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Crabtree Falls, Wintergreen

4.8
#17 of 72 in Nature in Virginia
Crabtree Falls is one of the tallest sets of waterfalls in the United States east of the Mississippi River. It is located in the George Washington National Forest in Nelson County, Virginia, off of Virginia State Route 56. The name of the falls is thought to have come from William Crabtree, who settled in this part of Virginia in 1777. L.A. Snead, former US Assistant Fuel Administrator (WWI), environmentalist and notable Nelsonian, spearheaded negotiations to secure land surrounding Crabtree Falls after it was almost developed as a resort area in the late 1960s. Using personal and Congressional funds, the land deals were completed and the deeds transferred by LA Snead on June 3, 1968 to the National Forest System. This assured benefit for future generations of this magnificent Nelson County treasure.The set of waterfalls is often credited with being 1200ft high, but topographic maps show the total drop to be closer to. Crabtree Falls is a series of cascading waterfalls, with five major cascades, the tallest of which drops about, and several smaller cascades, all over a total distance of approximately horizontally. The cascade with a 400ft drop also gives Crabtree Falls the title of tallest vertical drop in a waterfall east of the Mississippi River. However, the title of tallest free-fall vertical drop goes to Fall Creek Falls in Tennessee's Fall Creek Falls State Park.There is a trail to the waterfall maintained by the United States Forest Service called the Crabtree Falls Trail. Twenty-nine people have fallen to their deaths from leaving the trail to climb too close to the waterfalls. Recent deaths occurred April 2013, June 2015, and most recently, August 29, 2015.
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  • September 25, 2017
    Crabtree Falls is a great hike that is almost straight down and then back straight up to see the falls. It is not extremely difficult but be aware that when you go down you have to come back up. The f...  more »
  • September 12, 2017
    Decided to go for a hike at the falls on a Saturday and really enjoyed it. It's a scenic hike and not terribly strenuous (many were even carrying their babies up). Took us about an hour to get to the ...  more »
  • August 17, 2017
    This is noted as a "moderate" hike by the Parks department, but I would classify it as harder than moderate for most of it. It is 1.7 (yes, I noted every marker...) up the side of the falls/hill. We a...  more »

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