There are more or less 12 water falls along the Blue Ridge Parkway and
the Crabtree Falls, being one of them, is a rather artistic and
adventurous location well-recognized by photographers and hikers. It is
not just worth seeing on print but worth experiencing too.
The Crabtree Falls is one of the most visited falls in the Blue Ridge,
perhaps the most beautiful waterfalls in Virginia, labeled as the
tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River, located at Nelson
County, Virginia and assumed to be named after a William Crabtree who
resided in the area in 1777. It is exactly located at the Crabtree
Meadows Recreational area of North Carolina, found at 339.5 mile post, 5
miles north of Busick, NC near the crossing of BRP and Highway 80.
You may find the Crabtree Falls within its own meadows which marks the
farthest and last portion of the Parkway through the Blue Ridge
Mountains. Before reaching the falls, you will pass through the meadows
showcasing a wide array of wildflowers including Hawthornes, gentians,
beard tongues and mountain laurels.
The way to the falls is a hike going down a steep trail.
It is a loop with a length of 2.7 miles but the short cut affords a
1-mile hike. Going downhill requires careful, watchful eyes and quick
reflexes as you cross a portion of the falls. Once there, you may find a
campground, motels, overnight-stay cabins, a picnic spot, restaurant and
You may notice that the land at the base of the falls has
almost become a resort area but back in the late 1960’s, the residents
of Nelson County did not approve of it. They instead, persuaded the
Forest Service to get hold of the falls for the purpose of providing
future generations a place free for relaxation and escapade.
Of course the Crabtree Falls is so beautiful especially that it is
decorated with its nearby acquaintances - the wooden stairs, gravel
paths, railed overlooks, and a100-foot bridge over the Tye River.
The Crabtree Falls is a dazzling 70 feet cascade featuring a series of
five major cascades and a few smaller ones that drop an entire distance
of 1,200 feet. When trying to view the top from the downhill, it
measures at about 100 feet from the upper parking lot along the concrete
pathway ensuring an ideal stopover for travelers.
Though the hike may seem difficult at first, it would always be best to
prepare for an arduous hike downhill and uphill with enough energy,
enough water, enough snacks, enough physical strength, enough passion
and enough awe. With all these “enoughs” packed well, it will surely be
one hike that you would want to experience over and over.
If you like engaging in activities that involve water fun and mountain
trekking, the Crabtree Falls creates a wholly different outdoor
excitement appropriately designed for this combination.