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5 reasons you need to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway

By Jordan Nichols | September 15, 2017 | Explore NC

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I’m a mountain lover, it’s true! I am on a mission to hike all of the Blue Ridge Parkway trails– it’s on my “30 by 30” list. 

Full disclosure, I’m only hiking the mountains if there is the promise of a great view or a waterfall. I figure if you are going to put in the work, you might as well have a beautiful reward to look forward to.

My recent trip to Graveyard Fields did not disappoint. If you are short on time, there is a <1-mile round trip around the waterfall. 

Here’s why I think you will want to put the BRP on your fall adventure list: 

The View

In my opinion, nature doesn’t get much more beautiful than the nature you find in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Treat yourself and visit in the fall at least once in your life! You will marvel at the fall foliage and fall in love with the crisp mountain air. 

The Smoky Mountains

Known affectionally to some as the “Smoky Mountains” or the “Smokies,” there is some dispute, the oldest documented record of the origin of this name is from the Cherokee Indians. They believed the fog looked like smoke. I’ll agree, the fog is quite dense here.

Unplug from Technology 

Life with little-to-no phone signal can be glorious. It’s great to practice what we preach when we tell our kids, “no more screen time.”  There is something special about a little bit of isolation with no cell signal. Spend time with your family, friends, or even alone. Just remember that hiking alone can be a bad idea, so always hike with a buddy. 


It would not be unusual to see black bears, deer, and elk when visiting the BRP. These beautiful animals are best observed from a distance. If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing black bear cubs outside of zoo walls, you will agree that they are the cutest! 


There is literally something for everyone on the BRP. Hiking, biking, swimming holes galore. 

 At Graveyard Fields which is located in Haywood County, NC (30 minutes from Asheville), we hiked the 3-mile loop. I would describe it as an “easy-to-moderate” hike for people who have hiking experience. Want to find a hike that is perfect for you? HIKE NC has listed some incredible trails across the state that I have bookmarked. You should too! Enjoy!