Mouse Creek Falls is a beautiful 45 foot waterfall, located in the Big Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The falls is at the very end of Mouse Creek, where it flows into Big Creek, and is easily accessible from the well known Big Creek Trail.
Mouse Creek Falls is is a popular and beautiful waterfall, especially during the spring, and after a strong rain storm in the summer. The water coming over Mouse Creek Falls flows directly into Big Creek.
You can view Mouse Creek Falls from the trail or scramble down a pretty steep incline, and view the Falls from the larger boulders below it. The current here in Big Creek is often pretty strong, so we don’t recommend trying to cross it to get the falls, although we’ve seen many people do it.
Mouse Creek Falls is located in Big Creek, off of Big Creek Trail, a 4.2 mile round-trip hike.
To get to Big Creek, take exit 451 off I-40. If you’re coming from North Carolina, it will be the very first exit once you cross into Tennessee. From North Carolina, at the bottom of the ramp, go left. From Tennessee, go right. From North Carolina, you’ll follow a short road, then reach the off ramp coming from Tennessee. Turn left to cross the bridge over the Pigeon River. From Tennessee, turn right to cross the bridge.
Follow the narrow winding road up to the Waterville power plant. Go slow as you approach the power plant, as this is a very popular white water rafting area, and it is very congested during the summer.
Continue past the power plant, you’ll cross a one lane bridge and a small park on the left. Continue on this road until you reach an intersection. Cross over the intersection onto the gravel road. You’ll a small park entrance sign. Follow this road all the way up to the parking lot. Go slow, as this road is very narrow.
Just before reaching the parking lot, you’ll see the trailhead to Big Creek Trail on your right. Park in the parking lot, and walk up to the trail head.
Big Creek trail follows an old Logging railroad grade, and gradually climbs up as you hike the 2.1 miles up to Mouse Creek Falls. Initially the trail is high above Big Creek, but eventually you’ll find yourself right beside it. Soon later, you’ll pass Midnight Hole, a small waterfall and very popular swimming hole. You’ll know it when you see all the people.
Continue past Midnight Hole for another .5 miles, and you’ll come to a turn in the trail and see some horse hitching posts. Just past the hitching posts is the overlook for Mouse Creek Falls. You’ll see a bench here so you can sit, rest, and enjoy the view of the Falls.
On your way back down, be sure and stop at Midnight Hole, if not to swim a little, at least sit for a bit and enjoy watching people jump off the large boulders into the dark pool below the falls – the water is ice cold!
Return to the parking area the same way you came up.
>>> Read more about the Big Creek Area, including more hikes, camping, picnic area, and the history in our Big Creek Guide.