Leaf Watching this Fall in Georgia
October is a time for campfires, fall festivals and watching leaves turn brilliant colors. Where are the best spots to enjoy Georgia’s fall scenery — and when do they change? Those are questions park rangers hear most often once the calendar turns to October. Only Mother Nature knows, of course, but peak color in Georgia is usually toward the end of October or early November.
To help leaf peepers find the best scenery, Georgia’s State Parks offer an online “Leaf Watch” travel planner, found on the Georgia State Parks website. Regular updates will keep travelers posted on how fall color is progressing across Georgia’s Blue Ridge. The website is filled with top trails and overlooks, mountain cabins and campsites, fall events and safe hiking tips.
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
For quieter getaways, visitors may want to explore parks further south, which can offer pretty autumn color as well.
Georgia’s State Parks offer a variety of accommodations where leaf peepers can stay right in the heart of autumn scenery. Park guests can choose from fully equipped cabins, modern campsites and even yurts — a “glamping” trend that is like a tent-cabin combination. Georgia State Parks’ most sought-after accommodations are often reserved 13 months in advance, and many campgrounds fill up on weekends. (Insider tip: Make reservations now for next fall, and you’ll get the best choices in cabins.) Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-864-7275 or by visiting the reservations section of the Georgia State Parks website.
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.