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Fall Means Changing Leaves, Or Does It?
Fall has finally arrived here in Georgia. That means apple picking in Ellijay, Saturday hiking in Pine Mountain or weekend camping in Fort Yargo. Fall presents the perfect opportunity to explore the outdoors.
Lately, people have asked how this summer’s rain will affect our typical fall colors. In reality, that’s a question only Mother Nature can answer. Despite the soggy summer, Georgia could still see vibrant autumn colors if the rain stays away, days are sunny and warm and nights are cool but not freezing. Whether leaves are fiery red or mellow gold this year, Georgia’s mountains will still be a popular getaway during October and November.
Georgia’s State Parks sponsors an online Leaf Watch to keep you posted on how fall colors awaken across north Georgia. In addition to providing expert advice on leaf watching, the website also contains top trails and overlooks, mountain cabins and campsites, fall events and safe hiking tips.
Typically, northern Georgia peaks in late October; however, color can be seen as early as September and as late as mid-November. Some parks in southern Georgia put on a pretty display during late autumn months as well, particularly those with cypress trees and tea-colored lakes such as George L. Smith State Park.
Georgia’s top 15 state parks for leaf watching include:
- Amicalola Falls
- Black Rock Mountain
- Cloudland Canyon
- Don Carter
- F.D. Roosevelt
- Fort Mountain
- Hard Labor Creek
- Moccasin Creek
- James H. Sloppy Floyd
- Red Top Mountain
- Smithgall Woods
- Sweetwater Creek
- Tallulah Gorge
If you wish to stay right in the heart of the autumn scenery, park rangers advise you to make reservations as soon as possible. It's not uncommon for the most sought-after accommodations to be reserved 13 months in advance, and many campgrounds fill up early on weekends.
You can make a reservation by calling 1-800-864-7275 or on the State Parks and Historic Sites website. If you capture a stunning picture, you can share it on the Georgia State Parks Facebook page for a chance to win prizes.
About the Author
Kim Hatcher is the Public Affairs Coordinator for Georgia's State Parks & Historic Sites. She has worked for the Department of Natural Resources for 20 years and enjoys sharing the great outdoors with others.