In Search of the Foxfire


Is it magic? Fairies? An unexplainable scientific phenomenon? No – it’s Orfelia fultoni, the only bioluminescent species of fly found in North America.  The larvae live in stream banks among moss and rock cavities, such as the area along the Anna Ruby Falls Trail. Join us for a nighttime hike and educational experience in May and June to view the unique summertime phenomenon nicknamed“Foxfire”. We’ll walk up to the falls for nighttime viewing and exploration, and back down the trail to view the magical foxfire. Walking on a paved trail is required.

Bring a flashlight,(preferably with a red lens) and  wear close-toed shoes, (No flip-flops) as the hike is approximately one mile round trip.

Schedule for 2018:
May 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 24, 31
June 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 21, 26

8 pm to 10 pm
Cost: $7.00 for adults, $3.00/10 and Under
Because safety is our #1 priority,  no infants (under age 2 ) are allowed due to dark hiking conditions.  Thanks for understanding.

Hemlock Day

Saturday, June 2
10 am to 4 pm

The weekend of National Trails Day is a perfect time to visit Anna Ruby Falls, home of twin waterfalls and one of the most popular natural destinations in Georgia.  You can browse interesting exhibits at the visitor center and hike an easy 1/2-mile paved trail to the falls, pausing along the way to read the interpretive signs about the watershed that feeds the waterfalls, do some nature photography, or have a picnic.

As a special part of the celebration, it will also be Hemlock Day at Anna Ruby Falls.  Save Georgia’s Hemlocks will have an education station near the visitor center where you can learn what’s killing our beautiful hemlocks and what you can do to help save them.  Special presentations are scheduled for 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm.  Healthy hemlocks saplings will be available for adoption.

Join us for a wonderful day in the great outdoors and help save the hemlocks!  For info call:  706-878-1448 or visit


American Chestnut Day

Saturday, July 14
10 am to 3 pm

Visit Anna Ruby Falls on July 14th, from 10:00 am till 3:00 pm and learn about the former king of the forest, the American chestnut. The American chestnut was once one of the most important trees in forests from Maine to Georgia, until the early 1900’s when a blight, an Asian fungus wiped out the trees. Representatives from the Georgia Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation will be here to share information about efforts to bring back this Mighty Giant.


Snakes of Georgia

Friday, July 20
11 am to 3 pm

Dr. Chris Jenkins of the Orianne Society will be at Anna Ruby Falls on Friday, July 20th, to present a program on Snakes of Georgia.  Chris will have several snakes with him. The program will begin at 11:00 am, and last until 3:00 pm.  The Orianne Society is a wildlife conservation organization founded in 2008, to save the threatened Indigo Snake.



Smokey Bear’s Birthday Celebration

Saturday, August 4
11 am to 2 pm

Join us at beautiful Anna Ruby Falls as we celebrate Smokey’s Birthday! Visit the falls, take a hike thru pristine forest, and enjoy desert and drinks, and so much more! There may just be a visit from Smokey himself!


Geology and Natural Communities Walk and Talk

Sunday, September 23
1:00 pm

Photo by Ivy Rutzky

Geologist Dr. Bill Witherspoon, co-author of Roadside Geology of Georgia and biogeographer Dr. Leslie Edwards, co-author of Natural Communities of Georgia, will team up September 23 to lead a nature walk at Anna Ruby Falls near Helen. Both books “take the general reader to Georgia’s natural wonders and explain the science that lies behind the scenery,” according to Witherspoon. The event will begin at 1:00 at the Visitor Center, with an activity geared to teach young and old to recognize local rocks and minerals. Geologic structures in bedrock along the walk to the falls reveal how these rocks were once under enough heat and pressure to flow like taffy. The lush vegetation along the steep ravine slopes and its adaptations will be observed. At the twin cascades of Anna Ruby Falls, the difference in origin of a cascade versus a sheer-dropping waterfall, and the unusual challenges and opportunities for plants and animals at the spray cliffs will be explained. A book signing at the Visitor Center will follow the walk.

The event is free of charge with $3 Anna Ruby Falls admission (under 16 free).
Pre-registration is requested at 706-878-3574.