The famous attraction is one of the country's highest vertical-drop cascading waterfalls, just six miles off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.
At 1,200 feet tall, Crabtree Falls features five cascades and several minor falls that pour over a 60-foot rock cliff. The first overlook, just a few hundred feet from the upper parking lot, is perfect for travelers of all ages.
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More experienced hikers can continue to the more strenuous route, up the Crabtree Falls Trail, a 2.5-mile loop trail hike that offers stunning views at four other overlooks.
The trail follows the creek another 1.2 miles to the Crabtree Meadows parking lot from the upper falls. This moderate to strenuous hike has steep inclines and rocky terrain. Hikers should allow 1.5 to 2.5 hours for the trek.
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To access the falls, from milepost 27 off the Blue Ridge Parkway, exit onto VA 56, go east for about 6.3 miles and follow the signs to Crabtree Falls.
Crabtree Falls is named for the pioneer William Crabtree who settled in the area in 1777. In the 1960s, the site was almost developed into a resort area, but environmentalist, LA Snead, blocked the effort. Snead used personal funds in addition to congressional funds to transfer the are to the National Forest System.
Fans of the 1970’s hit television show The Waltons might recognize the stunning falls in one or two episodes. Meanwhile, the family, who reside in a small town in rural Virginia, references the falls as a Sunday outing destination.
The Falls is pet-friendly for leashed dogs and open from dawn to dusk daily.