking it out
Graveyard_Fields_015_20121017 - Our last look at the Lower Falls (or Second Falls) before making our way back up into the heart of the Graveyard Fields

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


We came up to the Graveyard Fields from Brevard (where we were staying at the time) so we’ll describe the driving route from there.

First, we drove north through town along the Asheville Hwy towards the traffic light junction with the Pisgah Hwy (Hwy 276).

Turning left at this light, we took this winding road for about 15 miles where we took a ramp on the right connecting to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Graveyard_Fields_051_20121017 - The parking lot for the Graveyard Fields near mile post 418.8
The parking lot for the Graveyard Fields near mile post 418.8

Turning left onto the Blue Ridge Parkway (to go west), we then followed it for another 7 miles until we reached the well-signed parking area for the Graveyard Fields (near mile post 418.8) on the right.

Alternately, we could have driven straight to the Graveyard Fields along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville.

It would have been about 36 miles to the southwest taking around an hour.

Finally for some geographical context, Brevard, North Carolina was 35 miles (under an hour drive) south of Asheville, North Carolina, 47 miles (90 minutes drive) northwest of Greenville, South Carolina, and 126 miles (2.5 hours drive) west of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Fixated on the lower falls


Left to right sweep of the lower falls encompassing the pool at its base as well as the falls itself

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Tagged with: blue ridge, parkway, haywood county, north carolina, graveyard fields, waterfall, asheville, brevard, autumn colors, fall colors, yellowstone prong



Visitor Comments:

No users have replied to the content on this page


Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall


Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls
Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.