Sunday, September 11, 2016



If you follow this blog, you know how much the Fat Bald White Guy and his Faithful Hiking Companion love waterfalls.  Crabtree Falls has been on the list to visit for sometime.  It is a truly a spectacular waterfall.  Located at Milepost 340 on the Blue Ridge Parkway you can get there by traveling one of two crooked roads up the mountain from Marion.  NC 80 is located to the north and NC 221 is located to the south.  Crabtree Campground is located halfway between.  It is a wonderful campground from which a path leads to one of the most idyllic scenes I have experienced.

The trail head is about a half mile from the parking lot to the visitor's center.           

It is located in the center of the campground. As with all mountain trails, distances are deceiving but the notation of the difficulty of a trail is not.  This is a one mile hike down....and I mean down to the falls. 

The trail is well marked and maintained. It is a very popular hike for those who visit the Blue Ridge Parkway.  And the steep portions of the trail are augmented with stairs...and you know how the FBWG hates stairs!

The trail as some nice switch backs too!  It is at this point that we began to hear the roar of the waterfall. The trail at this point becomes much rockier.

At the bottom of the trail a wooden bridge crosses Crabtree Creek.  To the right a nice downstream view but to the left are the falls.

From the center of the bridge, the full effect of the falls can not only be seen but felt.  The water crashes with such force down the 70 foot cascade that the air temperature is noticeably cooler and a slight breeze, like a breath of cold air, embraces you.  Still it is the visual effect that overwhelms you.  The Crabtree Falls are magnificent!

The falls cover the rock side of the mountain like a water curtain, the roar loud enough that it makes it hard to talk.  I resisted the temptation to rock scramble to the base as I was not wanting to photo bomb the many photographs being taken.  But one couple did not mind as they took a selfie with the falls as the background, not knowing the FBWG was snapping a shot to make them famous!
Still seeing them in the foreground of this picture allows you to see just how big the falls are. From a higher vantage point across the bridge I got what I think is the best shot of the falls.
I have a new camera and it has features that are really more complicated than is required for my use.  But I played around with them nonetheless and captured two interesting views of the falls. The first is an enhanced black and white close up of the base of the cascade.
The second is a focal mix of color and black and white.
The hike out is a choice.  The trail is a loop and from the bridge it is a 1.7 gradual climb back to the trail head.  Going back the way we came, is a 9/10ths of a mile climb out.  Being that we had already hiked 7 miles, we chose the shorter steeper route....and it was painful.  If I had it to do again I would have completed the loop.

On the way out, we were greeted by one of the season's last butterflies....a wonderful black beauty. 

This is a great trail....easy access off the Blue Ridge Parkway between MP 339 and 340. 

Great parking at the trail head too.....rate that a 10.

The trails at well maintained and marked, about half the trail is crushed rock.  But the last part of the trail is rocky root that creates a trip hazard as my Faithful Hiking Companion found out.  Rate that a 9.

The scenery is a real treat.  One real feature of a 3 mile trail is one of the best waterfalls in the state....rate that a 10.  The effort to view ratio is good too...the climb out makes you appreciate your effort to view this magnificent creation of the Almighty....overall a 9.5 hike...a bucket list hike for those who love waterfalls!
"There is a waterfall in every dream. Cool and crystal clear, it falls gently on the sleeper, cleansing the mind and soothing the soul." - Virginia Allison


  1. I'm a fellow hiker and enjoy your blog. You give me ideas on where I might plan my next camping/hiking adventure.

  2. Another fellow hiker and I'm enjoying your blog too! It's helping me find hikes along the Blue Ridge.

  3. Thanks for following the blog....lots of great hikes for all kinds of hikers...lots more to find, hike and blog....stay tuned! FBWG