Crabtree Falls Trail and Circuit Hike on the AT

We were a small, but mighty group on April 13 (please disregard date on photos ) for a 7+ mile trek up Crabtree Falls Trail and circuit loop beyond Crabtree Meadows. Hike leader, Marit Gay, was joined by Karen Ramsey, Katharine Maus, and Mark Perschel. We were blessed with the perfect spring day and blooming trillium, blood root, red bud trees and more.  The 1.7 mile ascent up the Crabtree Falls Trail was spectacular and is touted as the tallest cascading falls east of the Mississippi River.
Marit, Katharine, and Karen rest on the rocks 

At the top of Crabtree Falls
 Once we reached the top of the falls we hiked towards Crabtree Meadows and then continued on two dirt access roads - 263 and 826.  We also stopped for a snack of Chubby Chews and water.  Finally we met the crossing of the Appalachian Trail and headed  north on it for about a mile. We made our way back to Crabtree Meadows via 263 where we stopped for a much needed lunch.
Mark, Katharine, and Karen munch their lunch in the meadow
The remainder of the hike was backtracking down  Crabtree Falls Trail. On our return we saw first hand why so many casualties occur at these falls (28 total fatalities as of early April this year) when we witnessed a small child playing by the side of the upper pools, slipping in and having his mother fall while trying to save him.  Fortunately no one was hurt, but it is easy to see why bad things happen when people disobey the signs to stay on the trail.

We made it back to the parking lot at 3:15 PM and drove back to Charlottesville - content, tired, and grateful to have spent the beautiful day hiking!