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

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Out and Back

4,288' 1,307 m


2,079' 634 m


2,209' 673 m


2,208' 673 m



Avg Grade (6°)


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.


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.


Shared By:

Tony Gayda

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 72 votes


in Greenbrier


  4.7 from 72 votes
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in Greenbrier


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7,730 Since Sep 4, 2015
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Seen on the way to Ramsey Cascades in late October © Ryan Jones
Jan 16, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Treetops to Ramsey Cascades in late October.
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
Hiking to end of Ramsey Cascade. Snow just got deeper and deeper. First on trail in March 2010.
Oct 3, 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



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Apr 2, 2024
Grace Darnell
Aug 13, 2023
Andy Taylor
NEED TO KNOW: Trail is closed for rehabilitation every week Monday through Thursday, except Federal holidays, until Nov. 16
May 28, 2023
Hunter Daniels
8mi — 4h 05m
Oct 13, 2022
Mike Farrenkopf
Trail closed! (Road closed 3 miles prior to trailhead)
Sep 5, 2022
Charles Dever
Feb 20, 2022
Brendan Glancy
Feb 15, 2022
Ladybug Hiker
8.8mi — 5h 40m
Oct 14, 2021
Kirk Larrabee
8mi — 3h 50m

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