If you live--or have lived, as in my case--anywhere in the vicinity of central Virginia, you've most likely heard of Crabtree Falls. It's right up there with Whiteoak Canyon and the Cascades on the list of classic Virginia waterfall hikes. On summer afternoons, especially in laurel-blooming season, folks flock to it from all over the state, braving crowds and splinters and scraped knees for the chance to glimpse the 1000-foot falls--the highest* east of the Mississippi--in all its crystalline, rock-slicking glory.
Fortunately, the (commodious) parking lot was almost empty when I arrived that April afternoon. I paid the $3 entrance fee, took my pick of parking spots, and headed up to the trailhead.
The first stretch of the trail was paved--universally accessible, as the sign at the base explained. Here, as elsewhere along the hike, big orange signs warned against careless scrambling:
|"Now I'm never gonna climb again/slippery feet have got no traction..."|