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blueBlack Ramsey Cascades Trail

  4.7 ( 45 ) Favorite


8.0 mile 12.8 kilometer loop


Ascent: 2,209' 673 m
Descent: -2,208' -673 m
High: 4,288' 1,307 m
Low: 2,079' 634 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Tony Gayda

A sweet out and back hike with old-growth forest, cascading streams, and a beautiful waterfall.

Tony Gayda

Features River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Families with younger kids will enjoy the early section of the trail due to the cascades and relatively easy hiking conditions. As the trail goes on, things become more challenging.


This trail runs along side cascading streams and becomes progressively more difficult as it goes. The reward for your efforts is a fabulous waterfall at the end (turn around).

Need to Know

The drive to the trailhead is a long gravel road that narrows to one car width at several points. There are a couple vehicle bridge crossing as well that are only a single car width. It is not a difficult drive, but one that requires you to stay aware of drivers coming from the opposite direction.


The trailhead will be at the east end of the parking area. The trail begins as an extension of the gravel road from the parking area and quickly crosses over the Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River via a foot bridge. The first 1.5 miles is easy as the trail follows an old jeep road.

At about 2.1 miles, there is a side stream that crosses the trail and then beyond that a typical GSMNP foot log used to cross over the Ramsey Prong. The trail crosses Ramsey Prong again around 2.9 miles.

As you get close to the end of the trail and the waterfall, the trail becomes more rugged as you scramble over rocks and roots and also encounter a small rock staircase. You'll need to rock hop one more stream and then scramble up some large boulders to get to the base of the waterfall. Be very careful on the large boulders at the base of the waterfall as they can be very slippery. You may also want to bring a rain coat or poncho as the waterfall can produce a lot of mist if there is enough flow from recent rains.

Flora & Fauna

In the springtime you may be able to spot yellow trillium, wild geranium, showy orchis, and creeping phlox. There are also sections that contain dense forest with rhododendron, moss, and ferns.

History & Background

The Ramsey Cascades Trail is named after the Ramsey family that once lived in the area. The trail name was once spelled Ramsay, but has been more recently updated to Ramsey to properly reflect the spelling of the family name.

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Jul 4, 2019
Spring Pearson
8mi — 5h 30m
Jun 4, 2019
Marshall Herbst
Beautiful! Perfect scenic culmination of the smokies. — 3h 03m
May 21, 2019
Nick Borgmeyer
May 5, 2019
John Rokesmith
May 4, 2019
paul schilling
6h 07m
May 3, 2019
paul schilling
Mar 27, 2019
Marcin Teczar
Mar 22, 2019
Justin Harmon

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 45 votes


in Greenbrier


  4.7 from 45 votes
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