A First Timer’s Guide to Hiking Beautiful Anna Ruby Falls

Anna Ruby Falls is one of the most easily accessible and family-friendly waterfall hikes out there…and it’s just up the road in Helen, Georgia. Spectacular Anna Ruby Falls lies in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest in North Georgia.

It’s actually twin waterfalls, flowing into one and creating Smith Creek – the creek that fills the lake at Unicoi State Park.   The falls are majestic, and the falls trail is short and easy.  You simply cannot visit Helen without taking in this natural beauty and the hiking trail. In fact, I think it’s reason enough, alone, to make the journey from Atlanta.

Here’s everything you need to know about hiking beautiful Anna Ruby Falls.

GETTING TO ANNA RUBY FALLS

A FIRST TIMER'S GUIDE TO HIKING BEAUTIFUL ANNA RUBY FALLS
My kids, nieces, and nephew enjoying the view.

Anna Ruby Falls are the amazing twin waterfalls located just outside Helen, near Unicoi State Park. Although you drive through the state park to get there, Anna Ruby Falls is not part of the park, and requires a separate fee.

Currently, a visit to the falls is $5 per person for those 16+. Kids 15 years old and under are free. There is also an annual pass option for $25/person.

The falls are open from 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week from March to December. In January and February, it is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. All facilities are also closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There is no admission after 4pm.

Once you’ve paid your fee, you’ll park in a large parking lot and get started! The Visitor Center and Gift Shop (my kids’ favorite) is worth a stop in. There is also a large deck on the back overlooking Smith Creek, so you can try to spot the trout that call these waters home.

Read More: THE 39+ BEST THINGS TO DO IN HELEN GA FOR ALPINE FUN

HIKING ANNA RUBY FALLS

A First Timer’s Guide to Hiking Beautiful Anna Ruby Falls
My daughter leading the way.

The hike to Anna Ruby Falls is relatively easy, even though it is taking you mostly uphill to the falls. This short trail is paved, making this a stroller-friendly, kid-friendly, and dog-friendly hike! The hike up to the falls clocks in at just under 0.5 miles, meaning the entire out-and-back hike will be just under a mile.

My almost-2-year-old walked about half of the way to the top, and almost the entire way down. I used a sling, but a stroller would work well here. There are stairs at the very top, but you could easily leave your stroller here for the final climb.

Although the falls are definitely the main attraction for this hike, the hike itself is also really beautiful. The trail follows the creek, and there are many things to look at and see. My kids love climbing some of the rocks along the way, and looking for wildlife. There are also fun bridges to cross, and benches along the way if you or your kids need a snack break.

Anna Ruby Falls marks the junction of Curtis Creek and York Creek, with a breathtaking view of the water from the overlook. Curtis Creek drops 153 feet and York Creek drops 50 feet to form the twin waterfalls known as Anna Ruby Falls. The overlooks are large, meaning there will be plenty of room for you and others to take in the views.

Just a note about the falls — this is not a waterfall that you play in. This is just a place to take in the spectacular views!

Read More: 125+ BEST PLACES FOR HIKING IN GEORGIA (KIDS & BEGINNERS)

LION’S EYE TRAIL

A First Timer’s Guide to Hiking Beautiful Anna Ruby Falls

The Lion’s Eye Trail gives people who are blind or have visual impairments the opportunity to experience the environment along Smith Creek. Braille signs interpret various features of the area.

The trail features a cable hand rail to help guide you from one interpretive sign to the next. The signs are written in both regular text and in braille. The trail is paved and is 0.1 miles long.

BRING A PICNIC

A First Timer’s Guide to Hiking Beautiful Anna Ruby Falls
My son exploring near our picnic spot.

One of our favorite thing to do when visiting Anna Ruby Falls is to bring a picnic, because the picnic area here is amazing.

After you hike back down from the falls, you’ll see the entrance to the picnic area on the opposite end of the parking lot from the Visitor Center. There are plenty of great picnic tables nestled in the woods here, including ones that are located right on the creek. My kids love to explore the shallow waters near the edge here, all while enjoying snacks, of course! It’s a great way to make a day of the waterfall adventure.

Read More: 33+ BEST WATERFALLS IN GEORGIA YOU’VE JUST GOT TO SEE

A First Timer’s Guide to Hiking Beautiful Anna Ruby Falls

THINGS TO DO IN HELEN (printable)

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Download this 1-page checklist of Things to Do in Helen to print at home or your local print shop. Perfect to keep in a binder, bring on your adventure or just put on the refrigerator!

(PS. A portion of this list is detailed in our article, The 39+ Best Things To Do in Helen Ga for Alpine Fun.)

Format: PDF, US Letter Size, Portrait (8.5”x11”)

You will receive one PDF file. File will be emailed and available for download up to three times upon payment. No physical item will be shipped.

ANNA RUBY FALLS FAQ

Is Anna Ruby Falls easy to hike?

The hike to Anna Ruby Falls is fairly easy, thanks in large part to the paved trail and the short distance (it’s under 0.5 miles one-way). There is a lot to explore, and benches along the way too, so although the hike to the falls is mostly uphill, it’s not too steep and there are plenty of places to stop to take in the views.

Where is Anna Ruby Falls located?

Anna Ruby Falls lies in the heart of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, just outside of Helen, GA, and near Unicoi State Park. It’s one of the most popular waterfalls to visit in Georgia.

Can you swim at Anna Ruby Falls?

No, there is no swimming allowed at Anna Ruby Falls, this one is just for sightseeing. If you want to swim, though, nearby Unicoi State Park has a swimming beach.

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO GEORGIA

WHERE TO STAY NEAR ANNA RUBY FALLS

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A First Timer’s Guide to Hiking Beautiful Anna Ruby Falls