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Ramsey Cascades Trail

Difficult
 4.7 (56) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

8.0

Miles

12.8

KM

Loop

4,288' 1,307 m

High

2,079' 634 m

Low

2,209' 673 m

Up

2,208' 673 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs No Dogs

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.

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tony Gayda

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 56 votes

#1

in Greenbrier

#102

Overall
  4.7 from 56 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Greenbrier

#102

Overall
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5,543 Since Sep 4, 2015
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Photos

Seen on the way to Ramsey Cascades in late October © Ryan Jones
Jan 16, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Ramsey Cascades in late October. © Ryan Jones
Jan 16, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Ramsey Cascades Waterfall
Jan 6, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Treetops to Ramsey Cascades in late October.
Jan 16, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
A hiker exiting a small rhododendron tunnel on a wet and rocky Ramsey Cascade trail.
Jan 6, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Hiking to end of Ramsey Cascade. Snow just got deeper and deeper. First on trail in March 2010.
Oct 3, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN

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Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 39 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jul 2, 2020
Trish Turner
Fun hike, more strenuous than moderate, wish I'd worn my hiking boots instead of hiking shoes given the roots & rocks. 8.1mi — 3h 52m
Jul 2, 2020
Christine Albrecht
10mi — 7h 30m
Jun 17, 2020
Robert Louer
May 30, 2020
J Rice
Good hike. Challenging due to many rock scrambles.
Feb 14, 2020
Dale Koeneman
Did the whole thing.
Nov 25, 2019
Lucas Charles
Alison, Wyatt, Sydney and me. 8mi — 8h 00m
Nov 24, 2019
Leighanne B
Oct 25, 2019
Steve Wolf
8mi — 12h 17m