Hike to Crabtree Falls

A couple of weeks ago we hiked to Crabtree Falls, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC (MP 339.5). It's about 15 miles north of Mount Mitchell, which we've visited a few times. Even though it was January, it was a warm cloudy day, in the 60s. The restaurant and campground were closed because it’s the offseason. We parked at the restaurant and walked the extra distance to reach the trailhead.

This strenuous hike is a 2 1/2 mile loop, but if you have to park further away as we did the length is increased. I think we walked about three miles total. The trail winds down a mountain to the falls, and then back up on the return. There were at least three long sets of stone steps that looked as if they belonged in a medieval castle.

I’d like to go back in the spring or fall so the trees would look different and maybe we could see some wildflowers or leaf color. But I do enjoy taking pics of mossy rocks and tree stumps.

 Long before we reached the falls, we heard the roar of the water.

The trail narrows near the end and it's a bit precarious scrambling over the rocks and avoiding sliding down the bank toward the stream, Big Crabtree Creek. Once past that part, there is a bridge that spans the stream so you can get a great view of the falls. The rocks closer to the falls were wet, slick and difficult to cross so I didn't get closer. The falls are 70 feet high with a beautiful delicate appearance.

The tree above in the center of the stream is a crabtree and this is where the waterfall gets it's current name. In the past, before it was part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, it was called Murphy's Falls. There used to be a small community nearby. The name was changed to Crabtree falls by the National Park Service.

The hike was difficult but worth it to see the beautiful falls. The hike back, going uphill, was the toughest part. Above is one set of the stone steps.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual trip to Crabtree Falls. :)


Vanessa Holland said...

Thanks for posting pics of your hike, Vonda! It makes me homesick for TN. I always loved going on treks in the winter when the trails were clear and the trees were gray. :-)The waterfall is amazing.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks, Vanessa! I bet you do miss TN. The woods are beautiful in these mountains. I also like winter walks.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Beautiful photos, Vonda. I imagine during the springtime with wild flowers that it would enhance the beauty. Thanks for sharing.

Dawn Marie Hamilron said...

Nice photos, Vonda. Thanks for the inspiration. My hubby and me often hike to the falls along Skyline Drive in VA. We'll have to put Crabtree Falls on our list for the next time we visit Asheville.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Paisley, thanks! I think the wildflowers would make it over the top beautiful. I have to go back and see. :)

Thanks, Dawn! You would love Crabtree falls. It is several miles north of Asheville so you wouldn't even need to drive that far. You could probably just take the Blue Ridge Parkway from VA.

Pat McDermott said...

How gorgeously scenic, Vonda! Gotta love a hike with a waterfall. Always enjoy your photos and commentary. Thanks for warming up our zero-degree New Hampshire weather!

Anonymous said...

Lovely photos.