This short and easy hike begins at the Balsam Mountain Picnic Area. Just 2.6 miles from end to end, this hike is a must if you are visiting the area. This is a “down hill hike” if you have a car waiting at the other end. At the trailhead there is an excellent view of Mt. Guyot and the high mountains of the northern end of the park.
The trail passes through a northern hardwood forest surrounded by thick grass. This thick and luscious grass is evidence of the heavy logging and deforestation that took place here in the 1920’s. Prior to that, grass was rare in the dense virgin hardwood forests of the Southern Appalachians. As you hike through this surreal scene, the sound of trickling water from Flat Creek can be heard in the background. Moss and lichen thrive here because of the humidity created by Flat Creek. After 1.5 miles and a gradual descent the trail reaches Flat Creek Falls. A short side trail leads to the bottom of the falls. CAUTION, this is a steep side trail and can be very treacherous, especially in wet weather.
After viewing the falls continue the short distance to the road or double back to the picnic area.
As you leave Mile High Campground turn left. Enter the park and continue past the Balsam Mountain Campground to the picnic area. Park here and take the trail/road that passes by the picnic tables.