Leaf Watch in North Georgia
Travel Tips for Leaf Peepers
By Kim Hatcher, Georgia State Parks
“When will the leaves change?” That’s the question 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. The key for a vibrant autumn is warm sunny days coupled with cool – not freezing – nights.
To help leaf peepers find the best scenery, Georgia’s State Parks offer an online “Leaf Watch” travel planner, found at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/leafwatch.
Beginning October 1st, 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. Shutterbugs are encouraged to post their favorite shots to the Georgia State Parks Facebook page and Instagram.
Whether hiking, biking or simply driving country roads, travelers can check Leaf Watch for advice on where and when to find the best color in Georgia’s state parks. You can read updates from park rangers, get safety tips for hiking, and browse event calendars. Last-minute availability for cabins, yurts, campsites and lodge rooms in the state parks will also be posted.
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, particularly those with cypress trees and tea-colored swamps such as George L. Smith or Stephen Foster state parks.
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.
Georgia State Parks’ most sought-after accommodations are often reserved 13 months in advance, and many campgrounds fill up on weekends. Guests are encouraged to make plans as early as possible or visit during weekdays. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-864-7275 or at GeorgiaStateParks.org/reservations.
Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, Dept. of Natural Resources