Deep Creek offers a wonderful outdoor adventure any time of year, but a walk through freshly fallen snow is an exceptionally beautiful experience. Last night Western North Carolina was coated in several inches of fluffy white snow. It was the thick, sticky variety that clings to every surface and makes the most magnificent transformation to the scenery. Once the sun was up we decided to undertake a hike along the trails through Deep Creek and enjoy the winter weather.
We began by taking the trail towards Juney Wank Falls, the tallest of the three waterfalls in the park. Apart from a few deer and other woodland animals ours were the first tracks laid in the pristine snow. The forest was quiet except for the soft sound of falling snow slipping from sun warmed branches. At first we were very cautious, testing each footfall before committing to the step; but we quickly found our snow legs and picked our way up the trail with confidence. Soon we reached the falls and it was a beautiful sight. Cascading icicles framed the edges of the creek and mounds of snow lay atop scattered boulders. The rising sun brought the scene to life, glittering off of every icy crystal. There is a bridge that crosses Juney Wank Falls and it offered an ideal perch for taking in the display.
Next we descended to the main path that follows the banks of Deep Creek. This wide, smooth trail lead us past Tom Branch Falls. The stream of water splits into many little strands that trickle across the rock face and down to the creek. It is a lovely and delicate cascade made even more picturesque by the snow. We continued along the footpath which took us across a snow-covered bridge and turned right to Indian Creek Falls. These beautiful rapids slide down a 45 foot drop to the creek below and are pleasant both to see and hear. The best feature of these final two falls is that they are both accessible by an easy trail making this adventure available even to novice hikers.
Finally we turned back and walked hand-in-hand through the snow, retracing our steps to the start of the trail. It was a quiet and peaceful hike that I would recommend to anyone who finds themselves in Bryson City during a snowfall.