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.