Hiking at Crabtree Falls
“A strong man and a waterfall always channel their own path.” --Anonymous
Great Outdoors Month is coming to a close, but you certainly don’t have to cease your exploration of the natural world. One way you can indulge in the Great Outdoors is by means of a favorite local hike, Crabtree Falls, which boasts the highest cascading waterfalls east of the Mississippi River.
Your Crabtree Falls hike, around 3.4 miles in total, will ascend along the cascades, bringing you to a breathtaking overlook of the Tye River Valley. (Although most hikers turn back at this point, you can continue upwards if you’re feeling especially adventurous. Another 1.2 miles will bring you to Crabtree Meadows). The hike itself is of a moderate difficulty level. Sets of man-made stairs ease your trek up and down the trail, and there are numerous overlooks scattered at various points of the waterfall, so if you’re in need of a break, pause and rest on the benches provided.
This 1,200-foot set of waterfalls makes for a picturesque hiking experience in the heart of George Washington National Forest, so dust off your hiking boots, book a room at Afton Mountain Bed & Breakfast, and venture out to the Falls.
Tips and Trivia:
-- William Crabtree is credited as the namesake of Crabtree Falls, having settled this area of Virginia in 1777. The Tye River was named after noted pioneer Allen Tye, who explored a great deal of the Blue Ride Mountains.
-- Be sure to read the sign at the base of the trail, where it cautions against straying off of the path. Numerous people have fallen to their deaths because of climbing out onto the slippery, algae-coated rocks.
-- There is a $3.00 fee to use the upper parking lot, so be sure to have some cash on hand.
-- The trail starts from the upper parking lot, but take a quick stroll to the lower lot and enjoy the beautiful wooden bridge that arches across the Tye River. (It’s a great spot for photos!)