SummaryTrail GuideTopo MapReviewsPhotosGPS
Ramsay Cascades Professional Review and Guide
"Ramsey Cascades Trail provides an exceptional Smokies experience and is a good choice if you have only one day to hike in the park. The hike features abundant spring wildflowers, scenic old-growth forests, and the ever-present cascading streams. Ramsey Cascades is among the highest of the park’s major waterfalls, and for some, the prettiest. Most literature lists the falls at 90 feet, but 60 feet is probably more accurate. It is tempting to climb the ledges that make up Ramsey Cascades; however, it is very dangerous to do so. A sign at the falls lists the number of people killed here."
--Kevin Adams, Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Falcon Guides).
real nice trail lot of uneven ground there's spots that stairs where built to help ya along. the river provided beautiful pictures when you finally reach the falls witch seems like forever its well worth the hike. along the trail you see an old tree that seems to pre date Columbus then there are 2 tulip trees (not sure if that's what their called or not) they are huge. I loved the hike.
I agree with the previous review, this is certainly not a moderate hike compared to other trails in the Smokies. In the end its very much worth the effort. I recommend the trail on days that allow you to take advantage of the cascades. The water may be chilly, but you’ll love to hate it after the battle to get there. The mountain streams/swimming holes provide awesome cool off spots as breaks in the hike. The trail tries to break you as you get into the last half mile, but soldier on for a great reward. I believe I was getting a tad bit delirious toward the very end, but keep going. Right when you want to give up, you'll find the cascades around the bend. I was told this before I made the trip and it's very true. Read up on the hike beforehand so you know what to look out for along the trail. The old growth Tulip trees are amazing. I never knew deciduous trees could grow so large. We spent about 5.5 hours on the trail, this included a break in the stream ¾ of the way up, about 30-45 minutes at the cascades refreshing in the water fall, relaxing on the rocks at the base of the cascades in the sun and about 20-30 minutes cooling off in the deep mountain stream at the trailhead before heading home. Take a camera, as there are lots of great flora, fauna and scenery to be seen.
I Would not agree with moderate rating. As mentioned in the guide the last .3 miles is very difficult with hand over hand boulder climbing as well as the mentioned creek ford near the top. However, the falls are spectacular and the many opportunities for photographs on the way were also amazing.
Don't let the beginning 1 1/2 mils fool you. This is a strenuous hike both in and out. Typically on the way down, I just lengthen my stride and get down quickly. But, on this hike there is little opportunty for a full stride on any step, as you are constantly going over rocks or roots.
The trail is well maintained, with many very helpful rock staircases. The large tulip trees at 2.6 miles are very impressive.
Bring a camera, pack a lunch, and prepare to be awed by the timeless beauty of the Smokies.
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