Crabtree Falls

Nelson County has a hidden gem.  The waterfalls with the highest vertical drop east of the Mississippi River are located here.  Thousands of people enjoy Crabtree Falls each year.  Although the trail is well maintained and signed appropriately, some people do venture off the path in search of the perfect photo.  Sadly, nearly 40 people have lost their life at the falls. 

Recently, staff from Wintergreen Fire & Rescue, volunteers from Montebello Fire Department, and the U.S Forestry Service teamed up to discuss problem areas and potential safety enhancements.  Signage was added and updated.  Look closely at the photo of the main sign and you’ll see our logo has been included.  It was a nice “tip of the hat” from the U.S. Forestry Service, and we appreciate it. 

When people fall, our rope team and medics are called to assist.  It’s quite possibly the most difficult location we cover. 

Don’t let the warnings scare you away.  Everyone should have the opportunity to experience the beauty of Crabtree Falls.  Simply stay on the trail.

Here’s a few tips for your visit:

  1. Recognize this trail is difficult.  Just over 2 miles, and much of it is stairs. 

  2. Bring water.

  3. Use bug repellent spray.

  4. Google search images for “Poison Ivy”.  Avoid that.

  5. Carry a flashlight no matter what time of day you begin your hike.

  6. Check the weather before you go.

  7. Never hike this trail alone.

  8. If you’re injured, send your “buddy” to the emergency phone in the lower parking area. Your cell phone probably won’t have reception.

  9. If you become injured and you’re able, keep moving down the trail towards the parking area.  It will take us at least one hour to get to you.  Minutes matter.  Use through-hikers for help.

  10. STAY ON THE TRAIL! The black moss is virtually invisible and incredibly slippery.