by Paige Watts | Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.

The immensely gorgeous Anna Ruby Falls in Helen, Georgia is one of the state’s most popular hikes. Check out this quick and easy hike to these beautiful twin waterfalls.

Take this short 0.9 mile out-and-back trail to see two of Georgia’s most popular waterfalls. Once you’ve finished this hike, you’ll understand why Anna Ruby Falls is considered one of the best waterfall hikes in Georgia.

Anna Ruby Falls

About Anna Ruby Falls

Anna Ruby Falls is named for the daughter of John H. Nichols, a wealthy White County resident who owned much of the land nearby. The story goes that that Nichols found these twin falls while riding through the mountains shortly after the death of his wife and child.

The tallest of the two waterfalls is the Curtis Creek falls with a drop of 153 feet. The smaller York Creek falls have a drop of 50 feet. Both creeks begin on Tray Mountain, another great hiking spot. The water at the bottom of the falls makes up Smith Creek.

Hiking at Anna Ruby Falls

There are three trails at Anna Ruby Falls: the popular Anna Ruby Falls Trail, the long Smith Creek Trail, and the short Lion’s Eye Trail. Here’s what you need to know about hiking each trail.

Anna Ruby Falls Trail

Anna Ruby Falls Waterfalls

The entire hiking path to Anna Ruby Falls is paved and is just under half a mile.

The hike departs from the Anna Ruby Falls Visitor Center. The paved path follows along Smith Creek, crossing a bridge at 0.15 miles.

The trail reaches the first wooden viewing platform at about 0.4 miles and a second viewing platform less than 0.1 miles further. You’ll reach the waterfalls at less than 0.5 miles.

From here, you have the perfect view of the twin waterfall’s cascading waters.

At Anna Ruby Falls

The hike back follows the same paved path. You’ll complete your hike at about 0.9 miles total round-trip.

Smith Creek Trail

If you’re up for a challenge, try out the Smith Creek Trail. This 4.6 mile one-way hiking trail leads from the base of Anna Ruby Falls, near the first viewing platform, to Unicoi State Park.

Lion’s Eye Trail

The park also has a short trail for the visually impaired. This 0.1 mile paved walking trail along Smith Creek, departing from the visitor center, has interpretive signs in Braille highlighting features of the area.

Hiking Essentials

Come prepared for your hike by making sure you pack the essentials. Check out this must-have hiking gear before you set off on the trails:

Visiting Anna Ruby Falls

Anna Ruby Falls Visitor Center

Anna Ruby Falls is located just a few miles north of the cute little town of Alpine Helen.

To get to the falls, you’ll have to drive through Unicoi State Park, though the falls aren’t part of the State Park. It’s free to drive through Unicoi as long as you’re going to Anna Ruby Falls.

At the visitor center, you’ll pay $5 per person over 16. Parking at the falls is free.

The visitor center, gift shop, and recreation area are open daily from March 1 through December 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the winter, it is open on Thursdays through Sundays from January 1 through February 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There is no admission after 4 p.m. All facilities are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Welcome Bear

Anna Ruby Falls FAQ

How long does it take to hike Anna Ruby Falls?

The Anna Ruby Falls Trail is only about a 0.9 mile hike round-trip. You can expect the hike to take about 30 minutes.

Is Anna Ruby Falls worth visiting?

Anna Ruby Falls is definitely worth visiting! It’s a beautiful twin waterfall that is easily accessible and is a great family-friendly hike.

What is the story behind Anna Ruby Falls?

Anna Ruby Falls is named for the daughter of John H. Nichols. The story goes that that Nichols found these twin falls while riding through the mountains shortly after the death of his wife and child.

How do I get to Anna Ruby Falls?

To get to Anna Ruby Falls, you’ll drive through Unicoi State Park. You don’t have to pay for Unicoi State Park admission as long as you’re going to Anna Ruby Falls.

How much does it cost to hike Anna Ruby Falls?

It costs $5 per person 16+ to hike Anna Ruby Falls.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Anna Ruby Falls

Visit Anna Ruby Falls and you’ll soon see why it’s considered one of the best waterfall hikes in Georgia.

Whether you take the Anna Ruby Falls Trail, the Smith Creek Trail, or the Lion’s Eye Trail, Anna Ruby Falls is a must-see spot in Georgia.

Come experience this beautiful natural wonder and find yourself enchanted by the majestic waterfalls.

Where to Stay Near Anna Ruby Falls

Find the perfect place to rest your head on your visit to Anna Ruby Falls, from the top rated accommodations to unique stays you can’t get anywhere else.

Things to Do Near Anna Ruby Falls

Looking for more to do in and around Helen, Georgia? Check out these great itineraries and travel tips:

Ready to visit Helen, Georgia? Plan your trip with these tips.



Georgia Hikes: Anna Ruby Falls

Have you hiked the trail to Anna Ruby Falls in Helen, Georgia? Let me know in the comments below!

About the Author

Paige Watts is a travel expert and author of What's With Atlanta?, a guide to the quirks and charm of the ATL. A life-long traveler, Paige is dedicated to helping you discover the best things to do in the Southern USA and around the world. Her work has been featured in The Culture Trip, Matador, Newsbreak, MSN, NPR, and countless other interviews and podcasts.

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