Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls, in Nelson County, is famous among hikers for its beauty but infamous among rangers who say they’ve done all they can to keep visitors from climbing its dangerous cascades.

The cost for the public to spend time at local Forest Service sites in the area could rise as early as 2020.

The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service released a statement May 22 asking for public feedback on proposed increases for Crabtree Falls day use area in Nelson County and the special recreation permit fee for the South Pedlar motorized trails system in Amherst County.

The proposed fee for the Crabtree Falls day use area is $5 per vehicle, a $2 increase.

The current rates for special recreation permits for the South Pedlar motorized trail system in Bedford are $5 for a daily permit, $12 for a three-day permit, and $30 for an annual permit. The proposal increases rates to $15 for a daily permit, $25 for a three day permit, and $75 for an annual permit.

“The fee increases would bring the Forest fees into better alignment with prices of other nearby private and public recreation facilities. Forest recreation areas offer unique experiences for forest visitors that boost local economies and are not meant to undercut private businesses. Revenues from increased fees would help improve and maintain Forest Service recreation sites for years to come,” the news release said.

The proposal will be presented to a citizen’s advisory committee, the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee, at a yet-to-be-determined time. The public is welcome invited to comment.

Individuals can mail, email, or call the Forest Service to submit their input. Comments must be received by July 8.

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Erin Conway covers Nelson County. Reach her at (434) 385-5524 or

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