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

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Second Falls (also referred to as Lower Falls according to the signs here as well as Yellowstone Falls according to some maps) was essentially our waterfalling excuse to check out the popular Graveyard Fields stop while driving the gorgeous Blue Ridge Parkway.

The falls tumbled over several rounded tiers over 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 photos. We were able to check out the falls from stair steps leading to the boulder-fringed creek right at its base as well as from the creek bank itself.

From the busy car park, we followed the trail leaving the northeastern side (facing the overlook to the right) which descended a mix of steps a path through a grove of some bush with twisty branches. Eventually, the stairs terminated near a bridge over the Yellowstone Prong (the water source of this falls and others in the area) where we followed the Lower Falls signs (essentially staying right at the trail junctions) to continue on the trail downstream towards more stairs 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 this waterfall 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. 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 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. 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 in the area.


We came up to the Graveyard Fields from Brevard (where we were staying at the time) so we’ll describe it using Brevard as the starting point.

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.

Turning left onto the Blue Ridge Parkway (to go west), we then followed it for another 7 miles until we reached the well-signed car park 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.

Find A Place To Stay

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

Trip Planning Resources

Nearby Accommodations

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

Visitor Comments:

Got something you'd like to share or say to keep the conversation going? Feel free to leave a comment below...

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:

If you have a waterfall story or write-up that you'd like to share, feel free to click the button below and fill out the form...

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

How To Build A Profitable Travel Blog In 4 Steps