The Indian Creek Trail in the Smokies simply has it all – waterfalls, wildflowers, old Smoky Mountain home sites, a majestic stream valley, and all on a trail that only 3.6 miles through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
To reach the Indian Creek Trail, you’ll need to make your way over to Bryson City, NC first, traveling toward the Deep Creek Campground. Once you’ve arrived there, park in the Deep Creek Trail parking area then hike a little under a mile on the Deep Creek Trail to the Indian Creek Trailhead.
Of course, this trail is primarily used by campers and hikers to get to Indian Creek Falls, and we don’t blame them. It’s quite a sight. It’s a 200-foot cascade and one of the most picturesque in the entire Smoky Mountain region.
Continuing on the trail past the falls, hikers will cross Indian Creek by bridge before reaching the part of the trail where Stone Pile Gap Trail takes a right at 0.5 miles in. If you decide to follow the Stone Pile Gap Trail at some point, it travels 0.9 miles up to the Thomas Divide Trail. Keeping on the Indian Creek Trail, you’ll notice more maples and oaks dotting the forest before meeting the creek.
Loop Trail comes into view 0.8 miles on Indian Creek Trail and once you’ve hiked around 1.5 miles the trail encircles what was once an early Smoky Mountain homestead. Moving along, you’ll pass four of these such sites: the Beard farmstead, the Widow Styles place, the Hardy Styles place, and the William Laney farm. At one point these properties all had houses, barns, and various other buildings, though no more. The only real markings that remain are the clearings.
The trail eventually meets up again with Indian Creek which flows into cascades and various whirling pools as you move along the trail. Wildflowers can be seen by the hundreds in this area of the park so be sure to pack a camera.
Passing the final farmstead, the Indian Creek Trail turns back into a wooded hike before crossing Indian Creek again by bridge. The trail goes on a reaches the Deeplow Gap Trail at 2.9 miles. Four more bridges make up the final mile of the trail before reaching the junction with the Martins Gap Trail. Enjoy your adventure in the Smokies!