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Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers

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  • Midnight Hole, The Cathedral, and Mouse Creek Falls

Midnight Hole, The Cathedral, and Mouse Creek Falls

  • 04/29/2023
  • 7:00 AM
  • Big Creek Campground GSMNP


  • Members and visitors are invited to register.

Registration is closed

SANP Field Event

Midnight Hole, The Cathedral, and Mouse Creek Falls

Saturday, April 29th, 2023


Leader: Dale Potter    Phone:  (865)-773-8114      E-mail:

Meeting place: Big Creek Campground GSMNP

Time:  7:00 am

Registration available:  Beginning today 

Description:  Big Creek area is one of the most photogenic areas with all the water.  There are options all around the campground to photograph. We will be walking up the Big Creek Trail to the Midnight Hole before proceeding on to The Cathedral area and then to Mouse Creek Falls.  It is a four mile round trip from the parking lot unless we decide to venture further up the trail.

Unfortunately, you will not get to photograph the split rail fence picture above as tourist destroyed it.

You will need a Smokies parking pass to park in the parking area.

The water in Big Creek will be cold but you might want to venture out in the creek to get the best photo of the Midnight Hole.

You may want your filters for photographing the waterfalls and the creek.  A tripod will be useful for long exposure.  

We are starting early so that we can reach all the destinations before the harsh light from the Sun is shining on the creek. The sunlight can be harsh starting around 10:00 am.

Learning opportunities: This is a good location to work on your technique for getting pleasing images of waterfalls and fast water.

What shutter speeds to use for the look you want

How to use polarizers and neutral density filters

Lenses of any focal length from 20mm to about 300mm will be useful. T 

What to bring: Since some of the best shooting positions on this stream are in the water, you may want to wear waterproof boots.   Another option is trail runner shoes that are great for wading streams. 

Bring water and snacks.  

An overcast day would be ideal for this trip.  Current forecast is suggesting that it may be overcast.

Walking required: The trail is an easy to moderate in and out trail on an old road bed. 

Driving directions: Best is to use Google Maps for Big Creek Campground in the GSMNP. From I-40, take the Waterville Road Exit (#451). Turn left after crossing the Pigeon River and proceed 2.3 miles to an intersection. Continue straight, past the ranger station, to a large parking area at the end of the road.

Contacts:     Jerry Whaley, President       Julie Glibbery, Membership Manager       General Information

Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located near the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
Mailing address: 1143 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Ste 107A-231, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
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