Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Ramsay Cascades

This 7.3-mile out-and-back has all the highlights you expect from a Smokies outing: trailside streams, old-growth timber stands, and a raging waterfall.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
This 7.3-mile out-and-back has all the highlights you expect from a Smokies outing: trailside streams, old-growth timber stands, and a raging waterfall.

-Mapped by Tim Johnson

PLAN IT

MAP
>> Trails llustrated Clingmans Dome/Cataloochee/Great Smoky Mountains NP ($10, natgeomaps.com)
>> View a map of the park at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website.
>> Order the USGS topo quads listed above at store.usgs.gov.
>> Order a custom map of this route by selecting the "Print MyTopo" option.

GUIDEBOOK: Hiking Trails of the Smokies ($21, smokiesstore.org) details all 150 maintained trails within the park.

PERMITS: Required when camping at a backcountry campsite or shelter (free, reserve up to one month before your trip and pick up in person). Backcountry reservation office: (865) 436-1231, nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/backcountry-camping.htm

CONDITIONS: Check weather at Gatlinburg, TN (37738) Weather

SEASON: The park is open year-round, and our trail scouts have hiked this route in every season. Check for road, trail, and camping closures at nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm. Curious about fall foliage? Check nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fallcolor.htm.

PARK INFO: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, (865) 436-1200; nps.gov/grsm

SMOKIES TRIP PLANNER: nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/trip-planner.htm

OTHER RESOURCES

GAS
Shell Super Mart
376 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 430-2161

Texaco
799 Tsali Blvd.
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-4539

GEAR
Nantahala Outdoor Center
13077 Highway 19 W
Bryson City, NC 28713
(888) 905-7238
noc.com

Blackrock Outdoor Co.
570 West Main St.
Sylva, NC
(828) 631-4453

Mast General Store
63 N. Main St.
Waynesville, NC 28786
(828) 452-2101
mastgeneralstore.com

Smoky Mountain Outfitters
469 Brookside Village Way
Gatlinburg, TN
(865) 430-2267

GROCERIES
Food City
1219 East Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 430-3116

Bearland General Store
305 Historic Nature Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
(865) 436-4565

Bradley's Grocery‎
1699 Paint Town Rd.
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-9132

RESTAURANTS
Smoky Mountain Brewery
1004 Parkway # 501
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
coppercellar.com/Restaurant-SmokyMountainBrewery.html

Best Italian Cafe & Pizzeria
968 Parkway # 9
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 430-4090 ‎
bestitalian.com

Granny's Kitchen
1098 Paint Town Rd.
Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-5010

Peter's Pancakes and Waffles
1384 Tsali Blvd.
Cherokee, NC
(828) 497-5116

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 11.8

Waypoints

RMC001

Location: 35.702875, -83.357649

Cross the roaring Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River on sturdy footbridge; head upstream past crested dwarf iris (spring) or goldenrods (late summer and fall)

RMC002

Location: 35.704443, -83.346448

Trail rises slightly above the creek along hillsides littered with boulders

RMC003

Location: 35.702997, -83.333874

Come to old roadbed; trail tunnels through rhododendron and mountain laurel, following Ramsay Prong

RMC004

Location: 35.706883, -83.325183

Cross footbridge over boulder-strewn creekbed; Greenbriar Pinnacle rises above to the N

RMC005

Location: 35.708643, -83.321428

Partridge berry lines the ground beneath black cherry trees and Canadian hemlocks

RMC006

Location: 35.70866, -83.320084

Two giant poplars stand guard before massive 7-ft.-diameter poplar, one of the park's largest trees. These old-growth specimens were saved when the park service acquired the property from Champion Fiber Co.

RMC007

Location: 35.709148, -83.314519

Cross Ramsay Prong

RMC008

Location: 35.709721, -83.309883

Bell-like white flowers hang from silverbell trees

RMC009

Location: 35.708389, -83.300308

Ramsay Cascades tumbles 90 ft. over terraced rocks from the slopes of Mt. Guyot (6,621 ft.). Scramble around pools before retracing route to trailhead

Ramsay Prong of the Little Pigeon River

Location: 35.702945, -83.333509

©Tim Johnson