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Toms Branch Falls

Trail Features: Waterfalls Toms Branch Falls
Trail Location: Deep Creek
Roundtrip Length: 0.6 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 47 Feet
Avg. Elev Gain / Mile: 157 Feet
Highest Elevation: 1905 Feet
Trail Difficulty Rating: 0.69 (easy)
Parking Lot Latitude 35.4643
Parking Lot Longitude -83.4342

Directions to Trailhead:

The trailhead for Toms Branch Falls is located just north of Bryson City, North Carolina. From the intersection of Hwy 441 and Route 19 in Cherokee, drive 10 miles south on Rt. 19 to Everett Street in Bryson City. Turn right onto Everett and drive for 0.2 miles, and then turn right onto Depot Street. After a short distance, take a left onto Ramseur Street and then an immediate right onto Deep Creek Road. Drive 2.3 miles to the park entrance, and then another 0.5 mile to the parking area for the Toms Branch Falls trailhead.

Trail Description:

Toms Branch Falls is accessed via the Deep Creek Trail, which was one of the first trails constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the newly legislated park in the early 1930s. The current Deep Creek Campground was also the site of the Deep Creek Civilian Conservation Corps Camp from 1933 to 1936.

toms-branch-fallsIn 1910 Horace Kephart, author of Our Southern Highlanders, and a strong proponent of national park status for the Smokies, lived for a short while with the Bob Barnett family in one of the last houses along the upper portions of Deep Creek. Until his death, as a result of an auto accident in 1931, he used the old Bryson Place as his summertime camping spot. A permanent marker, near Backcountry Campsite 57 located just north of the junction between the Deep Creek and Martins Gap trails, now commemorates the site.

The trail begins as a wide path as it traces Deep Creek upstream. The 80-foot Toms Branch Falls is only three-tenths of a mile from the trailhead. The park service has provided several benches for visitors to admire these beautiful falls, which spill down into the creek from the opposite bank.

If wishing to travel a little further, you do have the option of continuing along this same trail for another six-tenths of a mile to visit the 45-foot Indian Creek Falls.

As another option, Juney Whank Falls is also in the area, and can be reached via a short half-mile hike from the same parking area.