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Big Creek Trail

HARD 105 reviews

Big Creek Trail is a 10.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Waynesville, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 10.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,312 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

Directions from Waterville, NC: Travel south on SR 32 to the campground and pick up the trail there.

hiking
rocky
19 days ago

Easy grade, fall leaves obscuring rocks and roots. Wonderful to walk along the river or BIG CREEK the entire time. Spotted some wild turkeys in the campgrounds!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Awesome trail! Fire tower at 38 has great views.

hiking
4 months ago

Definitely shouldn't be rated hard it was a super easy trail. Elevation made it easy, and probably the smoothest river trail I've done over 5 miles. Absolutely gorgeous though and worth your time.

hiking
4 months ago

Great short trail with a great swimming hole

hiking
4 months ago

Very easy hike we made a beautiful day in July. Many people use the beginning of the trail to spend the day in the river. Limited parking and accessible via a rather narrow unpaved road. There are toilets and drinking water near the parking lot. On the 2/3 of the track, it's wide enough to walk side by side. We saw a rattlesnake just back next to the track. At 100 meters before the return of the track, before crossing the river, there is, below, a superb place for luncheon. There were multiple butterflies. No particular view at the end of the track, only a junction to other track. So you can go back when you want.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
rocky
washed out
6 months ago

I’d agree w the recent review about lots of large rocks on the trail. The road in is gravel but gets worse at the trailhead. Several large washouts and lots of recent fallen trees. Uphill grade is doable w kids 10+, otherwise turn around at the bridge. If you’re looking for a swimming hole, hit the creek adjacent to the actual campsite w parking. Perfect for smaller kids in summer and don’t bother w Midnight Hole. On the plus side, this is an isolated area with way fewer people.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a good trail but not clearly marked for Midnight Hole. We only knew we got to it because people were walking off the side of the road. The initial sign said Mouse Creek Falls 2.0 miles which would be 1/2 mile past Midnight hole. We walked a mile past it & never found the Falls. Very disappointed.

hiking
7 months ago

This trail follows one of the most scenic rivers in the GSMNP..Wife and hiked it in tennis shoes on 5-1-19..The trail is very well maintained..Highly recommended..Not sure why anyone would complain about rocks on the trail..we found the trail very good and a fantastic way to spend an afternoon..Bring a small towel and your camera..

hiking
7 months ago

This trail is a crowded minefield of pointy rocks. 95% of it is covered with them. I hiked to campsite 37 in two hours with gear to stay the night, which would have taken ~90 minutes on a smoother trail. It’s 10 miles round trip but my feet felt like I hiked 30. I was wearing Lowa boots so my soles were protected; can’t imagine doing this in trail runners. As far as the incline, it’s very gradual. I stayed at Campsite 37 for a night. Lots of tent sites and fire rings, and it’s adjacent to the river. There are several sets of bear cables around the various tent sites. There aren’t any views from this trail or campsite other than the river. It’s pretty, but nothing worth doing twice.

hiking
Mon Nov 19 2018

I hike this trail monthly when I want something easy with lots of great views and places to stop and chill. Midnight Hole is a staple as are the falls a half mile beyond.

running
Sun Sep 30 2018

Big Creek Trail was completed in the middle of August! We ran into about 5 small groups, two of which had children. Big Creek Falls is an easy hike but worth going if you’re trying to start out your hiking journey! It’s a wide trail with the creek along side of you the entire time. There are many swimming holes you can get wet in plus various places to hang a hammock! We enjoyed our hike!!

hiking
Mon Aug 20 2018

A very easy trail with wonderful views

hiking
Sun Jun 03 2018

Beautiful! Stroll along the river in the lush green forest. Went for a Sunday hike in June. Went about 1/2 way due to time constraints but will definitely be back!

backpacking
Sun May 06 2018

Very easy trail leading up to Campsite 37

Sun Nov 05 2017

River was nice to walk along. Did not have any views. Finding a friendly hunting dog made it a little more fun.

hiking
Wed Nov 01 2017

This is a beautiful trail along the river for the entire length of the trail. Although you gain about 1300 feet of elevation, it is very gradual.

mountain biking
Thu Oct 19 2017

AllTrails hosed us on this one: drove to the trail head to find that BIKES are NOT PERMITTED on this NPS trail. You owe me half a day of vacation Looked like a nice trail...oh well, guess I've discovered way more trails than not with this app. Please update tag - also there is a trail listed as Cuyahoga Valley NP that is really in Great Smoky Mtn NP.

Sun Aug 06 2017

Good hike if you want to go swimming. This trail is miss tagged for mountain biking. We came to mountain bike and mountain biking is not allowed on the trail.

Wed Jul 12 2017

Great hike for families or novice hikers. Bring your suits and go for a dip on a warm day, just know it is usually VERY busy. I rate this hike 5 stars because I can bring even my littlest peanuts and this began their love of hiking, otherwise I would have probably given 4 stars for traffic.

Fri Jun 23 2017

excellent..we went june 20, full blossom of rhododendron. beautiful!

hiking
Wed May 31 2017

Only did about 2 miles or so of the trail as we arrived late in the day. You could hear the creek raging pretty much the entire time.

Fri Apr 28 2017

Very easy walking on wide trail. Gentle but steady grade. Arrived at trailhead at 11:30am, but encountered few people until heading out later in afternoon. Weather was beautiful and warm. Water was gloriously cool. Lots of great sights along the way with the roaring river nearly always near.

Fri Mar 10 2017

Did a five day hike with a group in early March 2017 and started on this trail. It was a great trail to begin with.

hiking
Mon Feb 27 2017

Hot and dry summer of 2016.

hiking
Sat Dec 17 2016

Very beautiful hike along the creek. However there are a lot of rocks to walk on. Wear good shoes and maybe bring a walking stick.

hiking
Mon Oct 31 2016

This was beautiful in the fall. I wouldn't go on this trail again just because the trail itself was not interesting ,it's just a wide straight trail with no real interest points,but the surroundings were very beautiful. This trail is listed as easy on all trails app,and it is indeed a very easy trail. The creek is along side the trail the entire time..we were only able to hike 7 miles as we took a lot of breaks at the creek and ran out of daylight. Mouse Creek Falls is exactly how it describes..small. So if you go only to see the falls..you might be disappointed if you are expecting a larger fall. All around,I would highly recommend this trail during fall,as the trees and colors are beautiful. The creek is a huge plus ,many access points to the creek.

hiking
Mon Feb 29 2016

I did this trail accidentally attempting to do the Baxter Creek trail to get to the fire tower at Mt. Sterling. I accidently went on the trail on the other side of the parking lot! This trail was still beautiful and would be great to come back to and overnight camp. Perhaps even do a 15 or 16 mile loop from Big Creek connecting over to Baxter Creek for Mt. Sterling. It was fairly easy grade. I went on about a mile after Big Creek comes into contact with Low Gap trail. Trail ran on my way back and it was very enjoyable. The trail follows a raging creek which makes for great scenery and white noise. Trail is very well maintained and would be a good hike for those that are not that experienced.

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