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Crabtree Falls, Wintergreen

(4.7/5 based on 190+ reviews on the web)
Crabtree Falls is located in the George Washington National Forest in Nelson County, Virginia, and is one of the tallest sets of waterfalls in the United States east of the Mississippi River. 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We love this hike and falls, even with our young kids. We usually just go part of the way. Keep a close hand on children, though, so you have no worries about falling. Excellent views of this amazing ...  more »
  • The hike is not actually vertical, but it's winding up. Each time you cross back, you get to see a different level of the waterfall. The view from the top is beautiful, but you have to hike down. So e...  more »
  • Perfect hike for beginner and intermediate level hikers. With a 1.7 mile course one way with several points of scenic view of the water falls and the mountains the hike was perfect for our family with...  more »