Virginia January 08, 2019
The Story Behind This Forgotten Mountain Cemetery In Virginia Is Undeniably Creepy
Tucked away in Shenandoah National Park awaits a cemetery that’s been long forgotten by time. Yet it holds the memory of those that once lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains before the area was turned into a park. When you embark on the Devil’s Loop Trail, you’ll hike right past this historic landmark. Worn away by the effects of time, the cemetery is slowing be reclaimed by nature. When you visit the site, you’ll find it to be equal parts beautiful and eerie.
Deep in the woods of Shenandoah National Park, there's a popular trail known as Little Devil's Stairs. Measuring 5.3 miles out-and-back and with a steep incline, it's considered a challenging trek.
The trail is breathtaking, offering the chance to marvel at waterfalls and a breathtaking mountain vista. Yet there's another landmark along this trail that's lesser known but equally moving.
Towards the end of the trail, you'll notice an old cemetery protected by a stone wall. This is the Bolen Cemetery, and it holds a remarkable history.
When Shenandoah National Park was commissioned by Gov. Harry F. Byrd Sr, at least 500 families who lived in the 300 square mile radius were evicted. In this manner, much of the mountain culture was removed from Shenandoah.
The spirit of this tragedy and the reverence for those who once lived in the hollow are captured in the poem that sits at the entrance to the cemetery. The poem, "Why The Mountains Are Blue," reads "To tell of a people who once resided on this land,
who toiled, labored, loved, laughed and cried,
having their lives altered by a ‘plan’..."
While the park has brought about important preservation and tourism, the gravesites gives visitors a unique opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices that were made.
So whether you find this historic site to be rather creepy or lovely, it's nearly impossible to feel unmoved by the history and culture represented by this modest corner of Shenandoah.
Have you seen the Bolen Cemetery before on this trail? Be sure to share with us! For related content, read about
This Beautiful Yet Incredible Haunted Hike Through Virginia.