by Carson Feather Whitmore
Don’t be deterred by the name of this scenic area! The only ghosts you’ll find here are the remains of spruce stands in this vast mountain bald. Wind storms and timber felling created spruce stumps, which resembled moss and lichen-covered gravestones. The landscape dramatically changed once again with forest fires in 1925 and the early 1940s. Logging practices heightened the ecological effects of fire, rendering the soil sterile.
Now a site of ecological restoration, you’ll encounter abundant understory—shrubs and berries that seasonally restore the nutrient-depleted soil attract wildlife and hikers alike. Mountain laurel, wildflowers, countless birds, and the occasional black bear have returned to the area. Tributaries with inspiring waterfalls line the alpine meadow, making the site one of varied ecology.
Graveyard Fields is a unique living example of the interplay of the human footprint and natural processes. Wild South works EVERY day to safeguard and protect mountain treasures like this gorgeous spot in the Pisgah National Forest. With support from Sunrift Adventures and ENO, we are monitoring proposed projects on the district and protecting these wild places that we all love for solace, for recreation, for a peaceful hike, for panoramic beauty and viewsheds, for abundant wildlife and flora – and more. Sunrift Adventures encourages people to get outside and to enjoy wild places – and outfits people so we are all prepared – which helps to fulfill our mission to inspire people to Enjoy, Value and Protect the wild character and natural legacy of the South!