Last week, I was in North Georgia visiting Unicoi State Park in the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest. Unicoi is a park filled with natural beauty and offers many accommodations ranging from tent camping sites to cabins and a lodge. It is also near the alpine mountain village of Helen which is known for its Bavarian style buildings and vineyards. If you are in the area, Helen is a great place to visit for a couple of days.
Anna Ruby falls is made up of two creeks; Curtis Creek which has a fall of 153 feet and York Creek which has a fall of around 50 feet. They merge at the base of the falls creating Smith Creek which then flows into Smith Lake which is the centerpiece of Unicoi State Park.
There are two ways to reach Anna Ruby Falls. One way is to drive through Unicoi State Park, (If you are going to the falls, there is no charge) Once you drive through the park, you enter USFS Visitor Center.
The fee for entering is $3.00 per person, 16 and older, kids under 16 are free. From the Forrest Service parking lot, there is a 0.6 mile paved trail that leads to the viewing decks. It is a easy hike up to the falls, but there are some steep sections.
The second way to get to the falls is through Unicoi State Park. If you choose this route, you must pay the $5.00 per vehicle day use fee. After entering the park, you can take the Smith Creek Trail which is an out and back trail that is 4.3 miles in each direction. It will take you through a much more scenic route to the falls, but this trail is not paved and is a moderate hike that will take you through scenic forests as you skirt the summits of of the mountains.
Like every other trip I have taken in the last few months, the weather did not cooperate with me. On the two days that I visited the falls, It rained for most of the time.
On day one I took the paved trail from the visitor center.
It takes you past beautiful natural scenery.
Anna Ruby Falls
On day two, I took the Smith Creek Trail which takes you to the same observation decks as the paved trail. Though it is a much longer hike, it is worth it if you have the time.
Though the weather was poor, I still enjoyed this hike. Anna Ruby Falls was definitely worth the trip and Unicoi State Park is amazing. I plan to visit both again in the Winter.
Find your headwaters,