Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,190.00 ft (667.51 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
7.80 mi (12.55 km)
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At over 100 feet tall, Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall accessible by trail in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It pours over several rock outcroppings before collecting in a small pool. It requires a long and strenuous hike with few features aside from two creeks that the trail crosses several times over footbridges. The leaves of the large tulip trees, basswoods, silverbells, and yellow birch trees all change to every shade of orange and red, giving the entire landscape a warm glow. 

There is substantial parking at the trailhead. The trail immediately crosses the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River via a footbridge of modern construction. Progressively climb uphill as the trail meanders near and far to the river before meeting the confluence of the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River and the Ramsey Prong. The trail then climbs gradually as it crosses the Ramsey Prong several times before reaching Ramsey Cascade. The last third of a mile of the trail is steep, rocky, and windy, as the flora of the forest seems to come closer and closer to the now narrow trail. Taking a little dip in the pool below Ramsey Cascade is strongly encouraged.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Solitude. Second-growth forest. Swimming holes.

Cons

Long and strenuous.

Trailhead Elevation

2,108.00 ft (642.52 m)

Highest point

4,269.00 ft (1,301.19 m)

Features

Waterfalls
Fishing

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Comments

09/18/2018
Photos from a 2018 summer hike to Ramseys.
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