Learn About Hiking to Ramsey Cascades in the Smoky Mountains

November 7, 2022
ramsey cascades waterfall in the Smoky Mountains

Visitors who come to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hope to enjoy all kinds of natural wonders. Of course, the most popular are waterfalls because of the roaring water rushing over the rocks and the triumph you feel after hiking there! If you’re ready for a challenge, then you’ll want to hike to Ramsey Cascades, and we want to share some important information about hiking to this incredible waterfall in the Smoky Mountains.


The trailhead to the hiking trail is located in Greenbrier. To get to the trailhead, take Highway 321 east for 6 miles. Turn at the Greenbrier entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Continue to follow the clearly marked signs for 4.7 miles to the trailhead. Parking is available on the sides of the road.

Exploring the Trail

ramsey cascades in the smoky mountainsGreenbrier is known for its beautiful wildflowers in the spring and summer, but Ramsey Cascades is another wonder you’ll want to behold. The roundtrip length is 8 miles, and the trail is considered strenuous. It’s better suited for experienced hikers since the trail gains over 2,000 feet in elevation over 4 miles.

As you make your way up the mountainside, you’ll hike along rushing rivers and peaceful streams. The old forest growth comes together overhead to create a beautiful canopy where you may spot small wildlife, like squirrels, birds, and other mammals. If you stop along the water, you may find fish, salamanders, crawdads, turtles, or frogs.

Along the last 2 miles of the trail, you’ll pass through a hardwood forest full of tulip trees, basswoods, silver bells, and yellow birches. This makes an incredible sight to see during the fall with the brilliant colors.

Once you come up on the cascades, you’ll see why so many people make the difficult trek. Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in the park at 100 feet tall. It is made up of several tiers, also making it one of the most beautiful waterfalls to behold in the Smokies. The water that rushes down the rock layers comes together in a pool of water at the bottom, and this is an ideal place to find salamanders.

Tips for Hiking This Trail

ramsey cascades waterfall in the smoky mountainsSince hiking to Ramsey Cascades is considered difficult, we have some tips we want to share with you.

  • Pack plenty of water and snacks. Since this trail is considered strenuous, you want to be prepared to take care of your body on the way up and down.
  • Take a break if you need to. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time to make sure you take care of yourself, especially since you’re in the woods of a national park.
  • Be mindful of bears. Ramsey Cascades is a trail that’s known for bear activity. Please be aware of what to do if you see a bear, how far away you should be, and other safety tips.
  • Wear sturdy hiking shoes. You want to be sure you’re wearing the appropriate gear to go on such a difficult hike. Be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes that support the ankles.

Now you know more about hiking to Ramsey Cascades. We know you can’t wait to get out and explore in the Smoky Mountains, but you still need a place to stay for your next trip! Look through our Pigeon Forge hotel rooms, and book one for your vacation now!