Rhododendrons are opening deep pink blooms along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and new spring foliage blends into a bright blue sky dotted with puffy clouds. At the Graveyard Fields overlook this Friday morning, chirping birds and the occasional passing car are the only sounds. “Idyllic” is the word that comes to mind, but this peaceful scene is far from the norm for this pull-off near mile marker 418.
One the Blue Ridge Parkway’s most popular recreation areas will soon be closing for construction. The Graveyard Fields parking area and trailhead, at milepost 418.8, will close for approximately 11 weeks beginning April 22.
While lines of cars zip down the Blue Ridge Parkway and hikers scurry along its zigzagging trails, Graveyard Fields moves at its own pace.
The high elevation meadows of Graveyard Fields are a crowned jewel of the Shining Rock Wilderness. No trees means great views — views without scrambling up a mountain peak or peering out from intermittent windows in the tree canopy.