GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — Give back to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this summer by becoming a volunteer.

Park officials are recruiting volunteers to work on rehabilitation projects on Ramsey Cascades and Little Cataloochee trails this summer. Help is needed 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Wednesday and Thursday through September.

Volunteers must register in advance by contacting Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator Adam Monroe by email or phone at 828-497-1949. Prior notice of your attendance is mandatory for project planning.

Volunteers will perform a wide range of trail maintenance and trail rehabilitation work depending on volunteer experience level, like installing drainage features, rehabilitating trail surfaces, constructing raised trail segments, and removing brush.

Requirements include being able to hike at least 4 miles, safely perform strenuous and often difficult manual labor. Park officials said volunteers also need to be comfortable with lifting heavy objects and using hand tools, such as shovels, rakes, axes and loppers.

The park will supply all safety gear, tools and equipment needed for the project.

Volunteers are also required to wear long pants and sturdy, closed-toed footwear and bring a day pack with food, water, rainwear and personal gear for the day.

The two-year trail rehabilitation project on Ramsey Cascades Trail is part of the Trails Forever program supported by Friends of the Smokies. The program provides opportunities for both skilled and non-skilled volunteers to work alongside park crews in Tennessee and North Carolina to make lasting improvements to park trails

More information can be found at

  • Damage to Ramsey Cascades Trail
  • Trail damage

The 4-mile Ramsey Cascades trail in the Greenbriar area of the park is one of the most popular trails. It is the only way visitors can access Ramsey Cascades, the tallest waterfall in the Smokies.