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:

Cades Cove Loop Lope 2019
Cades Cove Loop Lope 2019...
Cades Cove Loop Lope is a Great Smoky Mountain Special Event! The Cades Cove Foot Race (AKA – the Cades Cove Loop Lope) hosted by Friends of the[Read More >>]
Ginseng Harvesting
Ginseng Harvesting...
Ginseng Harvesting. Ginseng; miracle plant? Fact or fiction? There are many uses for this fascinating native plant that grows wild and randomly [Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Farmers Markets. Get Your Fresh On!...
Yum Yum! Photo credit: foodie.com Smoky Mountain Farmers Markets. Get Your Fresh On! Smoky Mountain Farmers Markets are open for business! [Read More >>]
Wheels Through Time Museum Showcases Rare Motorcycles
Wheels Through Time Museum Showcases Rare Motorcycles...
Wheels Through Time Museum Showcases Rare Motorcycles. Seventeen of the world’s rarest bikes will be on display for a limited time. Dale’s Wheel[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Pinball Museum's
Smoky Mountain Pinball Museum's...
  Smoky Mountain Pinball Museum's. Gatlinburg’s Pinball Museum offers a step back in time for gamers. The metallic sound of quarters dropp[Read More >>]
Biltmore Gardens Railway
Biltmore Gardens Railway...
Biltmore Gardens Railway is on display at Biltmore Estate from May 24, 2019 through September 29, 2019. For a limited time, in the Conservatory [Read More >>]
Rhododendron Festivals
Rhododendron Festivals...
Rhododendron Festivals at Roan Mountain and Grandfather Mountain herald the beginning of summer. Roan Mountain and Mother Nature team up to show[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Car Ban
Cades Cove Car Ban...
Cades Cove Car Ban began May 2019. Cades Cove Loop Road will be closed to motor vehicles from sunrise until 10:00 a.m. on both Wednesday and Sat[Read More >>]
Catawba Brewery White Zombie 5K
Catawba Brewery White Zombie 5K...
Catawba Brewery White Zombie 5K. Asheville’s Catawba Brewing Company sponsors White Zombie 5k. The first-ever White Zombie 5k on will be run Sat[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Strawberry Moon
Smoky Mountain Strawberry Moon...
Smoky Mountain Strawberry Moon will be viewable Monday, June 17, 2019. The name Strawberry Moon was universally used by the Algonquin native Ame[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event...
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event. Star gazing is always a Smoky Mountains special event. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a stargaz[Read More >>]
North America's Longest Footbridge
North America's Longest Footbridge...
North America's Longest Footbridge. Gatlinburg Sky Bridge Opens May 17, 2019. When you travel to Gatlinburg you will have no trouble finding the[Read More >>]
Fourth Annual Appalachian Bear Fest
Fourth Annual Appalachian Bear Fest...
Fourth Annual Appalachian Bear Fest is scheduled for Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 11 a.m. til 3 p.m. at the ABR Visitor and Education Center, 121[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Trillium Gap Rehabilitation Closes Trail
Smoky Mountain Trillium Gap Rehabilitation Closes Trail...
Smoky Mountain Trillium Gap Rehabilitation Closes Trail. Beginning May 13, 2019 work begins on improving the much loved Trillium Gap trail. This[Read More >>]
HighlandersUnite Highland Games Gatlinburg
HighlandersUnite Highland Games Gatlinburg...
HighlandersUnite Highland Games Gatlinburg. The Highlander Games of Gatlinburg (HUGG) are always a Smoky Mountain special event! The games retur[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe. Homemade tamales are always a Smoky Mountain special event! Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are on the edge [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Cinco de Mayo Events
Smoky Mountain Cinco de Mayo Events...
Smoky Mountain Cinco de Mayo Events. Cinco de Mayo (which actually means May 5 in Spanish) is always a Smoky Mountain special event and is proba[Read More >>]
Dollywood Welcomes Wildwood Grove Guests
Dollywood Welcomes Wildwood Grove Guests...
Dollywood Welcomes Wildwood Grove Guests beginning May 2019. This is sure to be a great year for America's favorite theme park. The Wildwood Gro[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Ramp Pesto Recipe
Smoky Mountain Ramp Pesto Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Ramp Pesto Recipe. Ramps, allium tricoccum, have been a Smoky Mountain secret delicacy for generations. This delicious bulb and i[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced...
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced. Every year in late May or early June, thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont [Read More >>]