Last Friday we took the kids hiking to Crabtree Falls and to a new farmhouse brewery called Camp Trapezium. Here’s the recap!
Last Friday the boys had a teacher workday and so we headed into the country – deep into the country – for some springtime hiking. While the trees were all still bare (which made it easy to see farther across the mountains!) and it looked like winter, it was actually almost 70 degrees. We were very sweaty at the top!
This was Birch’s first real hike and he did GREAT! We borrowed this super nice hiking backpack from our friends, and he spent about 25% of the hike in it (most of that coming back down the mountain). But he LOVED the hike and was humming to himself the whole time! Mazen loves anything outdoorsy so he was in nature heaven too.
Crabtree Falls Hike
It takes about an hour to drive from Charlottesville to the trail head. They have camping sites there along the river that Thomas and the boys want to go back to (not me lol!) It costs $5 cash to enter the hike, FYI!
Crabtree Falls are actually the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. They are super beautiful and impressive, and there are places to stop and sit and watch along the trail. It’s about 1.7 miles to the top of the falls, and there are mile markers along the way. It gets pretty steep at times with stairs, but the path is wooded and gentle overall with some rocky parts to hike over.
Thomas and I hiked Crabtree Falls together back in August of 2017 – the day that Charlottesville was invaded, actually.
Here we go!
Birch was not happy about going into the backpack for the steep stairs –
Getting higher –
View from the top
His shoes got quite muddy and wet on the hike – we didn’t have toddler hiking shoes in mind and thought he would be in the pack most of the day!
I have these Merrell MQM Flex hiking shoes – they are great! Waterproof and stable.
We didn’t have cell service the whole hike, and when we left we had to get directions to our dinner spot! I broke out my Virginia map, Clifford style, and navigated us back into cell tower territory 🙂
For dinner we headed south to Camp Trapezium in Amherst! We were invited to come try their beers and have an early dinner, and it was a great addition to our hike. Thank you for hosting us! This is their second location that opened in June 2021. The original location is in a renovated coal plant and ice house in Petersburg.
We did change out of our sweaty clothes in the car to freshen up first. Well, some of us changed 😉
The brewery and restaurant are located in an old mill formerly known as the Amherst Milling Company. The mill dates back to the 1800s! The building is quite cool. They also have a working farm on 3 acres of the 76 acres of the property. Our dinner salad had fresh spring lettuce, and they are growing mushrooms and other veggies to go on the pizzas! And the pesto is made there – it’s worth a visit alone!
There are picnic tables out back under string lights. The boys loved being able to get up and run around before and after eating.
Thomas and I were very thirsty after our hike, and these beers hit the spot! T loved the Lucky 45 New England IPA.
I did a taster flight and LOVED all four. Seriously great beer!
- Houseboat Blonde Ale
- Pulp Free (beer meets mimosa!)
- Lucky 25 American Brown
- New England IPA
Starters: Dips + Bavarian Pretzel
The Trio Of Dips were recommended, and OMG they were so good. That pesto! And the beer cheese! And hummus! And the bread was sliced pizza dough. I loved it so much.
We also got the pretzel, which the kids inhaled.
Thomas and I shared the salad with farm-grown lettuce.
The dough used for their Neapolitan-style pizza is house made, and their homemade sauce features farm-grown tomatoes and herbs. Fun fact: they have an all-female farming crew!
Both pizzas were delish, and we had leftovers for lunch the next day.
Warm Milk + Cookies
Thomas surprised the boys with warm cookies and milk for dessert. Still gooey from the oven.
Since Amherst is a bit of a hike (ha!) from Charlottesville, if you wanted to stay the night they have an 8-room Air B&B farmhouse property too! You can rent rooms by the night or the whole house for an event.
On our drive home, we kept saying how refreshing it was to get off the couch and out into nature. We had a great trip with the boys! I definitely recommend these two spots as a day trip itinerary.