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.For Crabtree Falls and beyond, use our Wintergreen trip planner to get the most from your Wintergreen vacation.
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Crabtree Falls Reviews
My boyfriend hikes all the time and wanted to take me on my first trip, I must say I was very nervous as I live on flat land and like it that way! Lol but I had a great experience. First time seeing t... more »
My husband & I are no hikers by all means but this was a great exercise for us plus the pictures by the waterfalls is so cool! It takes 2.7mi to get to the top of the waterfalls, we made 0.7 :-) This ... more »
The hike up and back is only three miles but very rewarding in the views of the falls and at the top the view across the mountains more »
Wonderful place to go hiking with several options when you get to the top. Spy Rock and The Priest are within easy reach. Spectacular views of the highest waterfall on the East Coast. It is a very popular trail so it might be crowded on weekends and mild summer days. Go early or during the winter to have the place to yourself. This is a moderately difficult climb for novices so take your time, rest along the way and enjoy the view on your way up. There's a reward when you get to the top.
This was an absolutely incredible hike. Trail is well maintained. Becomes steep at times. Very Rocky. I'd class it at a 2.5/5 on difficulty. Mile markers are helpful. View at the top is well worth the trek. Waterfalls are gorgeous on the way to the top.
Outstanding falls. Easier if you park at top of falls and hike down. Upper lot is down a gravel road. Turn at the Crabtree Meadows sign and drive a ways.
Breathtaking hike. $3 cash entry is a bit cumbersome at the start (beware of limited parking), but the hike is a mix of intermediate and easy. There's plenty of opportunities and benches to rest your legs before continuing on. Well shaded, good trail. There's a part of the falls you can wade in to (be careful), as well as a small cave and some great cliffs.
Beautiful hike. Not too far. About 1.7mi. to the top lookout. Very enjoyable.
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