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alum cave bluff or ramsey cascades trail?

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alum cave bluff or ramsey cascades trail?

We will have our 9 year old daughter and her 10 year cousin with us and we are wondering which hike they would most likely be able to do, i really like the looks of the ramsey cascades hike but i dont know about them

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1. Re: alum cave bluff or ramsey cascades trail?

Havn't done those yet...but my 9 year old LOVED the Grotto Fall's hike off Roaring Fork trail.It was easy,and the waterfall was sooo cool,you can walk behind the falls for some great pictures.It took us about three hours,going at a lil ones pace.

Wish I was in...
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2. Re: alum cave bluff or ramsey cascades trail?

Both of these are great hikes, but Ramsey Cascades is almost twice the distance of Alum Cave Trail to the bluffs.

Ramsey Cascades is 4 miles one way, with approx. 2200ft elevation gain.

Alum Cave Trail is 2.3 miles one way with approx. 1200ft elevation gain.

Here's some pros and cons of each trail...

Alum Cave Pros:

Beutiful views along the trail.

Arch Rock - the trail runs directly through a rock, it's sort of like a cave.

Eye of the Needle is another unique landmark that can be seen from this trail. It is a hole on top of a peak that you can see straight through.

Alum Cave Bluffs is very different from any other area in the Smokies. It is almost like a small desert in the middle of the forest.

Alum Cave Cons:

This trail can be very crowded, especially on weekends.

A few steep drop offs to watch out for with the kids.

During winter, you will need to watch out for icicles falling from the bluffs.

There may also be ice along the trail.

The bluffs are VERY dusty, you will get a little dirty even if you don't mean to.

Ramsey Cascades Trail Pros:

Beautiful trail that goes deep into the Smokies along a stream.

Not as much foot traffic as some of the other trails in the Smokies.

Very large trees along the trail.

Several beautiful stream crossings by foot bridges.

The cascades are breathtaking.

There is plenty of room near the cascades to sit and have a picnic lunch. Just watch out for the squirrels, they will try to steal your food! :)

Ramsey Cascades Trail Cons:

Very long trail for younger children.

A constant incline almost all the way to the cascades.

Some boulders to climb over near the end of the trail.

No mountain views, just forest.

Some of the foot bridge crossings are fairly high for young kids.

Cullowhee, North...
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3. Re: alum cave bluff or ramsey cascades trail?


Great post. You summed it nicely. Which hike will they most likely do? As a parent of 2 kids and having grown up hiking, I can tell you they likely can do both. Kids learn from mom and dad and the more adventerous mom and dad are, the more the kids will be too.

This summer my wife and I took our too able body kids on a 3 day backpacking trip. My 6 year old hiked to Mt.LeConte via Alum Cave. When my daughter was 5 she hiked to Charlies Bunion and Abrams Falls. If you guys get out there and lead the way, they will follow.

If you come and the rains are still going stron, Ramsey Cascades is my vote if you can only do one hike. The creeks are filling up nicely.

My advice is try to do both and you will create memories and perhaps start a passion for being outside.

Have a good hike.

4. Re: alum cave bluff or ramsey cascades trail?

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