Travel tips for leaf peepers.
For many people, the perfect autumn weekend includes cozy campfires and gooey s’mores surrounded by fiery-hued forests. To help leaf peepers plan their fall escapes, Georgia’s state parks will soon launch “Leaf Watch 2017” to track fall color as it moves across the Peach State.
Found at GeorgiaStateParks.org/LeafWatch, the travel planner is filled with top trails and overlooks, mountain cabins and campsites, fall events and hiking safety tips. Shutterbugs are encouraged to share their favorite shots on the Georgia State Parks’ Facebook page and Instagram, tagging #GaLeafWatch and #GaStateParks. Rangers will also post updates on how fall color is progressing in their parks.
Typically, Georgia’s mountain parks peak in late October; however, color can be seen as early as September and throughout much of November. Some of the most popular parks for leaf watching include Black Rock Mountain, Cloudland Canyon, Fort Mountain, Tallulah Gorge, Unicoi and Vogel. Since mountain parks are heavily visited on October weekends, leaf peepers may want to explore lesser-known parks which can be vibrant as well. Hardwoods and mossy rock gardens can be found at F.D. Roosevelt State Park in near Columbus. Deep orange cypress needles reflect off a shimmering pond at George L. Smith State Park in southeast Georgia.
Georgia State Parks offer a variety of accommodations where leaf peepers can stay in the heart of autumn scenery. Guests can choose from cabins, campsites and yurts — a “glamping” option that is like a combination tent-cabin. Accommodations may be reserved 13 months in advance, and many fill up on October 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.
Park rangers have planned numerous events throughout autumn, including guided hikes and paddles, fall festivals, Halloween hayrides and campground trick-or-treating. A list of events can be found at GeorgiaStateParks.org/Events.