Big Creek drains a major portion of the Eastern section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and it features some of the East's biggest and most remote peaks. The goal of the Big Creek Rim is to circumnavigate the drainage for Big Creek. More than half of the 34 miles is above 5,000 feet in elevation and the route is book-ended by a major climb/descent to two of the remaining fire towers in GSMNP, Mt. Sterling and Mt. Cammerer. The route consists of four trails: Benton MacKaye, Balsam Mountain, Appalachian, and Chestnut Branch Trails and a very short stretch along the Big Creek Entrance Road. The continued high elevation, notable trails, fire towers, and easy logistics makes the Big Creek Rim a premier southern highlands route.
The route can be run in either direction, but the start and end is the Baxter Creek Trail Head side of the bridge where the BMT crosses Big Creek.