A Day in Deep Creek

So you’ve unpacked your camp in the Great Smoky Mountains and want to do a little adventuring in the area.  Deep Creek and its nearby town center, Bryson City, provide a great opportunity to enjoy some simple moments.

Many visit the area to ride on the famous Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.  With steam and diesel passenger trains winding through the mountains, as well as “The Carolina,” All-Adults moonshine ride, you’re sure to have pleasant afternoon.  For the kids, seasonal theme rides are a blast.  In the heat of summer, I definitely recommend hitting up the ice cream stand after your ride!


If the train ride has left you with more of an appetite, head over the Anthony’s DERAILED, a walk-up window at Anthony’s restaurant across from the train station for a massive pizza pie.  Why order to go?  Well, at least for the time being, you can take your pie on over next door to Nantahala Brewing and enjoy a variety of brews on tap.


For now this wide-open brewery only serves drink, but welcomes your bring-along eats.  There’s plenty of room for large groups to gather, but also plentiful bar seating and outdoor tables.  In the heat of summer, this place can warm up, so later afternoon perhaps after a nice T-storm, is ideal.


When we visited last, Nantahala Brewing had announced they are working on a second location on an adjacent street that will offer full-service food and drink.  Something to look forward to.  But for now, you can enjoy overlooking the trains coming through.  And although glasses proudly proclaim “Water is for Quitters,” I personally recommend proudly drinking your water to help survive that summer heat.


Cooling down is essential on these mid summer days.  If the beer and water didn’t do it for you, hitting the creek may be your remedy.  Deep Creek is now a very frequented destination for tubing.  Simply grab a tube somewhere along the road into the campground, take a hike up, and cool yourself down the white waters.  Really, this is not a lazy river type of float.  Be prepared for many bumps, twists, turns, turnovers, and opportunities to maneuver yourself off various rocks.  It’s important to have some swim skills particularly if you start at the top of the run.  I love the serene surroundings along the way…there’s nowhere else quite like this magical place for tubing.


If you’re looking for less adventure, there are a few delicious swimming holes a long the trail with easy accessibility, some with perfect rocks for jumping into the deep waters.


At the end of the tube run, near the campsites, there is a popular river bank.  It is very enjoyable to pull up a camp chair and watch the passer-byers. Find your inner child by taking full advantage of some great skipping rocks.


And for the true nature seeker, enjoy the lovely walks and hikes throughout the park.  Seasonal flora, flauna, and falls may keep you occupied with wonder and can currently ease the stress of your day-to-day.