Ramsay Cascades Trail is a 7.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November.
This is a great hike with lots of good scenery. The trail is an out-and-back type trail with the route to Ramsey Cascades all up hill. Thankfully it's a gradual climb that only gets remotely steep the last mile or so approaching the Cascades. The first 1.5 miles follow an abandoned logging route. The trail then becomes a typical Smoky Mountain hiking trail that is only wide enough for one person. At 2.6 miles you will come to some of the largest trees I have ever seen in person. The largest is approximately a 7 ft diameter tulip tree. As mentioned before, the last mile or so becomes more steep and is also very rocky. Caution should be taken especially on the way back down. Once reaching the Cascades, you will want to cross over the shallow pool at the bottom to reach a rock ledge on the other side to get in position for some good pictures of the Cascades.
The trail was long and sweat provoking, but absolutely worth it all. If I do it again, I'll definitely pack a lunch, bring a blanket, and hang out on the rock for a while. I'd probably even lay out and get some sun if it the sun was poking through just right.
Many times, always great!
Trail still closed as of October 12, 2016.
Trail is temporarily closed again- Sign didn't specify when it is reopening. Bummer!
This trail makes my top 5 favorite list. The entire hike was so gorgeous. It was a difficult trail, at times, but that's another reason I loved it! Always looking for a good challenging hiking trail. Strongly recommend giving this one a try.
August 24, 2016: TRAIL TEMPORARILY CLOSED
We did not know until we drove there and saw the sign that the trail was closed. I was very disappointed. A park ranger just happened to be on the road and told us a tree fell on one of the foot bridges about 3 weeks prior. My husband hiked it 18 years ago and loved it! It was to be our grand finale before heading back home. Hopefully I'll hike it one day...
Great hike bridge out throw the creek made it their and back 6 hr.
2hr 50min. To the top with bridge out two thunderstorms
*Facilities can be found at the Greenbrier picnic grounds, just before you turn left to continue on to the trail head*
I would rate this trail as moderately strenuous, as have others. There are plenty of places to stop, take a seat on a boulder, rest your legs and catch your breath, as you trek upward to the cascades. At the end, you will have to rock/boulder hop your way to the very end of the trail that takes you up to the cascades. There will be a sign that states caution, and to keep children close, and you'll know that you are almost there. We've not had much rain, this summer, so although some of the larger creeks are plentiful, and the cascades did not disappoint with the amount of water, there are many parts that are either very low, or no water at all.
If you have ankle or knee issues, take care when navigating up the trail that is mostly rocks and/or tree roots in most places. Plenty of steep step up's and down's to challenge you, and if it has rained recently, some areas can be very slick/slippery.
This hike is very rewarding at the end. And like a reviewer stated previously, there are many spots to park, but they fill up quickly, so getting an early start to your day would be very beneficial. Not to mention that there will less folks to have to share seating with, when you reach the end.
This is a moderately strenuous hike up to a beautiful waterfall. I went with my 15 and 17 year old daughters who have some hiking experience but have never done this much elevation gain. It took us a full 3 hours to get to the top then we enjoyed a picnic at the falls and 2.5 hours to get back down. We went after there had been a significant amount of rain so the trail was wet in many places and the crossings were high but passable. The terrain was various and the environment changed from typical woods to almost rain forest appearance then large old hardwood forest and then large rocks much cooler climate.
1. To get to trailhead - when you get to Ramsey Prong, turn left over the bridge and go another 1.5 miles to a parking area at trailhead. We passed several people who didn't realize they could drive on that road and added an extra 3 miles to their hike.
2. There is room for about 15 cars. Go early to get a place to park and enjoy a more peaceful trail
3. Bring plenty of water (of course) and an extra layer/ poncho if you plan to picnic. It is very chilly by the falls.
Long uphill hike to the cascades, but worth the trip.
Great hike all around. Defiantly not an easy hike but the falls are well worth it. Ran into a bear on a trail, so it's a good idea to bring some bear spray. Took me about 6 hours round trip.
Awesome trail, very difficult, the last 1/2 mile our so before the falls was brutal. I loved every minute. Our 7 year old hiked it with no problem, he's kind of a badass. 2 days later and he's just fine, my calves are still sore.
This is not an easy trail. I would suggest good hiking shoes and a walking stick. I'm in pretty good shape and hike frequently and this was a challenge for me going up. My fiancé is in ridiculous cardiovascular shape and he didn't have as much trouble as I did but still broke a sweat. You are at a steady incline for 4 miles going to the falls with an occasional super climb. It's rocky and slick so I won't recommend this for new or rookie hikers. The last 1/2 mile is HARD, rocky, slippery, and steep. Once you reach the falls it's breathtaking. Worth the struggle to see this creation. Coming down isn't bad. All downhill, just watch your step. We started at 4 in the afternoon and were done by 9ish. Did get caught in the dark but thankfully has a flashlight and reached the easier half by nightfall.
Difficult last 1/3 mile before the falls, but totally worth it! Beautiful!
Had cell phone service at the top
Good place to face time a friend
It was a very good hike close to the big waterfall it got extremely up hill and rocky. It was hard but a perfect backpacking practice trail!