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An Adventure!

From time to time, Hubby and I enjoy taking day trips to nearby attractions. One such attraction is Crabtree Falls. You may have heard of it if you were a fan of the TV show The Waltons. Although not shown on the series, it was mentioned several times, usually in reference to a Sunday outing. For several weeks we had planned to go but it seems something always prevented the trip. So over the Thanksgiving weekend, we decided to give it another try.

Friday we hoped in Ole Bess (an older model that looks like a boat but rides like a limo) and headed up the road. We turned off the main highway and headed up the secondary road that leads up the mountain. The road is a very steep climb full of switchbacks. About half way up we noticed the engine was getting hot. Hubby pulled off the road, took an empty bottle and went down to a small stream to get water for the radiator. He was quite winded upon his return. It too was a very steep climb.


Old Bess

After the engine cooled down, we started back up the mountain again. We hadn’t gone but about a mile further when it happened again. After pulling off and letting the engine cool down, we decided we maybe should put off our trip again. We nursed the car home, stopping several more times to let it cool and once more we were able to get more water to aid the process.

Saturday morning came and being determined to complete our excursion, we got in the truck and took off again. It was a much easier trip this time. On the way up the mountain, I set the camera to the action setting and held it out the window to capture this view.


View of the ride up

Prior to arriving to the Falls, there are several camp sites along a nearby creek. This offers another wonderful view. Despite the fact that it’s November, there were actually quite a few people camping~the temps having been up in the upper 60s the last few days. With the amount of rain we’ve had recently, all the rivers and streams were filled to capacity.




The climb begins here

Crabtree Falls is the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River and is six miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Crabtree Falls Trail is 3 miles long. The Falls feature a series of five major cascades and a number of smaller ones that fall a total distance of 1,200 feet. As you begin the journey up, you find this warning.


You MUST be careful!

As you can see from some of these pictures, this is not a climb for individuals who only do it on occasion (of which I am one). We only went as far as the second outlook. That’s right-the Trail is also full of lots of switchbacks so you are not next to the Falls the entire climb. Since the leaves are all off the trees, the views are spectacular!


Small portion of the Falls


Sheer rocks

I did some research on the internet and discovered the area was believed to have been discovered by a William Crabtree who settled there in 1777.

The land at the base of the falls was almost developed as a resort area in the late 1960s, but the residents of Nelson County encouraged the Forest Service to acquire the falls so it could be enjoyed freely by future generations. Money was secured from Congress to purchase the land and improve the safety and accessibility of the area around the falls. There are wooden stairs, gravel paths, railed overlooks, and a spectacular 100-foot bridge over the Tye River. This beautiful bridge, a laminated arch, was shipped from New York in one piece. Cranes lifted and placed it over the Tye River in 1978


The Bridge

Over the years one thing I’ve learned about myself~the second visit to a place never seems to hold the same thrill as the first visit. Crabtree Falls is one of the exceptions. And I’m very thankful they didn’t put a resort at the base of the Falls!


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