New access proposed for Graveyard Fields

Major changes may be coming to to Graveyard Fields. A project is now open for public comment.

The National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service are partnering on this effort to improve access at the often-crowded trail system on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Haywood County.

Under the proposal, the nearby John Rock Overlook would be used as an additional access point for Graveyard Fields with a pedestrian crossing over the Parkway. The crossing would be planned with safety as a priority, connecting the overlook to a short, new trail constructed on Park Service lands that lead to Forest Service lands. The additional access at the overlook aims to better distribute use of the area and thereby improve visitor safety.

The proposed trail project is just one piece of the larger Graveyard Fields project, which is divided into four categories of work: heavy trail maintenance, trail relocation and construction, stream restoration and red spruce restoration.

For more information and to provide comments, visit The comment period is open through Dec. 21. Comments may also be mailed to: Pisgah Ranger District, USDA Forest Service, Attn: Jeff Owenby, 1600 Pisgah Highway, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768. Comments will become part of the project record and may be released under the Freedom of Information Act.

To learn about the U.S. Forest Service Graveyard Fields project connection with Blue Ridge Parkway lands, visit


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