Anna Ruby Falls Trail In Georgia

Here is everything you need to know about the Anna Ruby Falls Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Georgia
  • Length: 0.5 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: U.S. Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website:

The Anna Ruby Falls Trail is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest in northern Georgia, United States. This picturesque trail is known for its stunning waterfalls and rich historical significance. The history of the Anna Ruby Falls Trail dates back to the early 1800s when the area was inhabited by the Cherokee Native American tribe.

During the 1830s, the Cherokee people were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in what became known as the Trail of Tears. The trail that leads to Anna Ruby Falls was once a part of this tragic journey, as it was one of the routes taken by the Cherokee people during their forced relocation to the west.

In the late 1800s, the area surrounding Anna Ruby Falls became a popular destination for logging. The abundant timber resources attracted logging companies, and the sound of axes and saws echoed through the forest. However, the logging industry eventually declined, and the land was acquired by the U.S. Forest Service in the early 1900s.

In 1934, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began construction of the Anna Ruby Falls Trail. The CCC was a work relief program established during the Great Depression, and its members were responsible for building many of the trails, bridges, and other infrastructure in national parks and forests across the country. The trail was named after Anna Ruby Nichols, the daughter of a local landowner who donated the land to the U.S. Forest Service.

Today, the Anna Ruby Falls Trail stands as a testament to the historical events that shaped the region. Visitors can hike along the trail, marvel at the beauty of the waterfalls, and reflect on the past as they explore this significant piece of Georgia’s history.

While On The Trail

Access Points

The major access points or trailheads along the Anna Ruby Falls Trail are:

1. Anna Ruby Falls Visitor Center: This is the main access point for the trail. It is located at the end of Anna Ruby Falls Road and serves as the starting point for the hike.

2. Unicoi State Park: The trailhead can also be accessed from Unicoi State Park. Visitors can park at the park’s visitor center and hike to Anna Ruby Falls from there.

3. Smith Creek Trailhead: Another access point is the Smith Creek Trailhead, which is located off of Highway 356. From here, hikers can connect to the Anna Ruby Falls Trail.

4. Unicoi Lake Trailhead: The Unicoi Lake Trailhead is another option for accessing the Anna Ruby Falls Trail. It is located near Unicoi Lake and provides a scenic starting point for the hike.

These are the main access points along the Anna Ruby Falls Trail, but there may be other smaller access points or parking areas along the way. It is always recommended to check with local authorities or visitor centers for the most up-to-date information on trail access and parking.

Transportation Available

1. Anna Ruby Falls Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to and from Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
2. Taxi Services – Local taxi companies offering transportation services in the area.
3. Ride-Sharing Services – Popular ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft available for convenient transportation.
4. Rental Car Agencies – Various rental car companies providing vehicles for self-driven transportation.
5. Mountain Transit – Local transportation service offering shuttle options for visitors to Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
6. Bicycle Rentals – Bike rental services for those who prefer cycling to the trail.
7. Hiking Tours – Guided hiking tours that include transportation to Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
8. Public Bus – Local public bus service with routes near the trail.
9. Limousine Services – Luxury transportation options for a more upscale experience.
10. Private Transportation Companies – Local private transportation companies offering personalized services for visitors to Anna Ruby Falls Trail.


The amenities available at the Anna Ruby Falls Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at the trailhead for visitors to use.

2. Parking: There is a parking lot available for visitors to park their vehicles while they explore the trail.

3. Picnic areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack.

4. Visitor Center: There is a visitor center located at the trailhead where visitors can obtain information about the trail, purchase tickets, and learn more about the area.

5. Gift shop: There is a gift shop located at the visitor center where visitors can purchase souvenirs, snacks, and drinks.

6. Interpretive signs: Throughout the trail, there are interpretive signs that provide information about the flora, fauna, and history of the area.

7. Benches: There are benches located along the trail where visitors can rest and take in the scenic views.

8. Drinking water: There are water fountains available at the trailhead and along the trail for visitors to stay hydrated.

9. Camping sites: While camping is not permitted directly on the Anna Ruby Falls Trail, there are nearby campgrounds and camping areas available for visitors who wish to stay overnight.

10. Accessibility: The trail is wheelchair accessible, with paved paths and ramps for easy navigation.

Please note that amenities may be subject to change, so it is always a good idea to check with the park authorities or visitor center for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Lodge at Unicoi State Park – Rustic lodge offering comfortable accommodations near Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
2. Helton Creek Falls Campground – Campground with tent and RV sites located close to Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
3. Smithgall Woods State Park – Nature preserve with cabins and campsites, providing lodging options near Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
4. Nacoochee Village Tavern & Pizzeria – Casual eatery serving pizza, burgers, and sandwiches near Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
5. Betty’s Country Store – Quaint country store offering sandwiches, snacks, and drinks near Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
6. Helen’s Country Cafe – Cozy restaurant serving Southern comfort food near Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
7. Habersham Winery & Vineyards – Winery offering tastings and tours near Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
8. White County EMS – Emergency medical services available in the area near Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
9. White County Sheriff’s Office – Local law enforcement agency providing emergency services near Anna Ruby Falls Trail.
10. Helen Police Department – Police department serving the nearby town of Helen, offering emergency services near Anna Ruby Falls Trail.

Anna Ruby Falls Trail Difficulty Notes

The Anna Ruby Falls Trail offers a moderate level of difficulty, making it suitable for most hikers. The trail is approximately 0.9 miles long and features a well-maintained path with some inclines and rocky sections. While it may require some effort, the trail is accessible to hikers of various fitness levels. The stunning beauty of the twin waterfalls at the end of the trail serves as a rewarding payoff for the moderate challenge of the hike.

Features And Attractions

Along the Anna Ruby Falls Trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the trail:

1. Anna Ruby Falls: The main attraction of the trail, these twin waterfalls cascade down from Tray Mountain, creating a stunning sight.

2. Smith Creek: As you hike along the trail, you’ll come across Smith Creek, a beautiful mountain stream that runs parallel to the path.

3. Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel: The trail is lined with vibrant rhododendron and mountain laurel, especially during the spring and early summer months, adding to the scenic beauty.

4. Unicoi Turnpike Trail: This historic trail intersects with the Anna Ruby Falls Trail. It was once a major Native American trading route and later used by European settlers.

5. Wildlife: Keep an eye out for various wildlife species that inhabit the area, including deer, squirrels, birds, and occasionally black bears.

6. Scenic Overlooks: Along the trail, you’ll find several spots with scenic overlooks, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Chattahoochee National Forest.

7. Moss-covered Rocks: The trail is adorned with moss-covered rocks, adding a touch of enchantment to the natural surroundings.

8. Ferns and Wildflowers: Throughout the trail, you’ll encounter a variety of ferns and wildflowers, creating a picturesque atmosphere.

9. Hemlock Trees: The trail is lined with majestic hemlock trees, providing shade and adding to the overall beauty of the surroundings.

10. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, you’ll find informative signs that provide details about the local flora, fauna, and the history of the area.

These are just a few of the highlights along the Anna Ruby Falls Trail. Exploring the trail will offer you a chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and history of the region.

Usage Guidelines


Seasonal Information

Anna Ruby Falls Trail, located in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia, offers breathtaking views and a serene hiking experience. The best times of the year to visit this trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In spring, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery, creating a picturesque landscape. The weather is pleasant, with mild temperatures and occasional rainfall, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities. Fall, on the other hand, showcases a stunning display of autumn colors as the leaves change, providing a truly magical experience for hikers.

It is important to note that Anna Ruby Falls Trail has seasonal closures during the winter months. The trail is closed from December to March due to safety concerns caused by icy conditions and potential snowfall. During this time, the area experiences colder temperatures, and the trail may become hazardous for visitors. It is advisable to plan your visit accordingly and check for any updates or closures before heading out.

Despite the winter closure, the trail remains open for the majority of the year, allowing visitors to explore its beauty. Whether you choose to visit in the spring when nature awakens or in the fall when it transforms into a vibrant canvas, Anna Ruby Falls Trail promises a memorable experience for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trailhead for easy access.
2. Paved Trail: A smooth, paved pathway that allows wheelchair users to navigate the trail easily.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Restroom facilities equipped with ADA-compliant features for wheelchair users.
4. Handrails: Sturdy handrails along certain sections of the trail to provide support and stability.
5. Benches: Seating areas along the trail for individuals who may need to rest or take a break.
6. Interpretive Signs: Informational signs with braille and large print options for individuals with visual impairments.
7. Assistance Animals: Service animals are allowed on the trail to assist individuals with disabilities.
8. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic spots with accessible tables and seating for individuals with mobility challenges.
9. Accessible Visitor Center: The visitor center is designed to accommodate wheelchair users and provide accessible information.
10. Accessible Water Fountain: A wheelchair-accessible water fountain is available for visitors to stay hydrated.

Safety Information

When visiting the Anna Ruby Falls Trail, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths and avoid venturing off-trail. This helps protect the natural environment and prevents accidents or getting lost.

2. Wear appropriate footwear: The trail can be uneven and slippery, especially near the falls. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes or hiking boots with good traction to prevent slips and falls.

3. Dress appropriately: Check the weather forecast before your visit and dress accordingly. Wear layers, as the temperature can vary throughout the day. Bring rain gear if rain is expected.

4. Stay hydrated: Carry enough water to stay hydrated during your hike. It is recommended to drink at least 8 ounces of water every 20-30 minutes while hiking.

5. Use sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen with a high SPF. Additionally, use insect repellent to prevent bug bites, especially during warmer months.

6. Be cautious near the falls: Anna Ruby Falls can be powerful and dangerous. Observe all posted signs and barriers, and do not attempt to climb or swim in the falls or the surrounding areas.

7. Watch your step: Be mindful of your footing, especially on wet or slippery surfaces. Use handrails and take your time when navigating steep or rocky sections of the trail.

8. Be aware of wildlife: While rare, encounters with wildlife can occur. Keep a safe distance and do not approach or feed any animals you may encounter. Respect their natural habitat.

9. Carry a first aid kit: It is always a good idea to have a basic first aid kit with you. Include items like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications you may need.

10. Inform someone of your plans: Before heading out on the trail, let someone know about your plans, including your expected return time. This way, if something goes wrong, help can be alerted.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when enjoying outdoor activities. By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable visit to the Anna Ruby Falls Trail.

Conservation Notes

The conservation status of the Anna Ruby Falls Trail is of utmost importance due to its unique ecological features and the need to protect its delicate ecosystem. The trail is located within the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia, USA, and is managed by the United States Forest Service. It is designated as a National Recreation Trail, highlighting its significance as a recreational resource while emphasizing the need for conservation efforts.

The trail traverses through a diverse range of habitats, including old-growth forests, rocky outcrops, and riparian zones. These habitats support a rich array of plant and animal species, some of which are rare and endangered. The conservation status of the trail focuses on preserving and restoring these habitats, ensuring the long-term survival of the species that depend on them.

Efforts to conserve the Anna Ruby Falls Trail involve various strategies, such as trail maintenance, erosion control, and invasive species management. Regular maintenance activities aim to minimize human impact on the trail and surrounding areas, ensuring that the natural environment remains undisturbed. Additionally, erosion control measures, such as the installation of retaining walls and erosion barriers, help prevent soil erosion and protect the integrity of the trail.

Invasive species pose a significant threat to the conservation of the Anna Ruby Falls Trail. The Forest Service actively works to identify and manage invasive plants that can outcompete native species and disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem. Through targeted removal and control methods, the Forest Service aims to preserve the native plant communities and maintain the ecological integrity of the trail.

Overall, the conservation status of the Anna Ruby Falls Trail is a priority for the Forest Service, as it strives to protect the unique habitats and species that make this trail a valuable natural resource. Through ongoing conservation efforts, the trail can continue to provide recreational opportunities while preserving its ecological significance for future generations.

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