There is nothing quite as refreshing as getting outdoors and trekking into nature for a waterfall hike. In Bryson City, there are several waterfall hikes that are popular for their easy to moderate difficulty levels along with beautiful sparking cascades along creeks and waterways. Some of these hikes are within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and others are just outside of Bryson City.

1. The Deep Creek Waterfall Loop 

Tom Branch Falls

A favorite recreational area within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Deep Creek and its Waterfall Loop trail - by far one of the most popular waterfall hikes within the Park. An easy 2.5 mile round trip hike takes you to three waterfalls: Juneywhank Falls, Tom Branch Falls (shown above), and Indian Creek Falls. The area is also popular for fly fishing, tubing (in the summer), and has a pet-friendly picnic area.

2. Chasteen Creek Cascade Falls

Chasteen Creek Cascades

Chasteen Creek Cascade is a 30′ tall cascade with small pools at the base. This waterfall is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and can be accessed via the Bradley Fork Trail at the Smokemont parking area.   Bradley Fork Trail is an old roadbed and logging road. The trail follows alongside the Bradley Fork of the Oconaluftee River – a clear mountain stream with mossy rocks, and the soothing sounds of water. The cascade is a beautiful destination for this easy four mile round-trip hike. The average grade is only 3% or relatively flat for the Park.

If you prefer a horseback riding adventure to this waterfall, visit Smokemont Riding Stables and they will get you there!

3. Findley Falls

Findley Falls Nantahala Gorge

Findley Falls is a series of small waterfalls located on Ledbetter Creek in the Nantahala Gorge with multiple access areas to the creek to play in. Great for a family hike. Findley Falls is the last section of Ledbetter Creek before it passes underneath railroad tracks and US19/US74 and empties into the Nantahala River.

Visit nearby Patton’s Run or the Nantahala Cascades while in the area. These are not hikes, but a beautiful pet-friendly access to the Nantahala River, right next to the road.  

4. Mingo Falls

Mingo Falls

Mingo Falls is one of the tallest in the Southern Appalachian region at a 120 majestic feet. The trail to the falls originates with 160 steps on a maintained stairway. The trail is 0.4 miles long and leads to a viewing platform. It is located near the Cherokee entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as the southern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Soco Falls is nearby, about 11 miles east of Cherokee on US 19, however this can be viewed on the roadside, or hike a very steep short trail down to the base of the waterfall.

5. Noland Creek

Noland Creek Trail

While not technically a waterfall, the Noland Creek Trail meanders alongside of Noland Creek within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It follows an old road bed and is usually much less traveled than other areas of the Park. So if you’re looking for a quiet, easy hike along a rushing creek, this is the hike for you. Several rocky cascades along the creek provide the splendor of small waterfalls, although none are specifically named. To get to the Noland Creek Trail, travel to the Road to Nowhere (Lakeview Drive) to the trailhead parking area. If you take the trail to the south, it will end at Fontana Lake. By taking the trail to the north, you can walk for miles before turning around to return to the parking area.

The Smoky Mountains are home to several incredible waterfalls that you just must see! Want to see more waterfalls near Bryson City? Check our waterfall loop for a scenic drive to 12 waterfalls!

More Waterfalls Near Bryson City