5.8 miles, moderate terrain
65 miles from Daleville. , $6.50 carpool fee
Take the I-81 Exit 202/Raphine-Steeles Tavern and head east on VA 606 for 1.5 miles
to US 11. Turn left onto US 11 and an immediate right onto VA 56.
A 12 mile drive on this narrow, twisting road will bring you across the crest of the
Blue Ridge Mountains and to the Crabtree Falls Trail parking lot on the right. Outhouses are
located adjacent to the parking area.
The hike is located in Nelson County, and follows Crabtree
Creek, with scenic overlooks at the five major cascades, which, with a number
of smaller ones, have a total fall of 1,200 feet. Crabtree Falls is the highest
waterfall east of the Mississippi.
We will start in the National Forest Crabtree Falls Parking Lot after paying our parking
fee, or using our National Park Senior Pass, and start our 1.7-mile path to follow Crabtree
Creek, with scenic overlooks at the five major cascades, which have a total fall of 1,200
feet. The Forest Service's first-rate pathway of graded switchbacks and wooden staircases
has many observation decks and ends with an observation deck at the top on the other side
of the stream. At this point we can turn around for a 3.4-mile hike or contine following
the stream up a gentle grade to the upper trailhead. For that, come back across the stream
and go left. When you come to a fork, take the right one, but they both join together again.
At 2.9 miles we will come to the upper tailhead parking lot and more outhouses.