After eight months of closure, the popular Ramsey Cascades Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park reopened last week. The trail has been closed since August 2016 because a log foot bridge over a stream was damaged by a fallen tree. The bridge spans a section of Ramsey Prong where the water is too deep and swift to allow hikers to safely rock-hop across the stream.
Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in the park, dropping 100 feet over rock outcroppings. Prion to reopening the near vertical drop had claimed the lives of four visitors. Last Sunday a man died when he fell approximately 80 feet from the top of the Ramsey Cascades waterfall while hiking alone.
The 37-year-old man was seen climbing across the top of the waterfall before he fell. NPS officials immediately responded to the scene and declared the man dead. The victim's body was recovered Monday.