Smith Creek Trail

MODERATE 64 reviews
#2 of 7 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 birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.4 miles
1,663 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers


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

1 month ago

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.

3 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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.

7 months ago

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.

7 months ago

8 months ago

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 ...

8 months ago

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.

10 months ago

Pretty much like others said. Nice hike, some trees down here and there but nothing impassable though one tree was a little challenging to get around. I had my fat dog with me and we both managed.
One area needs to be marked better as the path splits into two and I imagine it could confuse some people.

It was a fun hike but you probably want to be in decent shape as opposed to out of shape before doing it.

10 months ago

We used All Trails and it showed 5.2 miles each way. There are still quite a few trees down across the trail but you can still get around them. 2:46 from Unicoi and 2:20 back. The falls are spectacular, the trail just so-so.

10 months ago

We got here a little late in the day so we didn't get to finish the trail. I'm writing this more to warn people. Since Irma came through there are a ton of trees down over the trail that are interesting to navigate. For hikers of all levels. Also, after the first .5 mile to mile, I would venture to guess about 80-90% of the trail is covered in fresh foliage and branches, making it difficult to see trip hazards and ankle twisters and also making it a bit slippery in some areas. Be careful out there. Great trail and will go back.

11 months ago

Enjoyed this hike but noticed it's infested with spiders (hiked Sept 2017). I actually faced planted a web and felt the spider crawling on my face. Nice payoff with the falls at the top and plenty of room to rest and grab a snack.

11 months ago

Nice hike with the kids.

11 months ago

This is a beige trail at best. Great cardio workout; but other than Anna Ruby Falls; nothing notable to see on the trail. Having said that, if you're seeking solitude, never saw another soul.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Great hike, no one on the trails, waterfalls were very awesome.

Monday, May 09, 2016

We had a great hike. The weather was awesome and the trail was beautiful. All the flora was full and the streams crystal clear.

Friday, April 29, 2016

great trail. hiked from the falls to Helen 8.26 miles. It cost 3.00 fee per person to drive to the falls.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

awesome alternative to the main Anna Ruby falls trail.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Nice hike, has some solid terrain

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Great trail. One head is by Unicoi Lake with the other at Anna Ruby Falls. Fair warning, it is $5 to get into Unicoi, then another $3/person to get into Anna Ruby Falls. This trail is really great and we hiked South to North, which is from the campground to the falls. It runs along a campground for the first part, then starts to climb pretty gently along a couple of streams. After some time you ascend and have great views up the fingers toward the ridgeline. The openness of it gives you great forest vistas and good chances at spotting wildlife.

After about 4 miles the trail descends down towards the falls and you are greeted with one of the best falls in Georgia as well as a few hundred people who took the shortcut and drove on up.

On 9/20/2015 We ran into a hornets nest about a mile in as did another couple we passed along the way. Multiple stings each so beware. It is a small stream crossing with a couple of small logs as stepping areas. They are aggressive.

I don't recommend a lot of trails without good views but this one is the exception. It is a really easy hike with only a couple of more technical spots and just made for a very pleasant afternoon. You could easily do out and back. We did one way, parking the car and riding down to the trailhead.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Enjoyed but not well maintained.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Very fun and challenging trail that ends at the beautiful Anna Ruby Falls. The trail starts next to the B cabins in Unicoi state park. The trail is easy till you clear the gap at the top then becomes much more challenging with roots and rocks. Not much for views, but you are next to a stream 50% of the time and you walk through tunnels of rhododendrons much of the time. You pop out at the end at Anna Ruby Falls which is amazing! Lots of bear sign and overall a very cool trail!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Great out and back hike. Beautiful waterfall. You may see all types of wildlife. I've seen deer, turkey, and hogs. Bear sign is there also

Friday, February 06, 2015

This is a very nice moderately difficult hike. The directions on this app are misleading. The trail starts near the lake where the campers checked in. Or you can drive up to and I have Ruby Falls pay your admission fee and hike down to the lake. I recommend hiking from the lake up to the Falls because it is a steady climb up . At the fall you can take a quick break and grab a snack at their concession stand then hike back down the lake.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A fairly simple hike for the most part that offered a few moments requiring thought before the next step. There were a few spots that caused hesitation due to the excessive amount of rainfall the last couple of weeks. (The presumed bear smell also caused pause.) The washed out look of some areas might have you wondering if you're still actually on the trail. Some full streams and a few clusters of shifted boulders and large fallen trees added to the adventure. The nearly picture perfect day increased the number of greetings along the way, but many opportunities remained on the round-trip to allow long moments of gratifying introspection.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

I used to explore areas of Southern Appalachia, but after an injury I cannot. I write articles online for a hobby, to pass time. I would love to get an amateur clear images for the use of writing about them. I would credit the photo to the owner, give recognition to the location. Since I can't get out and it has been a long recovery over a year. I don't expect to get out anytime soon. My articles are at My email is I enjoy pictures of hiking, waterfalls, nature, etc... It does not matter the difficulty of hike. I want to get my audience interested. Thank you. Rana Williams

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Great trail, definitely a good work out. Hiked it round trip. Needs some trail maintenance though. One area was very challenging.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Nice little trail. Be done by 5pm if you park on the Falls side as they lock the gate. In Fall it is difficult to see some of the holes in the trail so be mindful of where you step.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Great hike. Took my daughter and had a great time. We started on the Anna rubby fallls side. Got a bit of a late start and the park ranger let us know they close the park gate at 5pm. Finished the trail at 3pm, then called Paddy's taxi to take us back to the car before the gate closes (I guess they take it quite serously as they turned people away at 4:30pm), we had a nice laugh about the situation. So if you are planning the trip get an early start or begin the rip on the Unicoi lodge end of the trail. This is one we will definetly do again! Bring your camera, and be ready for the cardio!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nice morning hike, especially with temperatures in the 50's. I'm from Florida and enjoy the cooler mornings that GA offers this time of the year. The trail is nice and wide with very little obstacles. Take your camera!

4 days ago

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