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Developed Areas Along the Parkway

North Carolina BRP Highlights Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway
Developed Areas

Crabtree
Meadows

Crabtree Falls

 

 

Crabtree Meadows marks the last stretch of the Parkway through the Blue Ridge Mountains before it turns westward into the Blacks, Craggies, Pisgahs and Balsams before entering Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Located at milepost 339.5 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, this area includes a small snack bar, a campground, restrooms, a gift shop, and a hiking trail to the beautiful 70 foot Crabtree Falls.

There is a large picnic area located at milepost 340.2 of the Parkway that includes 82 tables and a restroom.  The Crabtree Meadows Campground, located near the snack bar, is usually open from May to November.  The campground has 71 tent sites and 22 RV sites.  There is a $16 per day fee for camping at this campground. The most famous feature of this area is Crabtree Falls.  Don't be surprised if you're not alone on this very popular trail.  The trail is a rugged 0.9 mile steep descent to the falls with a gentler return trip.  The overall length of this loop trail is 2.5 miles.

The scenic 2.5 mile loop trail to Crabtree Falls is moderate to strenuous. Sturdy shoes or hiking boots are recommended because of the incline and rocky terrain. Hikers should allow 1.5 to 2.5 hours for the hike, depending on your speed.  For best results and enjoyment, take your time and enjoy. From the trailhead in the parking lot behind the campground entrance, the trail descends 0.9 mile to the falls through a mixed oak-hickory forest. Hikers also will pass through a thicket of rhododendron.

The trail continues downward past a series of wet weather springs, home for many salamander species that enjoy the wet puddles, rocks, and damp leaf litter of the forest floor. Hikers should step carefully to avoid disturbing these "spring lizards." At the base of the trail is spectacular Crabtree Falls, where water cascades over a 70 foot rock cliff. Many types of ferns and wildflowers thrive in the hollow, benefiting from the fall's cool spray.

After viewing the falls, hikers can return either by retracing their steps, or by continuing on a longer but more gradual ascent back to the parking lot. The longer route begins as a moderately steep switchback that provides another beautiful view of the falls. Once reaching the top of the ridge, the path levels out and meanders across Crabtree Creek and its tributaries.

When the trail reaches the perimeter of the campground, signs direct hikers into the campground or back to the trailhead parking area near the entrance station.  This is a must do hike for anyone traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  This hike is featured in the hiking guide book Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Crabtree Falls Trail Map

Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Meadows Campground Map

CNY Hiking HOME PAGE

Developed Areas Along the Parkway

North Carolina BRP Highlights Blue Ridge Parkway