Crabtree Falls Trail Open, but Campground to Remain Closed

posted in: WNC Hiking, WNC Waterfalls | 9

Due to the 5% decrease in the Park Service’s budget this year, the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Crabtree Falls campground near Spruce Pine & Little Switzerland, NC will remain closed throughout the 2013 season. This is in addition to several other closures along the road, and the cancellation of all of the Park’s normal seasonal interpretive programs. The Balsam Mountain campground, as well as Balsam Mountain Road and Heintooga Road near the Great Smoky Mountains, will also remain closed this year.

Visitors can still access the Crabtree Falls trail by parking at the visitor center parking area, and hiking up the road to the trailhead. You can find more information on the Blue Ridge Parkway’s official web site.

Edit: please note that this does not affect Crabtree Falls Campground in Virginia, which is privately owned and still open.

Edit Summer 2014: not only does the campground remain closed this season, but all information about it has been removed from the Parkway’s camping page, and it’s not even mentioned on the 2104 operating schedule announcement. On last year’s announcement (link in original post), the campground remained listed but marked “closed”. We’ve not heard this officially, but does this mean a permanent closure for this once popular recreation area?

9 Responses

  1. C

    What about the Mile High Campground and the road leading to it? Will it also be closed all season?

  2. jordan

    As far as I know, they’ll still be open, but the road beyond their turn-off and the Balsam Mountain Campground will be closed. I’d call closer to their opening date to be sure, though.

  3. W. Garrison

    this was our favorite campground…. miss it and want it opened….

  4. Grover Shirkey

    Please re-open Crabtree campground. I love this part of the BRP.

  5. Charles Smith

    Just found out about this closing. We had not been to this area for a few years and were appalled at the condition of the campsite and recreation area. Spoke to a nps employee who gladly gave me the superintendents contact info and told me that many people had been upset about this closure. If anyone knows of any petitions or other efforts to reopen this campground please share it.

    Mark Woods
    Superintendent, Blue Ridge Parkway
    199 Hemphill Knob Road
    Asheville, NC 28803

  6. Geraldine Peterson

    This is what happens when your country accepts and allows for political Congressional blackmail sequestration and indiscriminate budget cutting austerity programs to reduce the tax burdens of those that can go camping and enjoy the outdoors anytime, anywhere in the entire world. Think about it when the next election cycle comes up in November 2014 & 2016. These parklands are for the people to enjoy, and not some pawn in the DC political game.

  7. John

    More likely the 44 Million plus spent on first family vacations at taxpayer expense.

    So I would think they could find other places to cut rather than extremely popular campground. I’m still going to hike to the waterfalls again but it’s sad these have to be closed.

  8. Caroline Ray

    Very sad! Just visited the campground and was disheartened to see the state of the campgrounds. Still hiked to the falls and appreciate that we can visit this wonderful area! Anything we can do?

  9. Jamie

    Summer is almost here and the Crabtree Meadows area is still closed (except for the trail). It’s like someone said, “What is the thing that many American people love most about their country? Oh yes, the National Parks! Let’s make them less fun! We can close beloved campgrounds, lock up the public restrooms, close roads to beautiful remote areas and close gift shops and snack bars where people love to stop for a break. This way the American people will learn a valuable lesson.” We have learned the lesson. If the elected officials in Washington don’t get what they want they will cut funding to the things we treasure most. I wish when we paid our income taxes that we could designate where we want our money to go. Mine would go toward preserving our National Parks, Monuments and Forests.

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