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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 and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 8.4 mi Elevation gain 1,663 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Hiking Forest River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Blowdown Muddy Over grown Fee
Description
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Contact
Getting There

NOTE: Park hours are 7:00 am to 10:00 pm and parking is $5 per vehicle. This trail leads to the beautiful Anna Ruby Falls. There are several creek crossings along this trail, wear shoes that you don't mind getting wet. Also, users have reported that the trail isn't maintained often, so there might be overgrown sections and downed trees.

Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism, P.O. Box 1776, 285 Peachtree Center Avenue NE , Atlanta, GA, 30301, Phone: 404-656-3590

Directions from Helen: Take GA 75 north 1 mile. Turn right on GA 356 and drive 1.5 miles. Then go left at the entrance to Unicoi State Park. Follow the signs to Anna Ruby Falls parking area. There is a parking Fee

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Reviews (169)
Photos (206)
Recordings (147)
Completed (374)
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Stephanie Lopez
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020

Trail closed

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Doug Teachey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking

This is a great work out with lots of ups and downs. Definitely not a trail for beginners. Make sure you’re in shape before taking this one on as well.

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Nancy Shubert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking

Some large trees down. The first three we could get over, but where we turned around the top of the tree was blocking the trail, so we turned atound

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Satya Vej
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking

The trail is closed. We could only go to Anna Ruby falls

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John Bensley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 1, 2020
HikingOver grown

I really loved this trail. But this morning I was only able to make it about 2 miles in before I completely lost the trail in the ferns in a valley. It was beautiful though! Many, many trees down over the trail.

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Barb Ramey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 22, 2020
Hiking

The website tells you that Anna Ruby Falls trail is opened with limitations. It also says Smith Creek trail is closed until the final phase and full opening of Anna Ruby with no limitations that is when they can reopen Smith Creek Trail. If all goes well it will reopen on this Saturday the 27th,

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Clay Brooks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 13, 2020
Closed

still closed due to covid.

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Robin Carney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 12, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsClosedFee

Even though their web site lists this trail as open, there is still tape and signs up indicating trail is closed. I chose to hike it based on what the web site said. I only shared the trail with lots of spider webs and bugs! The waterfall is gorgeous but crowded...especially for a weekday I thought! There were lots of cool fungi on the trail and the rhododendrons are blooming

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Sue Pearson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 5, 2020
Hiking

It looks like this trail has re-opened: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/conf/maps-pubs/?cid=FSEPRD706439&width=full

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Nathan Settembrini
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HikingClosed

Closed for COVID-19

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Yossi Sadowsky
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Hiking

Did it while the standard trail to Anna ruby was closed due to corona. In that case I’d say it’s a 5/5 because there were no crowds but I’d there were people at Anna ruby I’d stick with 4/5 or even less as the serenity would be ruined

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Drew Barnard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 20, 2020
Hiking

Enjoyable trail following a creek for most of the hike. Didn’t see a single hiker on the trail until we reached the falls. Well maintained trail, a few blow-downs but easily traversed.

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Hector 'Tico' Calzada
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 7, 2020
Hiking

Trail in really good natural shape. Some downed trees but all passable. Fjords could be a little tricky ...slow is the name of the game. Whole trail just under 10 miles. Some elevation change but all manageable. No end of trail bear citing except for the excessive HUMAN BEARS once you reach the falls. Literally passed only 6 groups over 10 miles but the falls landing was jammed...all ok just nice to get back on trail. Be prepared to get a little dirty if you need to slide down a rock or step through thick mud... great day on trail!

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Joe Rez
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HikingFeeMuddy
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Richard Lewis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 29, 2020
HikingBlowdownIcyOver grownRocky

Trail was not well maintained with some downed trees just high enough to not be able to climb over, had to scramble under. Unfortunately we were there on a snowy day and the trail was very difficult with the ice and narrowness. We opted to walk back on the road from Anna Ruby Falls .

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Jason Mulhall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 21, 2020
Hiking

Great trail that is poorly marked, but is well traveled and easy to follow. Ends at beautiful Anna Ruby falls where you turn around and hike back for the other half or to where you originally started at the trail head. You can start at the falls, however you will be required to pay a fee starting there.

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Kelli Thomas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 18, 2020
Hiking

Trail was easily identified by travel. Markers on trail were few and far between, but this was not a problem. A few down trees, but nothing that made the trail difficult or impassable. The trail had many spots where you had to cross water; however, water was not very high. Waterproof shoes are a must though. I did take one pole which made it easier to cross without slipping. Falls were magnificent and worth the hike. We did see three bears on the way back out. They were high on the ridge and took off as soon as they heard us coming. We only saw two other hikers on the trail which was very surprising to me. We are not expert hikers and I would rate the trail moderate based on the mileage only. It is closer to 10 miles like the sign says at the entrance of hike. It took us around 2 hours to make it to the falls and around the same time on the way out. I do hike at a fast pace. I would plan on a total of 4.5 to 5 hours if you plan on taking the time to enjoy the falls and eat a snack before heading back. It was truly enjoyable and I would gladly hike it again.

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Julianne Abad
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 15, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail even in wet weather. Can be slick but is very well marked. Creek was beautiful (saw people fly fishing), good for birders and fun place to take the pets for a hike. Another bonus, can walk to Helen for bite to eat and then hike back.

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Mike Trimble
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 22, 2020
Hiking

Smith Creek Trail to Anna Ruby Falls is an absolutely incredible hike, especially if you’ve never see the Falls before (I had not). But my hike began inauspiciously. Yesterday when I got to the park I realized I forgot my wallet. State Park Season Passes are not accepted if you are hiking Smith Creek Trail. Not sure why. You have to buy a $5 pass from a kiosk. So I turned around and went home, feeling like dog-do. Happy at least that I had enough gas to make it home! But today I was good to go! The trail is in awesome shape. Very few rocks or roots to hang you up. There are however a number of blowdowns and lots of creek crossings. Still, you can get into a rhythm on this trail and put it on cruise control. The first creek crossing has a nice foot bridge (.65 miles in) so does the second and third (.7 and .85 miles in). The trail is slopes up gently to the 1.35 mile point then it pushes back some and gets steep. Four switch backs later you are at 1.5 miles and it again becomes a more gradual ascent. The high elevation point of the trail is at 2.65 miles and then it’s all downhill to Anna Ruby. The good part is the falls are higher than the trailhead so the hike back isn’t nearly as hard as it is going to the Falls. Not gonna lie, it’s a hard hike than many trails, primarily the distance makes it so. But, I do highly recommend it for the hikers who know they can do a 9 miler in the mountains. The Falls are just magnificent and make it all worthwhile.

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Sherie Green
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 19, 2020
HikingNo shade

Great hike. Few trees down but nothing you can’t get over. A bit muddy from the rain. Anna Ruby was beautiful!

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Dwight Hunsberger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 19, 2020
Hiking

Great hike to the falls and back to Unicoi Park. First mile followed the beautiful creek. Nice inclines for a respiratory workout and a very tricky rock scramble at 2.5mi. Trial was well marked but some trees down. The trail became "narrow" in places with significant drop-offs (20-30ft.). At the end...a sun highlighted, multi-level view of the falls.

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Bo Novkovic
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Hiking

Awesome trail with multiple creek crossings and lush vegetation. Dis this trail in June 2019.

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Ed Boon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 16, 2019
HikingBlowdownRockyScramble

I will begin by repeating what others have said. This hike is 10 miles and not 8.4 as listed above. First, there is a huge sign at the trailhead stating that it is ten miles. Second the Alltrails app gave me exactly five miles from the trailhead to the falls. The app unfortunately disappeared on the way back so I never got the total but I can only assume that five miles out would be five miles back. It's getting cold now so we had no problem with bees and we saw no bears. I would say that the trail condition could be divided into two parts. The first part to the top of the ridge I found the trail to be quite good. It is a combination of single track and old road. It is never really steep and the footing is almost always good. The second part from the top of the ridge to the falls is all single tract. In places the trail is good, but in places it is rough and rocky. There are two or three scrambles which while never really difficult, they are scrambles. It is in this second section that you encounter the downed trees. I was able to climb or step over them. If you are short you may have to crawl under a couple. My dog walked under a couple and jumped the rest. There are several stream crossings but none of them were difficult as the water was fairly low. Understand that since you walk up then down to the falls, you will have to walk up then down to get back. The elevation gain on the way back is a bit less than that on the way in. After five miles of total solitude we suddenly encountered a crowd when we reached the falls as there is a .4 mile paved path leading from another parking lot. On the way back we did meet two men who had walked to the top of the ridge from the trailhead and were resting before walking back. Other than that we encountered no one else except at the falls so solitude is pretty well guaranteed. As others have stated, the trail is a nice walk in the woods but offers no special views except at the falls. I would rate the trail as three stars but bump it up to four because of the magnificent falls. If you are used to hiking ten miles or more you would probably rate the trail as moderate as it is not real steep but if you're not used to trails of that distance the hike should probably be bumped up a bit from moderate towards difficult.

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