This past month saw the completion of the Graveyard Ridge East contract. Executed by Black Diamond Trail Designs, this TPC-funded trail project stands as an important landmark, linking together our successes of the past few years and paving the path forward for the implementation of our full-scale trail rehabilitation of the Graveyard Fields complex.

Continuing on the completion of the TPC contract on Investor Gap trail in the summer of 2020 and the Forest Service contract on upper Graveyard Ridge trail in the summer of 2021, the close of this project on Graveyard Ridge East is a great achievement. Within the space of a year and a half, 5.4 miles of continuous high-elevation trail in dire need have received heavy maintenance and rehabilitation.

This means many things: a better hiking experience, newly opened vistas, reduced impacts to the Dark Prong watershed, easier future maintenance, access for Forest Service Fire personnel to plan and implement prescribed burns, and more. Excitingly, this project also marks the first direct trail improvement project completed in the Graveyard Fields complex, standing as an initial step in our restoration of the Graveyard Field trail network at large.

Great thanks to Black Diamond Trail Designs for their excellent work on Graveyard Ridge East. Effective and consistent drainage along the length of the trail has been achieved through berm removal, out sloping, and the installation of armored grade dips. Impressive stone causeways and open stone culverts allow for comfortable walking and dry feet while traversing through boggy areas and the many seeps that spring from the mountainside of this high-elevation trail. A series of stone staircases have been constructed to stabilize the trail tread, mitigating past and preventing future rutting and entrenchment in the trail. All high quality, sustainable trail work.

Here’s to the completion of another great trail project and to keeping the momentum moving forward. Thanks, as always for your continued support of the Pisgah Conservancy and Pisgah National Forest. Be sure to get out on the trail and enjoy the all the beauties of Fall in the Pisgah!