Sunday, February 21, 2010

wonder at the secrets

Each of us visits this Earth involuntarily, and without an invitation. For me, it is enough to wonder at the secrets.
--Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-born American Physicist

I've received a lot of feedback about this little known waterfall in Rock Creek Park outside of Erwin, TN. So maybe it's not so 'unknown' after all! Dick's Creek Falls is not the easiest to get to -- if you visit it, you'll find out how it's possible that something could be "uphill both ways." Although it's listed as Dick Creek Falls, I've been told that its more proper listing would be Dick's Creek Falls. And what's really interesting to me is the news that this is not the real Dick's Creek Falls at all -- this is Lower Dick's Creek Falls. The 'real' falls is a half mile or so upstream. I've included a photo sent into me by my Trekkie friend Cheryl (click thumbnail to enlarge). But try as I might today, I could not find the upper falls. It's pretty thick brush in those parts. So if anyone has specific, detailed directions to the upper falls, I'd greatly appreciate the help.

For directions from Rock Creek Park to the lower falls that you see above, click here.

Isn't there an easier way?!? I've also been asked if it would be easier to venture to the falls via Hwy 107 outside of Unicoi. I've done that, so I can say definitively, "No, it's not." If anyone were crazy enough to not heed my advice... you'd start at the North Indian Creek Campground entrance, where a forest service road crosses the creek (you'd actually drive through the creek). With all the downed trees, bogs, high water, etc. you'd be better off parking at the campground (after getting permission from the owner). After taking off your shoes, rolling up your pants and crossing the creek, you walk up the road which in reality is another creek bed that feeds into North Indian Creek. And just when you think you're in the clear, you realize that this area is a complete labyrinth of poorly maintained forest service roads going off in every direction -- with many very large, deep mud puddles/bogs that you have to somehow get around. With so many different unmarked roads, it would be very difficult to give accurate directions (which I won't attempt). A GPS is absolutely essential for such a hike. But honestly, I don't recommend this route. Even if you had a high clearance truck or jeep, the road is in terrible shape -- the number of downed trees, low branches and the inability to turn around means that this adventure is best for those on horseback (I'm pretty sure horseback riding is allowed in that section of the forest). But even then, I pity the horse. :) Trust me, your best bet to get to the falls is via Rock Creek Park. (If anyone knows of a better option, please let us know!)


  1. My brother in law and I attempted to find the falls via 107 just this past weekend. He had noticed the falls on my map. Wish we had consulted the internet lol!
    The trail from 107 has had some new blazes and intersection markers added. and things were dry enough to make the trail bogs less obstructive. when we found Dick's Creek it was a very mild trickle of water. After attempting to follow the creek 50 yards or so without any sound of falls we turned back. We did hike as far as the intersection.
    I plan to go back with my MTB and explore the dark hollow trail system.

  2. On November 1, 2013, I ventured to the North Indian Creek Campground with the intention of driving my Tundra 4WD into the forest to find Dick's Creek Falls. I really wanted this, but after talking with the owners of the campground, who informed me that there were a lot of guys hunting bear in there, and walking the trail for a short way, I decided this was not the best idea. I had heard that Carver Rd. was a good place to begin, but could not find anywhere to begin from that place. Next time I'm in the area I am going to spend a couple days here. I'd sure appreciate some good directions to Dick's Creek Falls though. I tried to follow your link above for the directions from Rock Creek but it's not working right.

  3. Click here for detailed directions to Dick's Creek Falls from Rock Creek Park. Scroll through the comments to read the discussion of finding the upper falls.
    Happy trails!

  4. The Rt 107/Unicoi route has been rutted, mud-holed, and ditched by mud daubers...the usual scenario when off road vehicles are permitted in the backcountry...a few unscrupuloids wreck access to the area. It's pitiful that the USFS continues to kowtow to the off-road vehicle lobby...their faux "multi-use" trails quickly become degraded single use mud pits for mudslinging motorheads.


Thanks for visiting and joining in the discussion on Appalachian Treks! Your comment will be sent to me to be approved. Sorry for this added step, but it is necessary to avoid spam. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!