Shoe Creek/Crabtree Falls

Shoe Creek


Way Points

4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD! - Click here for details!

4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!



I had planned this trail ride several weeks in advance.  When Hugh and I decided to go try out Big Levels, I realized that this trail system was so close that it was well worth checking out at the same time, if we had enough daylight left after we hit Big Levels.  So it was that after finishing at Big Levels at about 3:30pm, we decided to hop over here and check this trail out.


3:30 p.m.

There wasn't much to muster.  We started from the Bald Mountain Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and connected to Route 814 a little east of there, and worked our way south, down to the northern trail entrance.



Rear Entrance to Crabtree Falls

The north trail head is off of Route 826 which provides access off of Route 56.  This is in the vicinity of Crabtree Falls.  This series of waterfalls attracts a lot of visitors.  We found both the main entrance to the falls on Route 56 as well as the upper parking area near the beginning of the Shoe Creek trail to be very busy.  The sign at the entrance to Route 826 warns "NOTICE VEHICLES WITH A HIGH GROUND CLEARANCE OR 4- WHEEL DRIVE RECOMMENDED BEYOND THIS POINT".  The road was certainly not a problem for any of the cars we saw traveling it.  The sign probably should be placed further in near the parking lot where the trail branches off and then becomes more of an off-road experience.

Hugh at Shoe CreekShea LongPaul crossing Shoe Creek
Hugh having funShoe CreekShoe CreekShoe CreekShoe Creek

We simply ran the trail from the northern to the southern end.  All along the way we saw campsites and lots of campers.  The trail was frequently cut with erosion berms. 

RuinsShea at ruins

There were a couple of mild obstacles but nothing that would prevent even a willing beginner from passing.  Many trails branched off the main trail.  We did not have time to take them but hope to come back and explore some more in the future.

Shoe Creek

This is some of the prettiest forest I have seen this year.  The foliage was at peak, the weather was cool and dry, and there was no wind.  It was just about as nice as you could possibly hope for.



Shoe Creek Trail EntranceShoe Creek Trail EntranceShoe Creek Trail Entrance

We reached the end of the trail without event.  We stopped for a minute while I attempted to connect the GPS to my laptop.  This time I wanted to save my track so that I could run the GPS on the way out.  Unfortunately the PC was still not interested in talking to my GPS so I just packed up the PC and left the GPS off for the ride home.  It turned out that my track had been partially erased, so I am missing a few hundred feet of the beginning of the Big Levels track, but I fortunately have just about all of it.  We hit the pavement and drove to the outskirts of Charlottesville, where we found a KFC Buffet that fed all of us for cheap.  By that time we'd had a long day.  We hit Route 29 and headed home.

C.O.R.E. Trip | Accommodations

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Big Levels / Shoe Creek GPS Data

Update 1/5/2008:  GPS Data now provided in GPX format for easy transfer to your GPS!

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Last Updated 02/09/2008 11:13:46 AM -0500