Hike to the Ramsey Cascades

Tennessee Ramsey Cascades Trailhead

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Hike to one of the tallest waterfalls in the park (100 ft) on a challenging trail through old-growth forest.

This multi-tiered waterfall is known as the tallest in the park – a worthwhile reward for the steep and sometimes tricky terrain you'll face on the way up.

The popular route to the falls also passes through an impressive old-growth forest, which apparently boasts some of the tallest trees in the park. You will also see smaller waterfalls and pools along the way.

Keep in mind that about 2 miles into the hike, you will need to pass over a fairly long, narrow footbridge. Also please remember that climbing is prohibited on the rocks around the falls.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Sun protection
  • Bear spray
  • Snacks
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Activities:

Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2190 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

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How to Get There

about 2 months ago

Go Chasing Waterfalls

Getting to the trailhead can be tricky for anyone with a sports car, as the road that leads through the park is gravel and bumpy at points. Be prepared for single car width portions of the road. The hike begins with a gradual incline which may fool some into believing that this is an easy hike, psyche!The last half mile is killer, be prepared for a lot of stone steps. This is definitely a hike where you want to wear high ankles boots. I recommend bringing aqua socks, because at the top you can walk right up to the falls, since it plateaus directly underneath. The hike totaled 8.2 miles on my Fitbit Surge. The difficulty of the hike is only surpassed by the reward of the falls.

about 2 months ago

7 months ago

Difficult But Worth It!

This hike was absolutely amazing I would do it again tomorrow if I could. If your looking for a challenge with a great reward this is the hike for you. There was a sign that said it was closed but we drove 1hr30min to get there so we just went for it. One of the foot bridges was out so we hopped rocks across that part. The last 2 miles are the most difficult. We practically ran the whole way down. We got there at 10 and ended at 230. We spent about 45 min at the top and stopped 3 or 4 times along the way. Bring lunch and beer for the top!

7 months ago

11 months ago

This. Trail. Is. Difficult.

This trail is EXHAUSTING! It feels much longer than 8 miles. It is an out and back trail with absolutely beautiful views and the sound of the creek almost the entire way to the falls. HOWEVER, this trail is up hill the entire way to the falls. No flat land and many, MANY rocks. You will need good hiking boots and I'd recommend a walking stick. We started the trail at 4 in the afternoon and ended up hiking in the dark, not returning to our vehicle until 9. Once you get to the top, it is breathtaking. These are the largest falls in the smokies at 20 feet high. I would not recommend swimming since its very slick and rock and basically if you slip and fall you will die. This was the hardest trail I have done this far but it was the best reward at the end. Coming back isn't as bad as going up since its all down hill. Just watch your step.

11 months ago

about 1 year ago

Exhausting, but exhilarating!

This was a challenging but exciting hike. Might be good to mention the thin bridges for anyone nervous about heights. Excellent view at the top. I was so tired, I was ready to give up, but was SO GLAD I didn't. Would hike again.

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Difficult but worth it

Not the easiest trail but it is very scenic and the waterfall is definitely worth it

over 1 year ago

Added by Joshua Contois

Park Ranger currently working for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Restless by nature, Josh has traveled across the American west in search of new adventures. When not out exploring new trails or sleeping under the stars, you can find him in your local brewery.

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