A short drive from Blowing Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway is the Crabtree Meadows Recreational Area, the location of one of my favorite falls, Crabtree Falls. The trail down to the falls is a series of switchbacks and the trail is well maintained. Along the way are many great specimes of native plant life, such as rotadendrum, wild azalea, and many fern species.
As you approach the falls, the sound leads you in like the tides to the moon. At the bottom, a wooden bridge crosses the river and allows for a great view of the Falls. However, across the bridge you can gain access to the shallow river itself. Be careful of slippery rocks and never try to climb the falls. Slippery when wet is not just an old adage.
There is a tree in the middle of the river that affords a grest place to rest and refuel before continuing on the rest of the loop trail to the top of the falls. The loop trail return to the parking area is somewhat strenous, but requires no technical climbing skills. However, besides a few small rills, there is no a view of the falls from the top.
All in all, it is one of the best trips in western North Carolina and the falls are well worth the effort.