Skinny Dip

On the northern tip of Graveyard Ridge, dark rocks recede into a slot that’s straight as a grave digger’s hole. The East Fork of the Pigeon River creates a short fall that’s the color of marble, while the forest floor and trees absorb sound like the deep carpet and thick drapes of the funeral home.

Yet on a hot day in summer it looks like a honeymoon suite. A footbridge crosses above a bedroom-sized pool like a canopy. Quartz veins in the surrounding rock shine like satin, and the fall at the top is no tombstone, but a bridal veil tossed over the bedpost.

Sad news: There will be people with cameras in your bridal chamber.

It’s a short hike off the Blue Ridge Parkway. And it’s along a designated thru trail. Visitors are tired hikers and day trippers. The footbridge sort of spoils the wilderness aspect. Up here on the parkway, though, the water is absolutely wild, with no settlement that empties junk into the river.

Good place to go if you’re not a frequent outdoor visitor. An ideal trip for swimming hole non-cognoscenti. The seating is good, the entrance and exit is a simple wade-in at the cobble filled hem. Shade is deep and the water cool. Wait for a hot day.

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