538 – Mouse Creek Falls

Accessibility – Easy+

Height – 35-40′

Distance – 4.0 miles RT

Beauty – 6

Photo rating – 7

Solitude – 2

GPS Info: LAT 35.73537 LONG -83.13360

First visit: 05-24-2019

Most Recent Visit: 03-08-2020


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Mouse Creek Falls is the most popular of the waterfalls in this section of the Smoky Mountains Park so I’m going to build the other hikes off of this one. As far as getting to Mouse Creek Falls, the hike is easy and on a trail. It is worth the effort and when you combine it with Midnight Hole Falls, which you have to walk past, this is a great family friendly hike that tops out at 4.0 miles round trip with little challenge other than the slow and steady uphill the whole way.

Trailhead Directions: Get on I-26 from most areas and follow it to I-40 West toward TN. Follow I-40 into TN and take the Waterville Exit (Exit 451). Cross under I-40 coming from NC and make a left to cross the bridge over the Pigeon River. Coming from TN, take the same exit but make  right onto the bridge. Once across the road will loop around to the left. When it comes to the river make a right onto Waterville Rd. From here on you will be on the same road even though the name changes. At the stop sign continue straight onto the unpaved Big Creek Entrance Road. It is about two miles to the stop sign and from there it is another 0.9 of a mile to the Big Creek parking area. You pass the Big Creek Trailhead on the way. Park in the loop near the bathrooms.

The Hike: Walk up the entrance road to the signed trail Big Creek Trail and make a left. This entire portion of the hike is going to be on a wide easily followed and heavily hiked logging grade. It is uphill but barely so meaning an easier hike out. There is a portion of the road that has collapsed and it is fenced to keep you from falling off the side of the mountain. At 1.5 miles you will pass Midnight Hole Falls. Half a mile past this the trail bends to the right but a side path goes left toward Big Creek. It is a wide spot in the trail with a place to tie up your horse. When you come to the end of this short trail you will see Mouse Creek on the other side of Big Creek. The former drops directly into the latter.

Going to Gunter Fork? Click Here

Going to Upper and West Mouse? Click Here

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