NPS to Implement Weekday Closures of Ramsey Cascades Trail Starting April 15

GATLINBURG, Tenn.—Starting April 15, the National Park Service (NPS) will close Ramsey Cascades Trail on weekdays while trail crews finish the full-scale rehabilitation work started in 2022. The rehabilitation of this iconic Smokies trail is part of the Trails Forever program supported by Friends of the Smokies.

The trail will be closed Monday through Thursday each week, except federal holidays. The weekday closures will be in place from April 15 to November 14. The only weekend closure planned is May 3 through May 5 while trail crews replace a footlog bridge.

Trail crews will repair tread surfaces, improve drainages, construct trail structures such as staircases, turnpikes, and retaining walls and remove trip hazards like exposed roots and rocks. The rehabilitation will improve overall trail safety and protect the park’s natural resources. Located in the Greenbrier area, the popular four-mile Ramsey Cascades Trail is the only way to access the 100-foot Ramsey Cascades, the tallest waterfall in the park.

Significant flooding and storm damage caused the NPS to close the trail completely for several months in 2022 and early 2023. Trail crews rerouted 200 feet of trail, built and installed a new footlog bridge and built four new trail structures damaged by the flood.

The Trails Forever program is a partnership established by the Friends of the Smokies and Great Smoky Mountains National Park to fund a permanent, highly skilled trail crew that rehabilitates high-use trails. In 2012, the Friends set up an endowment to support the program. To date, the Friends have contributed more than $2.6 million to rehabilitate Abrams Falls, Trillium Gap, Rainbow Falls, Alum Cave, Chimney Tops and Forney Ridge trails.