Access to Abrams Falls

The trailhead at the end of Abrams Falls Road is a 15-minute drive from Exit 1 off I-81


The historical trail connecting the upper and lower Abrams Falls Valleys is the best access to the 'big' falls. Though the landowners do not represent this trail as being "safe," it is safer than trials used in previous years. Only experienced hikers comfortable with navigating a steep trail should attempt it.


Approximately 3/4 mile in length, the trail runs parallel to Abrams Creek for 1/4 mile. Just before reaching the 'little' falls cataract, it turns to ascend the ridge at a moderate grade. Topping out at the point of the ridge, the hiker is rewarded with a view of the valley below. From this ledge, an extremely steep trail descends to the base of the falls, a distance of over 100'. Care must be taken to not dislodge the rare plants living on the rock ledges. The owners ask that you do not climb to the falls crest, the site of numerous deaths. The upper ledges surrounding the falls are slippery, narrow and dangerous. 


The trail as well as the falls is on private property, and hikers are expected to help us maintain the area as a wilderness preserve. In addition to take care not to disturb the rare plants and animals, please remove any trash that you encounter and report any vandalism or other misbehavior.

Caution

There have been serious injuries and even deaths at Abrams Falls over the years. For this reason, access is limited to the historical upper trail, delineated on the map and marked at the site. Hikers may not stray from this trail for their sake as well as that of the fragile environment. The rescue squad reports that it is extremely difficult to evacuate injured persons from this location.

Directions

From Bristol, go west (Exit 1, Interstate 81) or Gate City Highway, (Rt. 421/58) 3.9 miles to Rich Valley Road, (Rt 700) Go right on Rich Valley 2.3 miles to Abrams Falls Road (Rt 634). Follow this road to the cul-de-sac at the end. The trailhead is just to the west edge of the cul-de-sac on the south side of the creek. Limited parking is available at the cul-de-sac, which is Washington County property. Take care to not block access to the creek bank or bridge.