Trail Run Project Logo

blueBlack Ramsey Cascades Trail

  4.7 ( 45 ) Favorite

Trail

8.0 mile 12.8 kilometer loop
75% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,209' 673 m
Descent: -2,208' -673 m
High: 4,288' 1,307 m
Low: 2,079' 634 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)

Dogs

No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Tony Gayda

A sweet out and back run with old-growth forest, cascading streams, and a beautiful waterfall.

Tony Gayda

Features River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overview

This trail runs along side cascading streams and becomes progressively more difficult as it goes. The reward for your efforts is a fabulous waterfall at the end (turn around).

Need to Know

The drive to the trailhead is a long gravel road that narrows to one car width at several points. There are a couple vehicle bridge crossing as well that are only a single car width. It is not a difficult drive, but one that requires you to stay aware of drivers coming from the opposite direction.

Runner Notes

The first 1.5 miles of the trail from the parking area would be fine for running as the incline is moderate and the trail is wide. As you progress further in on the trail, it will narrow, can be muddy or even flowing with shallow water. There are also some steeper sections as well as plenty of roots, small rocks, rock steps, a foot log, stream crossings, and finally a minor rock scramble to the base of the falls.

Description

The trailhead will be at the east end of the parking area. The trail begins as an extension of the gravel road from the parking area and quickly crosses over the Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River via a foot bridge. The first 1.5 miles is easy as the trail follows an old jeep road.

At about 2.1 miles, there is a side stream that crosses the trail and then beyond that a typical GSMNP foot log used to cross over the Ramsey Prong. The trail crosses Ramsey Prong again around 2.9 miles.

As you get close to the end of the trail and the waterfall, the trail becomes more rugged as you scramble over rocks and roots and also encounter a small rock staircase. You'll need to rock hop one more stream and then scramble up some large boulders to get to the base of the waterfall. Be very careful on the large boulders at the base of the waterfall as they can be very slippery. You may also want to bring a rain coat or poncho as the waterfall can produce a lot of mist if there is enough flow from recent rains.

Flora & Fauna

In the springtime you may be able to spot yellow trillium, wild geranium, showy orchis, and creeping phlox. There are also sections that contain dense forest with rhododendron, moss, and ferns.

History & Background

The Ramsey Cascades Trail is named after the Ramsey family that once lived in the area. The trail name was once spelled Ramsay, but has been more recently updated to Ramsey to properly reflect the spelling of the family name.

Run this trail?

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.

Contacts

Rate This Featured Run

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In

Check-Ins

Jul 28, 2018
Stacia W
Mar 3, 2018
Kye Strance
8mi

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 45 votes

#1

in Greenbrier

#116

Overall
  4.7 from 45 votes
5 Star
69%
4 Star
31%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Run Rankings

#1

in Greenbrier

#116

Overall
141 Views Last Month
4,220 Since Sep 4, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
11%
64%
18%
7%

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running