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Great Smoky Mountains recruiting volunteers to help rehabilitate Ramsey Cascades Trail

Officials said volunteers are needed every Wednesday from 9 a.m. through 2 p.m., starting May 25 through Sept. 28.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It takes a lot of work to keep the Great Smoky Mountains beautiful. Sometimes, the park relies on volunteers to keep trails safe and fun for everyone.

They are looking for volunteers to help the Trails Forever crew rehabilitate the Ramsey Cascades Trail. They said volunteers would be needed every Wednesday from 9 a.m. through 2 p.m. starting on Wednesday, May 25. The work will continue until Sept. 28, officials said.

Volunteers will need to register with the national park in advance. Anyone who wants to sign up will need to reach out to a coordinator at 828-497-1949. They can also be reached through email at adam_monroe@nps.gov. 

Officials said skilled and non-skilled volunteers would have a chance to work alongside park crews to improve the trail. Depending on their experience level, volunteers will install drainage systems, rehabilitate the surface of trails, and segments of raised trails and remove brush that could be blocking the trail.

Volunteers will need to be able to hike at least 4 miles and safely complete strenuous tasks. They need to be able to do difficult manual labor and should be comfortable lifting heavy objects. They will also need to be comfortable using hand tools like shovels, axes and loppers.

The park said it would provide safety fear, tools and other equipment needed for rehabilitation projects. However, volunteers will need to wear sturdy, close-toed footwear with long pots and bring a day pack with food, water, rain gear and anything else they might need for the day.

Ramsey Cascades Trail is around 4 miles long and is one of the most popular trails in the Great Smoky Mountains, officials said. It gives hikers access to the 100-foot Ramsey Cascades — the tallest waterfall in the park.

Overall, officials said they expected work to rehabilitate the trail to last for around 2 years. Work officially began in early April to improve the trail.

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