Ramsey cascades
May 14, 2024

The National Park Service (NPS) wants to make sure that every visitor to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has both a fun and safe experience. While they will never alter the natural beauty, minor improvements may be made to the area in order to achieve this goal. One of the next projects is for the Ramsey Cascades Trail! We’re here to share everything you need to know about the improvements coming to Ramsey Cascades Trail in 2024!

Proposed Improvements

The full-scale rehabilitation of the Ramsey Cascades Trail started in 2022, and it aims to make the popular trail safer. NPS crews will build staircases, turnpikes, and retaining walls as well as remove exposed roots and rocks. They will also improve the drainage system to prevent flooding and protect the natural resources. In order to successfully make all of these improvements, the trail will be closed to park visitors Monday through Thursday of each week until late fall. Hikers should look forward to an even better hiking experience!

About Ramsey Cascades Trail

Ramsey cascades trail

The Ramsey Cascades Trail Is ideal for experienced hikers, as it has a round-trip distance of 8 miles. The route consists of rivers and streams, along with an old-growth cove of beautiful trees. The crown jewel is Ramsey Cascades itself, the tallest waterfall in the park. Hikers can watch as water drops from a height of 100 feet. When it gets to the bottom, look closely in the pool to see if you can spot camouflaged salamanders. The combination of rocks and water makes this area an ideal habitat for these small creatures. When you are near the waterfall, do not attempt to climb the rocks, and use caution on slippery terrain. Additionally, wear proper shoes, drink lots of water, and plan to be finished with your hike before it gets dark. It is also wise to hike with a group. You’ll have help finding the way around, and you’ll enjoy the natural beauty with your loved ones.

Other Trails to Check Out

While the Ramsey Cascades Trail is closed for improvements, visitors can enjoy the other waterfalls in the park. One of them is Abrams Falls, a waterfall located in Cades Cove. The hike is 5 miles round-trip and considered moderate in difficulty. The waterfall itself is 20 feet high. It is named after a Cherokee chief who once had a village nearby. In addition to the tall trees and other natural scenery on the trail, you may also have the opportunity to see a river otter. They are one of the rare animals in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Another waterfall trail you should check out is Rainbow Falls. It is strenuous and has a length of 5.4 miles roundtrip. The 80-foot-tall waterfall is the tallest single-drop waterfall in the Smokies. It is named for the rainbow created by the mist and the afternoon sun. Whatever trail you choose will be a great hike!

We hope you enjoyed learning about the work on the Ramsey Cascades Trail! You’ll be happy to know that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is working on improvements for other areas of the park! Check out the improvements coming to Laurel Falls in 2024!