Smith Creek Trail

MODERATE 116 reviews
#1 of 5 trails in

Smith Creek Trail is a 8.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,663 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

over grown

Please note: a user has reported that this trail is not well maintained. As of May 18th 2019, several trees have fallen crossing the trail, making the trail difficult to pass. There are many creek crossings along this trail - proceed at your own risk.

Trail is closer to 10 miles not 8.3. Okay trail. not much in the way or scenery. very strenuous hike. probably more a moderate to hard trail than just moderate.

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I just hiked this trail on Saturday (8/3/2019). This was what I consider to be our 2nd official hike and it was probably above our skill level. The climb was pretty strenuous and something my wife let me know about every 2 minutes - lol. Round trip took us exactly 8 hours (which included time at Anna Ruby Falls and the visitors center). We did see a deer standing right in the middle of the trail as we rounded a bend and one very large rattle snake which held us up a few minutes as he made his way down the trail. We did run into another group that saw a bear. The trail is very well marked and there are still a few downed trees blocking the path, but they actually added to the adventure. If you are new to hiking you might want to reconsider this trial. We probably should have done a few more hikes before tackling this one. We ran into several people who turned back before making it very far. In fact, we only saw 6 people who hiked the whole thing round trip and we were on the trail for 7 hours.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
1 month ago

Really liked this hike...had to stop slightly short of turn around but worthwhile. Moderate rating = accurate. Notes: 1. parking fee $5 ... an use check to DNR. 2. out and back where you will encounter some elevation change, some downed trees requiring either climb over or Belly Crawl, really small creek fjords, and some ascent / descents where there are some slippery rocks. 3. some single track with substantial drop off. Only disappointment was we did not encounter the bear others have there referenced!

hiking
blowdown
1 month ago

hiking
blowdown
over grown
rocky
2 months ago

I enjoyed the trail throughly! Nice and long, not super steep but there are some challenges along the way. Didnt find this trail in bad shape. I did walk up on the black bear that others seem to have spotted, I was probably 15 feet from him, made eye contact, and he scaled a tree as I left. He doesn't seem to mind people. Theres alot of timber down around the trail, and a few that cross the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was great. Very peaceful hike with my husband. Well maintained and adventurous. Beautiful views at the falls. My husbands first hike and he loved it. Can’t wait to go again.

3 months ago

First let me say that we found the trail to be in excellent condition. There are three blow downs, two of which are easily navigated and one which requires some work. There are a couple of muddy spots. The trail rating of moderate is mostly accurate but, in my mind, it's mostly easy. My GPS showed a distance of 10.25 miles point to point, my girlfriends was 9.87. We did the whole thing in just over four and a half hours including 30 minutes at the falls. The payoff view at Ana Ruby falls is nothing short of spectacular! Even if you don't hike to the falls go see them. Take the family, you'll be glad you did. Lastly, I have tried for years to grow ferns at the house. Read every article imagined on the subject but I just can't do it! Mother nature will always be the most amazing gardener. The forest here is lush and green and beautiful. Take the time to do this trail folks. It's one of the best she offers. And by the way, we did see a bear. He was more interested in foraging than in us. Too far away for a good judgement but he was probably a good 150 lbs.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Black Bear sighting!! Amazing and beautiful. He was a big fella snacking about 30 feet in the air on a tree that should never been able to support him. Lol. As soon as he caught glimpse of my presence he took off down the hill. He got out of the tree at the speed of lightning. He was located about .5 mile from the falls. Highly recommend this trail. Beautiful. The trail looks to have been recently cleaned up. Very easy to follow and clear paths. There was only really one tree down you have to get over but no big deal at all. It is rather rocky so have some good shoes on this trail. There is hardly any muddy spots minus the few creeks you have to cross but it isn’t anything to sweat. Really easy. I would rate this trail as easy not moderate as there are hardly any steep uphill climbs. Most of the elevation gains on this trail are gained through switchbacks just making this a nice trail to just enjoy this awesome forest. The falls at the end speak for themselves. Traffic is extremely light. This trail is a gift.

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

Tough trail, but very scenic. Several falls, end at Anna Ruby Falls, beautiful. Wear waterproof shoes, very muddy. Lots of Rocks and water to crowd . Definitely worth the journey.

hiking
6 months ago

Its a great trail. We parked by the activity center after paying Unicoi parking fee and headed to the trail. Did not run into any single person, maybe because its the first sunny day out after many days of rain and people didn’t expect that. Trail condition is very good. Down trees are cut and cleared away. There are some steep parts and creek crossings so its a good idea to use trekking poles. Correct distance is 10 miles not 8.4 miles . If you are looking for shortcut , just use Anna Ruby Falls trail as it leads to the same waterfall.

hiking
over grown
6 months ago

I did this trail for the workout and giant waterfall views, but I have to say the trail itself is pretty barren. It is Feb so I didn’t expect flowers, etc., but I did think I’d see more water views or something leading up to the falls. It was pretty much woods the entire time with a few mountain glimpses. Once you get to the falls, it’s rather touristy so it’s not quite the payoff you’d expect for all that secluded travel. The falls are gorgeous though but there are other ways to view them. Took me about 4 hours total for right at 9miles with a 2,019 ft elevation gain.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Awesome hike, especially if you start on the low end and climb up to the falls. It’s definitely a reward which builds up the anticipation as the hike is quite a long one (we are beginners at moderate trails). Best advice would be to pack extra socks and water proof boots or hiking shoes. A few creeks to cross, very few blazers or markings. If you stick to the traveled trail you will be fine. One area has a small timber/log at a fork in the road don’t go over it go the other route. Camera worthy hike.

8 months ago

Long but fun!

9 months ago

Very nice. Fast on the first half. Will do it again.

hiking
10 months ago

Decent hike. Downed trees have been cleared (workers on the trail when we went 10/18). Trail isn’t blazed but pretty established and easy to follow except for a few spots. Round trip was about 4:45, stopping to look around here and there. Would do again.

11 months ago

I posted below several months ago. This trail needs maintenance! We hiked a 1.5-mile portion from the Unicoi trail head yesterday 30 September. There are 3 tree down places blocking the trail. This has been the situation since early June. I’ll try posting the pictures. Love this trail when it is clear, but this long leaving debris across the trail is crazy.

hiking
Saturday, September 01, 2018

Nice enough for a day hike but don’t expect a lot of room on the trail. We hiked about half of it from Anna Ruby Falls. My wife and I took our 7 yr old and 4 month old pup. A little difficult for our inexperienced dog at times but good training. You’ll work up a little sweat but that’s to be expected when you’re hiking in the woods. I wouldn’t recommend running the trail due to the width and ample rocks and roots you’ll cross. The best part was getting away from the crowds.

hiking
Friday, June 29, 2018

This is a nice enough trail. It's a good distance for a day hike. I measured just over 10 miles out and back. There isn't a lot of scenery except for woods, though they are pleasant and varied. As someone below noted, there aren't any blazes except at the very beginning and very end, but the trail itself is well established and easy to follow.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

It is a beautiful trek of moderate level. Trail was well marked and well maintained. It took us 2 hs each way carrying my 18mo son. The waterfalls are nice reward for the effort. Carry enough water.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Fun hike. It has a little of everything. We started at Unicoi and did the out and back. Garmin registered 10.3 miles. Only one area with tree down and that was about 1.25 miles from Unicoi trail head. Several stream crossings. We went after a rain the night before so have hiking boots. The only trail blazes we saw were at the beginning at both ends. However, the trail is well defined. One split had some large branches across the direction NOT to go. Another confusing area was at a stream crossing about 4 miles from the Unicoi trail head. Go left. We enjoyed this hike and will do it again.

hiking
Sunday, December 31, 2017

I logged 9 miles in an back - sign at trail head says 10 miles. Took just over 4 1/2 hours round trip. Parking is limited to around 5 or 6 cars at trail head. Another option is to park at Anna Ruby falls (cost is $3 per person) and hike up to the falls (.4 miles) and then pick up Smith Creek Trail at the bottom of the falls (trail is on the right near wooden information board). Just make sure to time your return and pick up your car before the park closes. Very poorly marked trail (I think I saw one blue marker the entire trail). Got off trail once and needed All Trails to get me back on track. Several down trees that are passable, but from previous posts must have been down for several months.

hiking
Saturday, December 30, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Moderate hike. Nice to see Ruby Falls in the middle, but not a hike I would do ever again. Nice if you are trying to take a rest day. We hiked it with three kids today and had a 5 hour 10 mile round trip with a lunch stop at The falls in the middle. Moderate trail, poorly marked In some places about 2 miles from Unicoi. Switchbacks are not marked very well. Nice recovery day from heavy elevation gain if you are just looking to stretch legs. Watch for the tourists at the falls as they are not paying attention ...

hiking
Monday, November 20, 2017

Great trail but the lack of blazing makes a few spots difficult to follow trail switchbacks. Seeing Anna Ruby Falls at the half way point is great.

Load More

Featured Trails