Mouse Creek Falls via Big Creek Trail

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Mouse Creek Falls via Big Creek Trail is a 5.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Waynesville, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 813 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Note: It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information.

hiking
2 days ago

Really great trail. Nice wide trail with very gradual grade. Creek ran along trail. At the start the creek is a not very close, but the further you go on the trail the closer you get to the water. There is one pool area that would be wonderful for swimming on a warm day. The falls are big and awesome. Somewhat muddy and a few trees down, but really nice leisurely hike. Nice picnic area and bathrooms were open. Very few people around.

hiking
muddy
4 days ago

Great trail. A bit muddy due to all the recent rain. A few large trees down over the trail but passable. Nice falls at the turnaround.

hiking
7 days ago

Amazing trail that has beautiful views of a mountain creek along most of the hike. The waterfall is actually not that impressive, but the creek views are

hiking
rocky
9 days ago

Beautiful hike. It was along the river for the majority of it, providing multiple opportunities for us to pull off and sit on the rocks to relax and take in the view. Multiple large trees down along the path that may be difficult for older folks to get around/over. Water fountain in the parking lot/campground closest to the trail head was clutch, but bathrooms are all still locked.

hiking
14 days ago

I am a water girl, so I loved this hike. Great way to ease into our week of hiking. There are views of the water all the way along this hike. There is a swimming hole that looked like lots of fun and the water was pure blue. Lots of opportunity to venture towards the water (off the main trail) for photos or just to sit and enjoy the rushing water. Easy to social distance on this trail. During our visit, the gate to the trailhead was closed. Walking to the trailhead added about .9 miles. Beware, parking is crazy! We parked in the pasture at the bottom of the entrance.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is very clear. The views were amazing! There’s a slight incline all the way to the falls, but it wasn’t bad. The water was a gorgeous blue turquoise color! About halfway through the trail, you’re walking right beside the river. It was definitely worth it!

hiking
snow
2 months ago

hiking
snow
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

The views were amazing. The trail is a tad bit too rocky for my taste but the views make your pounding bruised feet at the end worth it. The waterfall was nice and my wife and son enjoyed it. My son enjoyed climbing on the massive boulders at the creeks edge. Since the trail was easy we went about 3 miles passed the waterfall. All in all a fun day of hiking. Make sure you are wearing comfortable thick soles shoes to handle all the stones and creek crossings.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was so fun. Close to the highway, but you wouldn't know it. A great break on a long drive. Steady incline that followed a river most of the way, a nice wide trail, very green even in February.

walking
rocky
3 months ago

I took the family here two weeks ago. It turned out to be a great day. Two of my boys which are 16 and 12 even had a great time. They said that they thought it was going to be boring. But now they can't wait to go back. It's an easy and wide trail. Perfect for beginners. It's very very rocky though. Midnight hole is gorgeous and the Waterfall was also very pretty. We will definitely go back.

walking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

icy
snow
4 months ago

Took my sister and a friend on this trail today, I enjoyed it so much when we did it last week! The falls had plenty of ice cicles today and were stunning! High was 25 today snow flurries the entire hike! Very few folks out today as well! Recommend trekking poles!

blowdown
muddy
4 months ago

Great day for this easy hike! I think all trails has the miles post incorrectly it only 4 miles round-trip, it takes about 1.5 hours! One of the best hikes for folks just starting out! I had the trail to my self today so winter is definitely a better time to do this one, it was packed in June! At 1.5 miles in you will be a midnight hole beautiful area along the way!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Thought the trail was fantastic, went with 11-year old son. Definitely have to go off trail towards creek to see more than just path and waterfall. Adds more to the hike.

hiking
5 months ago

Pleasant, wide trail that is very gradual in ascent. It follows the creek most of the way up, and there are several places where you can go off the trail and see rapids and smaller cascades as you ascend towards Mouse Falls. The falls are not marked with a sign, but when you see a long log hitching post for horses, you are there. The falls are actually on the opposite side of Big Creek, falling into it from a side stream. Large rocks you can sit on to enjoy the falls as you rest for the descent.

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

Great easy grade trail. The trail is wide so great for families or people just wanting to walk side by side. There is a hitching spot for horses right by the falls so that helps spot the falls easier.

hiking
6 months ago

We hiked this trail on 10/28/19. Its a very good trail, only issue was the waterfall is not marked and its possible to walk past it. If you make it to the bridge that means you went past the waterfall.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

We enjoyed the gradual climb. Big Creek is on your left as you climb. You can hear it but it is obscured by trees and Rhododendrons a good bit of the way. There are a number of easily accessible side paths down to the water. The falls are very beautiful and worth the drive. It was a very pleasant hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Absolutely wonderful hike for two older couples in and out.

Very enjoyable hike. Waterfall was beautiful even with the low water levels.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail. Rocky path so good boots are a good suggestion. Steady climb not tough though. The 1.5 mile spot was very good saw young people jumping off the rock into the very cold water. Bring towels or swimsuits if that’s something you like, maybe water shoes. The falls are very nice as well. Easy hike for all ages. Go out and make some memories.

hiking
7 months ago

This is a very pretty trail, lots of huge and older trees, arches of rhododendrons, beautiful views over the steep dropoff of both forest floor and the huge, rocky riverbed. We loved how natural it was, kudos to the NPS for good but minimal maintenance. Once you get on the trail, there are no markings as to where Midnight Hole and Mouse Creek Falls are but if you work with a pedometer, they are at 1.5 miles and 2.0 miles in. Beyond the falls, the trail narrows and appears less travelled. There are many rocks of varying sizes and shapes in the path throughout this trail, however, there are some small areas where it is dirt or very small crushed gravel. I would be sure to wear at least a heavier pair of sneakers or walking shoes. Be prepared to spend a lot of time looking where you are stepping but definitely stop to take in the view. The walk in is pretty much all uphill but not a real steep slope, which makes downhill return nicer but a little harder on the knees. Midnight Hole is very nice but a little challenge to get down to for older adults. Can see this as a great swimming hole. We did see some brook and brown trout, which thrilled some small children there. Mouse Creek Falls is also pretty; since we were there in the beginning of October with dry weather and dry summer, the falls were a nice little zigzag of water cascading down the rockfall. I would recommend this hike and would give it a 5 star if it weren’t for the rocky path.

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