When most people think of Virginia, the first thoughts that come to mind are typically of the mountains, soft rolling green hills, and beautiful coast. But just like any other place, this state is not without its share of dangerous spots. The following places have been the sites of tragic injuries, fatalities and crimes. While they don’t need to be avoided altogether, it’s best to be especially mindful of safety should you find yourself in these 7 places:
1. Old Ran Mountain
Despite (or perhaps because of) its unbelievable heights and views, Old Rag Mountain is the most dangerous hike in the Shenandoah National Park. Each year, there are many search and rescue missions that occur within the hikes boundaries. To be extra careful, be sure to hike with someone, wear sturdy shoes, and always pack plenty of water.
Also keep in mind that the timber rattlesnake has been known to live in this part of the state.
2. Crabtree Falls
Crabtree Falls is the tallest series of waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. It's one of the most breathtaking and popular attractions in Nelson County. Tragically, many have fallen victim to the deceivingly slick rocks just outside of the trail's boundaries. If you plan to visit Crabtree Falls, it is imperative to stay on the marked trail only.
It's the unfortunate truth that no town in Virginia is completely free from crime and danger. Portsmouth, while it has PLENTY of wonderful qualities (the large naval base, for example), happens to experience the highest level of crime in the state. Most of this is property crime; however there are frequent violet crimes reported here as well. And by no means should this keep you from visiting one of Virginia's coolest cities.
Interstate 95 is easily one of the most highly traveled in the state, and therefore it has also become one of the most dangerous roads to take. In fact, it's been ranked among the top 40 most dangerous highways in the country. According to data, there has been approximately 1 fatal accident for every mile of the 178 miles within Virginia's territory. The bottom line: always drive cautiously -- and this, of course, goes for all of Virginia's roads!
5. Church Hill
Church Hill is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Richmond, deriving its name from St. John's Church which was built in 1741. The neighborhoods build in this area have experienced high levels of crime rates above average for Richmond (which tends to appear on its fair share of dangerous city lists). But as is the case with all trends, things eventually change and this neighborhood is becoming increasingly popular and more family-friendly.
6. Virginia Beach
Shark attacks along Virginia's shoreline are rare, although they do happen occasionally. And they can be pretty serious, if not deadly. The three kinds of sharks that might be seen swimming near the beach are the sandbar shark, sand tiger shark, and the dogfish shark. Always exercise caution and remember to respect these animals in their natural habitats.
7. The Intersection at Jefferson Avenue and J. Clyde Morris Boulevard
According to reports, this tricky intersection in Newport News was the cause of 63 car accidents in 2008. This was followed by the intersection of Dominion Boulevard and Great Bridge Boulevard, which experienced 53 crashes that same year.
If you’re looking for further reading about some of the state’s most dangerous places, be sure to check out
this article focusing more on cities. And just a friendly reminder: our intention is to inform rather than to discourage visiting/traveling to any of these incredible places. Virginia would not be Virginia without them!