U.S. Forest Service project proposes additional access to Graveyard Fields trail system from the Blue Ridge Parkway

Monday, November 30, 2020

The National Park Service (NPS) announced today it is partnering with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) on a project that includes a proposal for additional access to the Graveyard Fields trail system from John Rock Overlook at Milepost 419.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Currently access to Graveyard Fields is from a single parking area on the Blue Ridge Parkway which often sees overflow parking stretching along the motor road. This USFS project would use the nearby John Rock Overlook as an additional access point for Graveyard Fields with a pedestrian crossing of the Parkway. The proposed crossing would be planned with safety as a priority, ultimately connecting the overlook to a short, new trail constructed on NPS land that leads to USFS lands. By creating an additional safe access at the overlook, use of the area can be better distributed and visitor safety can be improved.

The Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest is currently seeking public input on the Graveyard Fields Project which also seeks to restore, protect, and improve one of the most highly visited destinations in the District, known for its distinctive geography, natural communities, and waterfalls. The Graveyard Fields area is located 25 miles southwest of Asheville, NC and ranges in elevation from about 5,000' to over 6,200'. The larger Graveyard Fields project, of which the proposed trail connection is one piece, is divided into four primary categories of work: Heavy trail maintenance, trail relocation and construction, stream restoration, and red spruce restoration.

For more information and to provide comments about the U.S. Forest Service Graveyard Fields Project please use this link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=55665. On the right side of the project webpage, click Comment/Object on project and submit your comments. 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.


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