Ramsay Cascades Trail

HARD 277 reviews

Ramsay Cascades Trail is a 8.1 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 best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
8.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2224 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

old growth

rocky

closed

no dogs

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. 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. 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.

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike following the creek most of the way. First mile and a half is pretty easy and takes you to a nice overlook of the water. The next 1+ mile gets a bit more rugged and elevation begins to increase. Several nice foot bridge crossings. The remainder of the trail will test you. A pretty steep climb and one slightly depressing section that seems to lead you away from the sound of rushing water. But the struggle is so worth it. Enjoy!

12 days ago

As a novice hiker, I chose this as my first hike. I am 40 yrs old and in slightly less than decent shape. with that being said, this hike is doable for those who are motivated. the first 2 miles go by fairly easy. the 3rd mile is a bit more challenging, and the 4th mile is grinding. but, as in many cases, the effort is worth the reward as the cascades are absolutely beautiful. please keep a close hand on the little ones once you reach the cascades, especially in wet or cold weather as rocks become slippery. otherwise, enjoy the fruits of your labor!

12 days ago

this is a difficult but doable hike for those in decent shape. the hike becomes more challenging as you progress. starts off easy for the first couple miles, moderate for the 3rd mile, then it gets more difficult. pace yourself and the effort is worth the reward. absolutely beautiful! I highly recommend starting this hike as early as possible on warmer days. you won't be disappointed if you reach the cascade. enjoy the fruits of your labor!

15 days ago

The waterfall at the end is worth seeing, so I’m glad I did the hike, but I often found myself a bit bored. Most of the trail doesn’t have much to see besides a little bit of the river. The last mile or so is also brutal, with endless climbing over rocks. Still, not a bad trail at least once.

hiking
20 days ago

This trail was a bit difficult, after you pass the gravel part. Glad I did it but I wouldn't do it again. Didn't have any views on the trai.

23 days ago

beautiful hike and the falls are amazing,did the whole thing in 5 hrs including the chill time at the falls

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was recommended to us by a staff member in the visitor center. He said it is his favorite hike in the whole park, and we could see why! Gorgeous scenery along the way, including wildflowers, the river, and old trees that are huge. And the view of Ramsey Cascades at the top of the hike is incredible! Well worth the strenuous trip up. However, be warned--LOTS of rocks and roots the entire hike once you get off the old logging road. So it's a workout on the way up, but you have to be especially careful on the way down. There are a lot of opportunities to trip or twist an ankle. We started the hike at 3pm and saw about 10 people on our way up, but on the way down we didn't see anyone.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, nice virgin timber, nice way to spend the day, but please stay off the falls!!

hiking
1 month ago

Spring budding and plenty of water at the falls made this hike exceptional

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with awesome views along the way! Hiked this with my wife two days ago and it took us about 4.5 hours. We are novice hikers in fair shape and found it moderately difficult. There were snow flurries during our which made the trail a little slick but was manageable. Pretty steep, steady incline throughout, mainly during the last half, but well worth the effort when you get to the end and see the Falls.

2 months ago

Did the hike yesterday and it took 4 hours round trip. I myself am a well experienced hiker still took me that long going at a steady pace. Starts out flat then after you cross the bridge it slowly builds up and you go up for a while then go down then up and down, then you’ll get to a section where you cross a bridge over the stream you’ve been following and then there it gets Very steep up the entire way til the falls but let me tell you it’s WELL worth it! The day I went it had rained then snowed the day before so conditions were VERY VERY icy and snowy so if you go in the winter or in snow I recommend crampons on the higher elevations. But snow or not totally worth it! So overall it’s up and down than up the rest of the way great day hike!

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great hike to do in March. It was snowing which made for a gray view. If you are moving you stay warm. We stopped for 1. Eat and 2. Pictures of the waterfall. After stop 1 we cooled off significantly and after stop 2 we were cold the rest of the way down (gloves got wet). Still 5/5 hike just be prepared to be cold if you get wet.

hiking
2 months ago

we did this hike 3/11/2018 and it was a blast. pretty strenuous trail with lots of side areas to rock climb and look over the river. Overall my Garmin watch clocked us in at 11.5 miles for the whole trip (we did a lot side rock climbing/exploring), and took 5 hours The trail starts out mellow as expected and slowly gets steeper and more difficult. The last mile is pretty much climbing stairs the whole time. good workout, scenic hike, and the falls are beautiful. Definitely recommend!

hiking
2 months ago

This hike was amazing the first two miles are fairly easy after that the fun begins. The last mile before the falls is steep with some rock scrambling it will give you a great workout. There are a few water crossing so if you don’t want wet feet wear some waterproof hiking shoes. The falls were great after all the rain we had the last few days.

2 months ago

We did this trail October 2017. It was absolutely breathtaking. We are beginners at hiking and had to stop a few times and rest. My husband used walking sticks (said he doesn’t think he could’ve done it without them). My 14 year old son and I were fine without using them. This is a strenuous hike but absolutely worth it. We took a picnic and ate it once we reached the top (so glad we took the advice of others on this as we were starving once we got up there and needed some fueling). We sat on the rocks for a while after eating our lunch on them and just took it all in!! We took plenty of water and used every bit of it (about 3-4 water bottles a piece). We started around 9:30 am and finished up around 6:30-7 pm! Would highly recommend this hike if you love waterfalls, just go prepared and pack snacks/lunch!

3 months ago

It was beautiful. Don't let the first Parr of the trail fool yuou, it does get a little more difficult as you make your way through. It's well worth the trip!!!

hiking
3 months ago

This was one of my favorite trials I’ve done and I’ve hiked all over the USA. My 60 yr old mother and I did this in the rain on an unusually 60 degree day in February, which made the river and falls both have fast and a lot of water. The first 1.5 miles is fairly easy as its pebbles but on an incline. The rest of the trail is rock and root heavy but worth it as you have the river roaring next to you the entire hike. The last 3/4 mile or so is all rocks uphill at a steep incline but the view at the end is worth it. We were both stripped down to T-shirt’s by the time we got to the top but it was much cooler by the falls. Please everybody do this hike. It took us roughly 5 hrs but we stopped and ate lunch and played in the falls and stopped frequent for photo opportunities as they are all over the hike.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is by no mean easy but it is extremely beautiful and worth the struggle! Lots of rocks and roots on the trail which runs right along side the water pretty much the entire trip. The app says 7.7 miles but signs and my smartwatch clocked it at 9. Definitely a hike for the memory book!

hiking
3 months ago

WORTH IT!! Completed the hike in 4 hours. That was with us going at a decent pace and having lunch at the falls. You will cross a bunch of river/streams on you trail, so pack extra socks if your shoes aren’t water resistant! It’s defiantly a difficult hike that gains elevation pretty quickly, but with a few stops here and there to catch our breath, we did just fine!

hiking
3 months ago

Holy Crap. This one starts out beautiful and then kills you after you start the climb up to the falls. It is definitely a "hard" for that section. Rock and Root climbing. Some very steep. Be prepared.

hiking
3 months ago

We did this hike the last week of August and only came across about 8-10 other people on the trail. It took us about 7 hours to complete with two people, but this was only our second hike. Definitely pack snacks and an abundance of water for breaks. We also saw two bears very early on in the trail. I went off trail to take a picture of a small waterfall and nearly didn't see them eating in the water next to a rock. We backed away slowly and continued on and it was very much worth it. It is a very beautiful hike and it is very rewarding when you get to the top.

hiking
4 months ago

Icy, but not as bad as Mt. Le Conte. Some-type of hiking crampons are helpful, but I think you can still finish the hike without them. Be careful of the falls themselves... super icy and its not at all sturdy. Great hike though.

4 months ago

This was the most beautiful hike I have ever been on! It snowed the entire way up, was anywhere from 10-20 degrees, and absolutely stunning. The falls are breath taking, especially surrounded my snow. It took us 5.5 hours to complete the entire hike, and we stopped several time to take pictures and eat a snack. If you take this hike during the winter, expect to slip and fall on frozen tree roots and rocks. It’s still totally worth slipping to see the falls! The first 2 miles are very mild: wide trail with gradual incline. The second half is a pretty steep incline, you have to jump rocks to cross the river several times, and the closer you get to the falls, you’re climbing nothing but rock. I would not recommend small children attempting this hike.

4 months ago

1/9/18 Last half a mile was a killer but it was soooo worth it. The Falls were almost totally frozen which made it easy to trek out for a great photo op under the Falls 

hiking
4 months ago

What a ice sculpture. 1/4/18 temp was 5 degrees windy and snowing. The cascades was completely frozen no water to be seen only heard. The trail itself seemed to be fading in the snow covered trail and I kept forging ahead and sure glad i did. The trail starts as a old fire road for the first 2 miles. Then comes a sign showing 2.5 miles to Ramsey and wow did the terrain change and the closer you got the falls it got more challenging. Well worth the burnt calories.

hiking
4 months ago

Very nice hike. Starts easy then is definitely a climb with a lot of roots, steps and rocks. Trail was easy to follow and well-maintained. I went early (8am) to have some solitude. On my way back I passed a fair number of people. Falls were running but also had some ice. Very pretty. Trails only had a little ice, nothing to worry about. Took me about 4 1/2 hours, hustling pretty good.

hiking
5 months ago

Oh, how I love this hike! The last 1.5 miles will let you know what you are made of-rock challenge with an amazing pay off of gorgeous Cascades!

hiking
6 months ago

Absolutely amazing, a storm passed by two nights ago so some new trees down and snow passed the second half. Not only are the Falls beautiful but the hike along the way gives some outrageous clear views of the creek.

6 months ago

Awesome trail. The hike was strenuous but well worth it. The snow made everything really pretty and the falls were bigger than we expected. Pictures can’t do it justice.

6 months ago

Very strenuous, roots ; rocks. But well worth it at the end. Beautiful waterfall.
Be careful coming down, especially if it's rained. My fit bit registered 11 miles. Happy hiking. 

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