Travel #5: Crabtree Falls

 Crabtree Falls

It’s time to take a scenic detour from the hustle and bustle of city travel, and get out into the great outdoors. This beautiful view was taken under the forest canopy in the heat of summer. Even in the relative shade, the location was humid and hot. Using my Cannon Rebel T5i, I shot this from a distance of about 30 feet. I used my mid-wide angle lens to capture the falls and the surrounding rocks. These Rebels come with built-in noise reduction technology, so that helped a lot to bring out the detail, and further post-processing is the result of the beauty you see here.

The Commonwealth of Virginia is full of state and national parks and wildlife reserves that are packed full of ancient forests that hold both beauty and the paranormal. However, the paranormal is something for a later time. Crabtree Falls is both a giant falls and a hiking location within the George Washington National Forest. This area encompasses 1.8 million acres of land within the commonwealths of Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Established in 1918 under the original name of the Shenandoah National Forest, but in 1996 it was combined with the Thomas Jefferson National Forest to create the expanse of land that is today. The area’s boundaries is more-or-less along the James River, and is administrated in Roanoke, Commonwealth of Virginia.

The forest is popular for hiking, hunting, trail running, biking, and recreational activities and contains over 50 species of trees. The Appalachian Trail runs through the region. The forest itself is conveniently located within a two-hour drive for over 10 million Americans, and so receives large numbers of visitors throughout the year. Crabtree Falls is located outside of Montebello. The location is very well travelled, and when I was there, there was hundreds of hikers from Europe, South America, and Asia. I even met a group of Canadians. All of this within a span of 5 hours. Overlooking the Tye River Valley at the crest of the Falls, the trail continues down into Crabtree Meadows.

The trail itself is quiet steep, 3.4 miles in and out and has plenty of switchbacks. Once you reach a certain height, I would say maybe a fourth of the way up, the trail begins to align itself with the falls. So, you’re steep hike is broken down in areas for rest. The region is well known both in Virginia and worldwide so there’s no such thing as peace or a sense of aloneness. Even when I was there, in the month of March, the water was following but was minimal, there were still tons of people there.

There’s a famous old farm nearby names the McCormick Farm which proudly boasts America’s only commercially working mill since 1740. One can buy freshly ground flour on the old stones. The location is well marked off the main road through the forest, and there is a $3 parking fee. If you don’t pay that then there could be a $80 fine. The place is closed at night, and I would not recommend for those to stay. The forest is very thick and who knows what one might find in it. After all, Appalachia is well known for its ability to hide the unknown. Happy exploring!

 

God bless,

-Anthony.

 

 

 

 

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