Ramsey Cascades

Ramsey Cascades in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the tallest waterfalls accessible by trail in the park!

Ramsey Cascades in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the tallest waterfalls accessible by trail in the park!

Ramsey Cascades is a difficult hike with an amazing destination.There are many waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains and a personal favorite is Ramsey Cascades which covers the surrounding area with an ethereal spray of mist as it plunges some 100 ft. over tiers of massive rocks into a dark pool below.

Ramsey Cascades, located in Greenbrier is the park’s tallest waterfall and is often named as one of the 50 best hikes in the Smokies.

The trail to the falls follows the Ramsey Prong of the Little Pigeon River which is fed by streams from the 6,621 ft. Mt. Guyot, the Great SmokyMountains second highest peak.

The last two miles provides hikers an opportunity to enjoy an old growth cove hardwood forest. This is one of the few sections that escaped the logging industry which decimated much of the Smokies before the formation of the National Park. According to the Eastern Native Trees Society, the area includes the third tallest red maple in the park and the second tallest white oak along with a myriad of other native trees. HeySmokies’ favorite “The Twins,” are pair of giant tulip poplar trees which are only a few feet apart. A memorable photo opportunity for all hikers.

The 4-mile one way trail, which rises more than 2,200 feet in elevation, begins along an old gravel road before narrowing into a foot path some one-and-a-half miles later. Hikers will encounter extremely rugged terrain that includes several sections of steep rock steps and must maneuver around large roots and boulders and also traverse a narrow footbridge that crosses some 20-feet above the creek (perhaps not for the faint of heart.)  The last one-third of the trail is extremely difficult. The eight-mile roundtrip, which takes from 5-7 hours to complete, is rated strenuous and is not recommended for novice hikers.

Ramsey Falls is one of the most spectacular and also the deadliest waterfalls in the park and visitors should be aware that a careless moment might prove fatal. A sign posted at Ramsey Cascade warns that four people have died trying to scale the falls – the latest victim slipped and fell to his death in May 2017.

If you plan to hike this trail wear appropriate recommended footwear with ankle supports. Portions of the trail are very rocky and sandals and flip flops are not advisable. Take plenty of drinking water and snacks or perhaps pack in a picnic to enjoy once you reach your destination. Weather in these mountains can change abruptly so a light-weight jacket and rain gear are also advised. For more detailed information on outfitting yourself for a hike visit our blog Hiking Essentials.

Directions to Ramsey Cascade Trailhead: Beginning at Light #3 in Gatlinburg, (the intersection of 441 and 321) travel eastbound on 321. Continue for six miles and turn right into Greenbrier (a Great Smoky National Parkentrance sign will be on your right.) The paved section quickly gives way to a gravel road. Turn left at the fork in the road, cross the bridge and continue for 1.5 miles to the trailhead.

 

 

 

More Hey Smokies Features:

No thumbnail available
Cades Cove Burns...
Cades Cove Burns. Harnessing Fire: The Ecological Benefits of Prescribed Burns in Cades Cove. Nestled within the expansive Great Smo[Read More >>]
Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway...
Did you know that the Blue Ridge Parkway is connected to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? That's right; another National Park is attached to[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Full Wolf Moon
Smoky Mountain Full Wolf Moon...
Smoky Mountain full wolf moon is on the rise! Smoky Mountain Full Wolf Moon. Full Wolf Moon to rise on January 25, 2024. Mother Nature is g[Read More >>]
Wilderness Wildlife Week 2024
Wilderness Wildlife Week 2024...
Wilderness Wildlife Week 2024. Wilderness Wildlife Week is a week-long event that celebrates the natural beauty and wildlife of the Great S[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Black Bears Winter
Smoky Mountain Black Bears Winter...
Smoky Mountain black. bears. Always stay at least 50 yards away from Smoky Mountain wildlife. Smoky Mountain Black Bears Winter. Nestled wit[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
New Year Black-eyed Peas And Greens Recipe...
New Year Black-eyed Peas And Greens Recipe. What is behind the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Years[Read More >>]
New Year's Eve Celebration At The Island In Pigeon Forge
New Year's Eve Celebration At The Island In Pigeon Forge...
Join the fun this New Year's Eve at The Island in Pigeon Forge! New Year's Eve Celebration At The Island In Pigeon Forge. The Island in Pige[Read More >>]
Christmas Cookie Recipe
Christmas Cookie Recipe...
Christmas Cookie Recipe. When the holidays arrive in the Great Smoky Mountains there are many HeySmokies sweet treat favorites but the tradition[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Parking Pass Scam Alert...
Smoky Mountain Parking Pass Scam Alert! Great Smoky Mountain Park officials are investigating an online scam selling fraudulent parking tag[Read More >>]
Aerosmith Rocks Smoky Mountains
Aerosmith Rocks Smoky Mountains...
Aerosmith Rocks Smoky Mountains on January 13, 2024. Get ready to welcome rock royalty, Knoxville! Aerosmith, the iconic band that has def[Read More >>]
Fun Filled Christmas Activities At Biltmore Mansion
Fun Filled Christmas Activities At Biltmore Mansion...
Fun-Filled Christmas Activities at Biltmore Mansion. As the holiday season sweeps across the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Biltmore Estate tran[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Campfire Ban Expires
Smoky Mountain Campfire Ban Expires...
Smoky Mountain Campfire Ban Expires beginning Wednesday, November 29, 2023. Precipitation, cooler temperatures and shorter days allow for [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Aero Club
Smoky Mountain Aero Club...
Smoky Mountain Aero Club. Since 1936 Radio controlled model airplanes have been cruising the skies at local airfields across the country. M[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Lakeview Drive Opens...
Smoky Mountain Lakeview Drive Opens. GSMNP is rehabilitating Lakeview Drive in North Carolina through Great American Outdoor Act funding. L[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Loop Lope
Cades Cove Loop Lope...
Cades Cove Loop Lope Cades Cove Loop Lope will be held Sunday, November 12, 2023 at 11 a.m. The park’s philanthropic partner, Friends of the[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Veterans Day Free Parking
Smoky Mountain Veterans Day Free Parking...
Smoky Mountain Veterans Day Free Parking! In honor of Veterans Day, visitors to Great Smoky Mountains will not be required to display or bu[Read More >>]
Gatlinburg Winter Magic And Chili Cookoff
Gatlinburg Winter Magic And Chili Cookoff...
Gatlinburg Winter Magic And Chili Cookoff. Join us for the kickoff of Gatlinburg's Winter Magic at the 34th Chili Cookoff presented by Bush[Read More >>]
Volunteers Needed For Fontana Lake Clean Up
Volunteers Needed For Fontana Lake Clean Up...
Volunteers Needed For Fontana Lake Clean Up. Volunteers are needed Friday, November 3, 2023 through Sunday, November 5, 2023 from 9 a.m. to[Read More >>]
National Park Hosts Tour Of Historic Daisy Town
National Park Hosts Tour Of Historic Daisy Town...
National Park Hosts Tour Of Historic Daisy Town. Rangers and volunteers invite the public to Daisy Town Day in the Elkmont Historic Distric[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Ghost Stories
Smoky Mountain Ghost Stories...
Smoky Mountain Ghost Stories. The Smoky Mountain region is steeped in strange and unexplainable occurrences that some say are supernatural. We h[Read More >>]