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Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smoky Mountains, North Carolina

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Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls

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  • Mouse Creek Falls.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Big Creek Trail.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Exploring the Big Creek Trail. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Getting a closer look at nature! - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Wildflower identification time along the Big Creek Trail. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Big Creek Trail.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Exploring fun on the Big Creek Trail. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Taking a hike down the Big Creek Trail. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Investigating a Smoky Mountain Blister Beetle. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Rock climbing on Big Creek.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Taking in the beautiful cascades of Big Creek. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Big Creek Trail.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Midnight Hole is a great spot for a break. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Learning the ways of the river.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Big Creek Trail.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Otter tracks are a great clue for being an Otter Spotter. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Exploring Big Creek. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Big Creek.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Relaxing beside Mouse Creek Falls. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Hiking Big Creek Trail.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • A shortcut back to the parking area. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Restrooms at the Big Creek Campground right next to the parking area. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • A smooth walk back to the parking area. - Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Midnight Hole.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Mouse Creek Falls.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Big Creek below Mouse Creek Falls.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • There are many cascades along Big Creek.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • One of several cascades on Big Creek.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • The boulder-strewn Big Creek.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • The wide trail was once a railroad bed.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • An autumn color paradise.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Light shines through a gap in the trees.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
  • Every shade of orange and red adorn the various species of trees lining the creek.- Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Waterfall. Swimming hole. Wildflowers and impressive geological features.
Cons: 
Horse trail. Large summer crowds.
Region:
Smoky Mountains, NC
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
605.00 ft (184.40 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
4.20 mi (6.76 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,750.00 ft (533.40 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Located on the North Carolina side of the Smoky Mountains, the Big Creek Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a perfect destination for families, day hikers, and backpackers. The trail follows Big Creek past swimming holes and a waterfall, all while being surrounded by a rich forest that is filled with history. Long before the area was logged in the 19th century, the area was also explored Native Americans, herders, pioneers and even soldiers of the Civil War. In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corp covered the old railroad grade and converted it to the trail that we know now for hiking.

On the hike, you'll walk underneath maples, hemlocks and tulip trees. In the spring, Smoky Mountain wildflowers line the trail. Trillium, Solomon's seal, spring beauty, robin's plantain, crested dwarf iris, blue phlox, and wild geranium are just a few of the flowers that you'll spot as you make your way up to Mouse Creek Falls. As you climb above the river and along the trail, you'll immediately notice large boulders and impressive geological features. If the weather is warm enough, stop by the Midnight Hole for a dip and cool off in one of the Smoky Mountain's most popular swimming holes. At the Midnight Hole you'll find a deep, green pristine pool, at the base of a 6-foot drop and surrounded by rhododendrons.

At mile 2 on the Big Creek Trail you'll reach a side trail to your left. This side trail will take you to Mouse Creek Falls, a 45-foot waterfall that runs into Big Creek. This is a perfect spot for a relaxing break, picnic, and photo op of your trip in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After your time at Mouse Creek Falls you have the option of returning to the parking area or exploring past the waterfall. 

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