While hiking over the weekend with a client and friend I was enchanted by the rich colors and delightful intelligent design (code for God) evident all around us. With the wildflowers ablaze in color in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the dogwoods everywhere in bloom Gatlinburg and the rest of Sevier County are currently awash with color. Even the rhododendrons are getting into the act with their large lavender flowers which are blooming early this year. I imagine this is due to our warmer than normal early spring that we have enjoyed so far.
The Ramsay Cascades Trail is one of my favorite Smoky Mountain National Park hikes as you drive along the rolling waters of the river for miles to get to the trailhead. Once the hike begins you continue along the whitewater as it flows down the mountain from the 90 foot tall waterfall at the top. An 8 mile hike roundtrip, it is generally pretty moderate with only a few more challenging portions where the trail is a little steeper. Most of the trail is quite wide and easy to navigate and it is generally very well maintained. Another plus to this particular trail is that there is rarely ever any traffic to speak of (automobile or hiker variety) so you can enjoy the time and the scenery with little interruption. The virgin forest is spectacular and the size of some of the trees as you get near the cascades is remarkable.
A couple of caveats do need to be mentioned however if you are considering making this hike for the first time. If you come when it hasn’t rained in a while the automotive portion of the trip will be very dusty so don’t wash your car before you come and don’t plan on walking along side the gravel roadway. There are lots of miles of trails that aren’t dusty at all so don’t waste your time hiking along side the dusty gravel road. My second admonition is to be sure and bring your camera. I failed to pack mine for the trip and have regretted it since. If I had taken my camera I would have shared photos with you but alas…
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