Monday, March 27, 2017

Crabtree Falls, VA family hike.

Crabtree Falls is the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. It features a series of five major cascades and a number of smaller ones that fall a total distance of 1,200 feet.

i've been wanting to visit Crabtree Falls for a while, and this weekend we finally got a chance to hike it! It's was a little farther than we usually drive for a day hike (over 2 hours) but it was very worth it.

This bridge is the Crabtree falls arch bridge and is near the parking lot. i thought this was so beautiful. We couldn't walk across it though, it was closed for safety reasons. i don't know whether they plan to repair it or what. It didn't say, just said it was closed to foot traffic. 

 The falls are absolutely amazing, and much larger than they look in the photo.  The hike was very strenuous. We just kept going up and up and every time we thought we were at the last falls, we'd seen more.  It's was just breath taking.

 There are several rests along the way. Benches, and overlooks.  It was really busy when we were there. Really more crowded than i like for a hiking adventure, but the falls made it worth it.

There was just no way to get a picture of the entire falls, so i snapped a photo at each of the outlooks.  The path was muddy and slippery in places. It was not an easy hike, yet we saw people of all ages and physical shape hiking to the top.  Lots of people had dogs, and several had babies in back carriers.  So although it's a strenuous hike, it's very doable. Just take it slow and stay on the trail.

There are warning signs all over the trail.  30 people have died at Crabtree Falls since the U.S. Forest Service began keeping records in 1982.  There are many signs reminding of the dangers here.  The hike is safe as long as you stay on the trails.

At the very top is an outlook with spectacular views. You can't see the falls from the top, but it's a nice spot to rest and take it all in. There were a lot of people at the top. Several had brought hammocks and were set up enjoying the views. There is a large open rocky area to sit.  After resting we went back down the same way we came up. i believe you can continue on the trail toward Crabtree meadow, and eventually connecting up with the AT. 

We are really looking forward to this warmer weather so we can get back to hiking and kayaking every weekend!


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