Crabtree Falls is a beautiful hike in the Blue Ridge mountains of Southwest Virginia that features one of the tallest waterfalls on the east coast. The trail is a mix of built in stairs and well-maintained trails that are frequented year round. The hike is strenuous; you are literally climbing straight up a mountain alongside a cascading waterfall, so it is important to allow around 2 hours to complete either the 2.5 mile loop or an up-and-back route. My parents and I were unaware of the loop trail so we took the same route back and still had a wonderful time.
Overlooks along the way allow for many opportunities to stop and appreciate the scenery while you catch your breath. I hesitate to call the trail child friendly because I know that as a child I would be complaining nonstop. However, I saw many superior children on the trail who were much more successful than me. If you find the trail too difficult it is easy to turn back at one of the overlooks after still having a great experience.
Crabtree Falls is a beautiful hike in all weather but is especially impressive in the autumn. At the top of the waterfall the trees part and an incredible view of the Blue Ridge mountains emerges. No longer blue, the hills are a stunning combination of red, orange, yellow, green, brown, and everything in between. This incredible spectacle is well worth the trip and the hike.
Crabtree Falls is conveniently located an hour from Charlottesville and about 25 miles south of the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Entrance to the park is free so this excursion is definitely worth your money and time. For stunning views and an incredible new trail, consider hiking Crabtree Falls in your next visit to Virginia!