View Full Version : How far to the Gorge

06-04-2010, 10:39 AM
Thinking about fishing the Gorge at Ramsey Cascades this summer on my next trip to the smokies with my brother. Spent some time reading all the older Forum reports and had just a few additional question I was hoping someone could help.

Once you hit the Cascades parking lot and enter the Ramsey Cascades Trail Head how far is it in miles to the so called Gorge "Entrance".

My understanding is that the Cascades waterfalls are around 4 mile, but not sure how many miles to the Gorge entrance.

I have read that many people will enter after the "First Bridge" or somewhere near what I have heard called the "First Turn Around".

Any help is appreciated :rolleyes:

Rog 1
06-04-2010, 11:26 AM
Once you hit the first turnaround you are out of the Gorge as I know it...used to be you could drive all the was up to that turnaround...the river forks at this point....once you leave the parking lot the trail will follow the stream for a short ways...when it leaves the trail it goes into a land of big rocks and steep banks....the water is beautiful but it is not an area for the faint of heart...if you get in there you either keep going, go back or become a billy goat...not likely that you will meet up with anyone else in there

06-04-2010, 11:26 AM
You can walk up the trail a few hundred yards maybe a 1/4 mile from the bridge at the parking lot and the from there up access gets harder...But if you have all day hop in right at the bridge by the parking lot, the river fishes great right there, and there are some really nice deep holes around the bridge. Always be aware of rain, especially higher up the mountain when you fish that gorge... No where for the water to go but UP, and it can go up quickly!

06-04-2010, 12:06 PM
I have fished it 3 times this year, and it is extremely rough. Some places you have to throw your rod on top of a rock then wedge between two rocks and shimmy up, and all kinds of crazy stuff. Once you get in there, it is easiest to go all the way to where Ramsey Prong comes in or walk back down the creek unless you are stupid like me and the guy I went with and just bushwack to the trail.

06-04-2010, 01:28 PM
...not likely that you will meet up with anyone else in there

Rog, not sure how long its been since you've fished up there, but it has become a very popular spot to fish for specks. From my recent experiences, you might not see anyone on the creek, but the chances of fishing behind someone that you never see are very high.

It is 1.5 miles from the parking area to where the Ramsay Prong enters the Middle Prong, which is the easiest place to access the stream (This is where the old Jeep Trail turns up the mountain to access the old Greenbriar Lookout tower). A half mile upstream, a log bridge crosses the ramsay prong, which is another access point, and probably where someone is going to get in front of you. The next crossing is just under 3/4 of a mile up the trail.

Good luck and be safe.

Rog 1
06-04-2010, 04:38 PM
Grannyknot...what I meant was that not too many people purposely fish into the Gorge itself....once you get to the last little wooden bridge before the forks of the river access is more easy and the liklihood of meeting or being behind someone is greater...that climb up to the old turnaround is still enough to discourage a lot of recreational fishermen...when I was a lot younger a friend and I jumped off the trail and bushwacked down into the Gorge as we were tired of having to walk up to the turnaround...we fished down there for less than an hour before my buddy said he had had enough and somehow we managed to get back to the trail....there are a lot easier places to find brookies.

06-04-2010, 04:41 PM
Be sure and pay attention to the weather. Rain up high will surely raise the water down low, last summer I watched the water go from normal to banging the tree leaves in no less than ten minutes! The water was even splashing above the bridge railings when we came out. Other than that be ready for big rocks and have fun.

06-04-2010, 08:47 PM
Oh boy, my old hunting grounds. I've run in to Bears, snakes and even cracked a rib on that section. Take everyone's advice for real. It is no picnic in the park, I was younger and more ignorant of danger back then. I have done that gorge at least a dozen times. Half of em' solo. I wouldn't even attempt it anymore. It's just too dangerous. I really recommend you do it with a friend. I got hurt on it one late afternoon in September and had to crawl out of there. If anyone who reads this has ever seen the rhodo **** trying to get out of there, you know what I mean then. I consider the trip to be a minimum of 6 hours from the bridge to the turnaround. The distance is not relevant, it's the terrain that will get you. If you begin at the bridge you can escape just a few hundred yards upstream if you think it will be too much. Once you are past that spot, it is pretty much an only option to press on to the turnaround. Don't get me wrong, you can abort and climb the hill up from the stream, the only problem is you will be crawling on all four and snakes, rhodo and other misc, nuisances will get in the way. Not to mention the unbearable heat that will begin to attack you. Don't ask why I know so much detail about this area. Like I said, I was young and stupid

Good Luck,

Rog 1
06-04-2010, 08:54 PM
Hans....I can remember reading some of your posts about this area....I know you speak the truth about this area and your experience is much more recent than mine...I was still in college the first time I went over the edge and into that gorge...as young and invincible as I thought I was at that time that place put me in my place real fast.

06-04-2010, 09:02 PM

Yes, it doesn't seem that long ago but it must be about 7 or 8 years now. I don't know what is wrong with me but in the last year or so I am a lot more careful while fishing. I just don't do the things I used to do. Another thing is I can't. It's funny how time will take care of it for you.

06-05-2010, 09:42 AM
Thanks everyone for all the great information. Cannt wait for me and my brother to do this trip. Will be sure to post some pictures when we get back.


I am 47 and my brother is 44. A country boy can survive, How big a boy are you.

06-05-2010, 04:29 PM
Some serious Class 5 in there and the last time my buddy was in there he lost a paddle (red) and the force of the water was so intense it sucked his shoes off him! All his co-paddlers were making fun of him having to hike out with no shoes:smile:. Next to Raven's & Road Prong this is probably some of the most serious whitewater in the park, so while I have not fished this section, I would take caution as others suggested, but don't forget to completely take in and enjoy your surroundings when your there. And if you find the paddle, I'm sure he'd trade it for a 12 pack and a good story:smile:

06-08-2010, 11:21 PM
I keep finding that when I follow my brother, disaster hits. I about got washed away during the flood that swamped Nashville. What is it about my idoit older brother that lures me in? He is a much better fisher of my stupidity than of fish.

06-08-2010, 11:33 PM
I keep finding that when I follow my brother, disaster hits. I about got washed away during the flood that swamped Nashville. What is it about my idoit older brother that lures me in? He is a much better fisher of my stupidity than of fish.

At least you're following. Most older brothers would send you in first to see if there were any danger.:smile: