If I could paint, I would sit all day on the bench with Juney Whank Falls in front of me and the creek running under me, trying to capture on canvas the way the sun reflects off the water as it bounces over the rocks. I was here after several days of hard rain, so there was plenty of water coming down the mountain. The name may be translated from the Cherokee as “where the bear passes.” Further up the trail is Indian Creek Falls and Tom’s Branch Falls.
Near the falls, I photographed many wildflowers including a showy orchid. An extreme wide angle lens (14mm or 20mm) would have brought more of the creek and sky into the picture. Bring a wildflower book with you for this hike – I saw some flowers I had not photographed before. The forest can be a lot darker that you expect and you may need to use a flash set at ¼ or ½ power because full flash will wash all the color and shadows out of the flowers and leave them looking too flat.
The Deep Creek picnic area is shady and clean, right on the creek with tables and grills at each site. There are dressing areas to change into swim gear. No life guard is on duty, and swimming is neither recommended nor prohibited. Just outside the Park boundary there are places that offer tube rentals. Check fishing regulations at the website or camp office. If you are going to camp, make reservations early. The hike to Juney Whank Falls is about 1/3 mile uphill on a wide path that is clearly marked, and takes about 30 minutes up and back. Be careful on the rock steps leading down to the falls.