One “must do” hike in Virginia is the Crabtree Falls Trail located just a few miles off of the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 27) in the George Washington National Forest. The trail follows Crabtree Creek and provides beautiful views of the tallest (series of) waterfalls east of the Mississippi River.
There are three distinct sections of the trail and five major, beautiful cascades of falls. The overlook for the first cascade is near the bottom parking area and is an easy hike in to see the falls. This is a great stop to make when driving the Parkway and you need to stretch your legs a bit.
If you want to hike farther up the trail, you will encounter four other overlooks along the 2-mile trail to vistas of Tye River Valley. The trail climbs quickly and uses steps, wooden walkways, railings, and switchbacks to climb the steep terrain. “Be careful” is an understatement because the rocks on parts of the trail are coated with a transparent algae that makes them as slick as grease! Caution is not only advised, but encouraged on this trail!
The trail is mostly well-graded and maintained with a few rocky sections. It follows fairly closely to the Crabtree Creek but sometimes the switchbacks may lead slightly away form the water. Even when that happens, you can hear the water while you’re hiking through the woods.
At about the 2-mile mark, you will reach the top of the trail and will find the Tye River Overlook. It’s such a vertical drop that you can’t see the falls that you’ve just walked along side of! Stay within the stone walls of the overlook platform for your own safety. If you wish to continue on the trail, you will reach Crabtree Meadows which is a short hike from the Appalachian Trail.
This is a beautiful hike in all seasons and is adaptable to several levels of hiking ability. Start your day from the B&B with a hearty breakfast and return later in the day for a relaxing, rejuvenating rest.