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.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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