Deep Creek Hike for Friends of the Smokies
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not closed. Though the news has been focused on the closed roads and landslides, Sawako, Keith of Friends of the Smokies and I scouted a great Deep Creek hike - three waterfalls and three cemeteries.
The waterfalls were full and almost overflowing. The water in Juney Whank, above, rushed downhill under the bridge. Same with the other two on the Deep Creek/Indian Creek loop - Tom Branch and Indian Creek, shown at right.
But I also wanted to include the three cemeteries, which are not as well known as the waterfalls.
Unfortunately the entrances to these cemeteries don't have signs. The one on Deep Creek Trail was reached by a short but very steep trail. Once up there, you see seven mounted graves--no names, just rock stumps.
We walked up Indian Creek Trail to the "turn-around". It had rained so much that a red crayfish was laying in a rut full of water. We thought it was plastic at first but it was real but very dead.
Tadpole eggs filled in ruts on the road. We even saw the frog. But what will happen once the road dries up? Daffodils and an immense boxwood bush signified that this had been a home site.
A pileated woodpecker streaked through the trees. On the road to the trailhead, we saw two deer past the picnic shelter.
I'll be leading the hike on Tuesday March 19. I can't promise that you'll see all the wildlife we saw. By then, different conditions will apply. But I do promise that it will be a fascinating hike and much more than just the Deep Creek/Indian Creek loop. We'll walk about nine miles and an altitude gain of 1,600 feet. A very moderate first hike for Friends of the Smokies.
To sign up, call or email Keith at Friends of the Smokies at 828.452.0720 or email@example.com