Crabtree Falls 

Crabtree Falls is arguably the most beautiful set of waterfalls in Virginia. Billed as the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi, Crabtree Falls is a must see for anyone who lives in the mid-Atlantic region.


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Author: roanokeoutside3
Date: 16 Apr 2009 4:03:33 PM
Source: Trimble Outdoors on my Verizon phone
Activity: Hiking
State: Virginia (VA)
Distance: Total: 4.08 mi
Active: 0 mi
  (Change units)
Difficulty: 5 / 10
Tags: Blue Ridge Parkway, Crabtree Falls, Roanoke, Virginia
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

Crabtree Falls is arguably the most beautiful set of waterfalls in Virginia. Billed as the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi, Crabtree Falls is a must see for anyone who lives in the mid-Atlantic region.

The falls are believed to be named after William Crabtree, who settled in the area in 1777. The Tye River, at the bottom of the falls, is named for Allen Tye, who did extensive exploration in the local Blue Ridge Mountains.

Take note of the footbridge that crosses Tye River, a laminated arch that was shipped from New York state in one piece and installed in 1978. Until the mid 1980's the footbridge was the starting point for the hike up Crabtree Falls. Today the parking area is on the other side of the river, and the bridge now serves primarily as a decorative addition to the hike.

From the end of the parking area, follow the paved trail to the bottom of the lower most falls. At this point the trail becomes dirt, and does the first of nine switchbacks on its way to the top of the highest set of falls. The trial is well maintained, and has wooden guardrails along its steeper portions, as well as railed overlooks at the most scenic points.

At 0.5 miles look for a rock formation that appears to be a small cave. You can pass through the cave and exit on the other side rejoining the trail.

Arrive at the top of the falls in 1.1 miles from the parking area and cross over a wooden bridge to an overlook. From here you can't see Crabtree Falls below as it falls away, but still get a nice view of the valley floor and Blueridge Mountains. Don't be tempted to climb over the stone wall onto the uppermost portion of the falls. The rocks are covered with a very slippery algae, and according to the Forestry Service sign, 23 people have fallen to their deaths climbing out onto the rocks.

From this point re-cross the footbridge and either head back down, or continue left up the trail where the hike becomes much flatter and follows Crabtree stream.

If you continue up the trail will split in 70 yards. Take the right fork uphill as it first traverses the ridge, then follows the stream to the upper parking area in 1.1 miles. To return, retrace your steps back down.

Position Format: Datum:

Points of Interest

Falls

Location: 37.843094, -79.074440
Crabtree Falls

Parking

Location: 37.851446, -79.079219
South Fork Tye River

Routes

Crabtree Falls

Distance: 4.08 mi
Distance Name Location Distance to next
0.00 mi 001 37.851444, -79.079215 Then go 0.06 mi
0.06 mi 002 37.850519, -79.079164 Then go 0.05 mi
0.11 mi 004 37.850099, -79.078452 Then go 0.05 mi
0.16 mi 005 37.849450, -79.078009 Then go 0.06 mi
0.22 mi 006 37.849156, -79.079000 Then go 0.11 mi
0.34 mi 007 37.847687, -79.078038 Then go 0.03 mi
0.37 mi 008 37.847670, -79.078662 Then go 0.07 mi
0.44 mi 009 37.846968, -79.077813 Then go 0.06 mi
0.50 mi 010 37.846080, -79.077855 Then go 0.05 mi
0.55 mi 011 37.845480, -79.077255 Then go 0.05 mi
0.61 mi 012 37.845166, -79.078166 Then go 0.07 mi
0.68 mi 013 37.844284, -79.077405 Then go 0.05 mi
0.73 mi 014 37.844295, -79.076447 Then go 0.06 mi
0.79 mi 015 37.843713, -79.077310 Then go 0.16 mi
0.96 mi 024 37.843094, -79.074440 Then go 0.05 mi
1.00 mi 016 37.842636, -79.075041 Then go 0.09 mi
1.09 mi 017 37.841774, -79.076186 Then go 0.06 mi
1.14 mi 018 37.841858, -79.077194 Then go 0.13 mi
1.27 mi 019 37.840634, -79.078878 Then go 0.16 mi
1.43 mi 020 37.838358, -79.079426 Then go 0.21 mi
1.64 mi 021 37.835264, -79.079795 Then go 0.21 mi
1.86 mi 022 37.832326, -79.080857 Then go 0.18 mi
2.04 mi 023 37.830391, -79.083195 Then go 0.18 mi
2.23 mi 022 37.832326, -79.080857 Then go 0.21 mi
2.44 mi 021 37.835264, -79.079795 Then go 0.21 mi
2.65 mi 020 37.838358, -79.079426 Then go 0.16 mi
2.81 mi 019 37.840634, -79.078878 Then go 0.13 mi
2.94 mi 018 37.841858, -79.077194 Then go 0.06 mi
2.99 mi 017 37.841774, -79.076186 Then go 0.09 mi
3.08 mi 016 37.842636, -79.075041 Then go 0.05 mi
3.12 mi 024 37.843094, -79.074440 Then go 0.16 mi
3.29 mi 015 37.843713, -79.077310 Then go 0.06 mi
3.35 mi 014 37.844295, -79.076447 Then go 0.05 mi
3.40 mi 013 37.844284, -79.077405 Then go 0.07 mi
3.48 mi 012 37.845166, -79.078166 Then go 0.05 mi
3.53 mi 011 37.845480, -79.077255 Then go 0.05 mi
3.58 mi 010 37.846080, -79.077855 Then go 0.06 mi
3.64 mi 009 37.846968, -79.077813 Then go 0.07 mi
3.71 mi 008 37.847670, -79.078662 Then go 0.03 mi
3.74 mi 007 37.847687, -79.078038 Then go 0.11 mi
3.86 mi 006 37.849156, -79.079000 Then go 0.06 mi
3.92 mi 005 37.849450, -79.078009 Then go 0.05 mi
3.97 mi 004 37.850099, -79.078452 Then go 0.05 mi
4.02 mi 002 37.850519, -79.079164 Then go 0.06 mi
4.08 mi 001 37.851444, -79.079215

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