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A walk or drive beside any mountain stream will lead you by hundreds of these tumbling cascades as the waters rush down from the peaks of the Smokies. But the high falls are the most spectacular, and Swain County offers some of the best in the Smokies, including Deep Creek’s trio of waterfalls – Juneywhank, Tom Branch and Indian Creek Falls.

(Download a printable PDF map of the Deep Creek trails and waterfalls.

Juneywhank Falls — From the Deep Creek trailhead parking area, follow the well-marked trail 1/4 mil uphill to Juneywhank Falls. The roar of the falls can be heard even before you reach it. An eighty-foot cascade of water starts above you and runs under a log footbridge with handrails, and meets up with Deep Creek at the bottom of the trail.

Tom Branch Falls — Starting back at the main trailhead, walk just 1,000 feet along the wide, flat Deep “Creek trail to Tom Branch Falls, a wispy waterfall that gently splashes over 80 feet into Deep Creek. A bench is provided beside the creek and is a great place to sit and watch the tubers float by.

Indian Creek Falls — Continuing along the Deep Creek trail for approximately one mile, the trail winds up a slight grade to where Indian Creek spills into Deep Creek. Follow the Indian Creek Trail to the right 200 feet uphill to Indian Creek Falls, a high-spirited waterfall that noisily plunges 25 feet to the pool below. A small spur trail leads to the bottom of the falls.

Mingo Falls — Arguably the most stunning cascade in the region is Mingo Falls on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. From the Saunooke Village shopping area in downtown Cherokee, drive north on Big Cove Road approximately 5 miles (past the KOA Campground) to the Mingo Falls parking lot. The walk from the parking lot is short (just a hundred yards) but very steep.

Two other Swain County waterfalls are in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

Little Creek Falls is on the section of the Deeplow Gap Trail north of the Cooper Creek trail and south of the Thomas Divide Trail.

Twentymile Cascade is a small waterfall at the southwestern corner of the Park. From Fontana Village Resort, drive six miles west on Highway 28 to the Twentymile Ranger Station where the Twentymile Trail begins. Hike a half-mile to the first bridge, bear right and continue another 100 yards to the narrow spur trail, which leads off to the right and to the Twentymile Cascade.

Deeper into the National Park's back country are two more waterfalls seen only by back country hikers — the Forney Creek Cascade just south of Clingmans Dome, and the Hazel Creek Cascade, about two miles south of Silers Bald.








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