from Helen, Georgia
Take Georgia 75 north for 1 mile. Turn right on Georgia 356 for 1.5 miles, then left at the sign to Anna Ruby Falls. Follow this road for 3.6 miles to the parking area.
Anna Ruby Falls Recreation Area Hours of operation
Open all year except Christmas.
9:00am to 6:00pm, 7 days a week. No admission after 5:00pm.
Beginning Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 25th 9:00am to 7:00pm. No admission after 6:00pm.
Located on Hwy.356
3455 Anna Ruby Falls Rd.,
Helen, GA 30545
Contact Cradle of Forestery at 706-878-1448 for information regarding Ann Ruby Annual Pass
Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association: Phone 706-878-3574
Tray Mountain, once Cherokee Indian territory,on which Anna Ruby Falls is located, was named Trail Mountain. The Cherokee built many trails up the mountain to watch for enemy campfires. Many of the local rivers, valleys, and mountains in the surrounding area have names that display the Indians' appreciation of nature. Chattahoochee means place of marked or flowered rocks. After the Civil War, the land surrounding and including Anna Ruby Falls was purchased by Colonel John H. "Captain" Nichols. It is said he didn't know the falls existed until riding up on them one day on horseback. Anna Ruby falls is named for the only daughter of Capt Nichol, whom he adored, as she was all he had left after the death of his two infant sons and wife. Around the turn of the century, the area was purchased and logged by Byrd-Matthews Lumber Company. Mules pulled the cut trees along tarred log slides to the top of the falls. A narrow-gauge railroad transported the logs from the falls to a mill in Helen .A flume was built at Curtis creek and ended on the opposite side of Smith Creek. Because of the steep terrain of this area, this flume was unsuccessful and helped bring about financial ruin for the owners of the operation. A few of the original logs can still be seen at the base of the falls. In 1925, the U.S. Government purchased the land and it became part of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Once protected as part of the National Forest , the area gradually restored its natural beauty. Today, this area is known as the 1,600-acre Anna Ruby Falls Scenic Area.
Anna Ruby Falls lies in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Although often crowded this is one park you don't want to miss. Beginning on Tray Mountain, Anna Ruby Fall is created out of the joining of Curtis and York Creeks, where the force of water flowing over the rock cliff formation makes a thunderous sound. Curtis creek drops 153 feet and York Creek 50 feet to form the Double falls. After the falls the joined creek is called Smith Creek and it continues to Unicoi Lake and eventually flows into the Chattahoochee River. Flowing south it then joins the Appalachicola River in Florida making a 550-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico.
A paved 4/10 of a mile footpath leads from the parking lot to the base of the falls. The trail is easy to moderate and benches are placed along the trail. Be cautious and wear good shoes as the trail can be slick. From the viewing deck of the visitors center, you can look down into Smith Creek and can feed brook, rainbow, and brown trout. Avid hikers will find Smith Creek Trail a good 4.6 mile hike. This longer hike starts at the base of Anna Ruby Falls and goes to Unicoi State Park.
In addition to the falls trail, Lion's Eye is a shorter, easier interpretive nature trail that is designed for people who are physically or visually impaired.
Curtis creek 153'
York creek 50'
(1-worth seeing-10 awesome)
$3.00 per person, under age 16 is free
Closest town:Helen, Georgia
snack and drink machines, restrooms, public phones, 11 picnic sites with tables and grills.
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.
In co-operation with the Forest Service, the
nonprofit Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association
operates the visitors center at Anna Ruby Falls. They offer original paintings, fine pottery, and crafts made by the Appalachian Mountain folks-with emphasis on local artist and crafts workers. Earning from these sales support interpretive programs and conservation of the forest