Leaf Watch 2020

Fall Leaves

Leaf Watch 2020

It’s Fall, Ya’ll!

October 19, 2020 Update -- While colorful leaves are popping even more across north Georgia, forests are still mostly green.  A few deep red sourwoods remain, as well as the last yellow and purple fall wildflowers. Red maple leaves dot the forest floor in northeast Georgia, and a few trees here and there are standing out. It's still not peak though. We need cooler temperatures to help more leaves change to red, orange and gold. Read the latest from Georgia Forestry Commission, then use Leaf Watch to find the best spots for fantastic fall escapes, including cabins and the perfect campsite to toast s’mores.  

Tag your best photos on Facebook and Instagram for a chance to be featured.  #GaLeafWatch  @GaStateParks

Georgia Forestry Commission Fall Updates

See facebook for Leaf Lady questions


2020 Photo Gallery


2019 Photo Gallery


Most Popular Georgia State Parks for Fall ColorMap of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge — Dawsonville

Amicalola Falls

 

Just an hour north of Atlanta you’ll find the Southeast’s tallest cascading waterfall. A short, flat path leads to a boardwalk offering the most spectacular views. There’s also an easy-to-reach overlook at the top. For a tougher challenge, start from the bottom of the falls and hike up the steep staircase.

 

 

Black Rock Mountain State Park — Clayton

Black Rock Mountain

At an altitude of 3,640 feet, Black Rock Mountain is Georgia’s highest state park. (Brasstown Bald is the state’s highest peak.) Roadside overlooks and the summit Visitor Center offer sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 2.2-mile Tennessee Rock Trail is a good choice for a short, moderate hike. For an all-day challenge, take the 7.2-mile James E. Edmonds Backcountry Trail. Stay atop the mountain in cozy cabins or wooded campsites.

 

Cloudland Canyon State Park — Near Chattanooga

Cloudland Canyon

One of Georgia’s most beautiful parks offers easy-to-reach rim overlooks and challenging trails. A favorite hike takes you down a staircase to the bottom of the canyon, where you’ll find two waterfalls. (Remember, you have to hike back up, but it’s worth it.) The 5-mile West Rim Loop is moderately difficult and offers great views of the canyon. Mountain bikers can test their skills at the Five Points Recreation Area. Yurt guests stay overnight right by a hiking trail.

 

F.D. Roosevelt State Park — Pine Mountain

FDR

Many people are surprised to find hardwood forests and rolling mountains south of Atlanta. The 6.7-mile Wolf Den Loop is a favorite section of the longer Pine Mountain Trail. For a touch of history, drive to Dowdell’s Knob to see a life-size bronze sculpture of President F.D. Roosevelt and views of the forested valley. Ga. Hwy. 190 is a pretty driving route. The campground was renovated this summer and features new bathhouses.

 

Fort Mountain State Park — Chatsworth

Fort Mountain

This park is best known for a mysterious rock wall along the mountain top, plus a variety of trails. For the easiest walk, take the 1.2-mile loop around the park’s green lake. For a challenging, all-day hike, choose the 8-mile Gahuti Trail. Mountain bikers have more than 14 miles to explore. Hwy. 52 has beautiful mountain scenery and overlooks worth stopping to see.

 

Moccasin Creek State Park — Lake Burton

Moccasin Creek

Georgia’s smallest state park sits on the shore of a gorgeous deep-green lake. Guests can choose from the 2-mile Hemlock Falls Trail or 1-mile Non-Game Trail with a wildlife observation tower. Hwy. 197 is a particularly pretty road, passing Mark of the Potter and other popular attractions.

 

Smithgall Woods State Park — Helen

Smithgall Woods

Protecting more than 6,000 acres around Dukes Creek, this is the perfect spot for fly fishing or romantic cabin getaways. Day visitors can picnic near the creek, and overnight guests can hike a private trail to Dukes Creek Falls. A 1.6-mile loop climbs to Laurel Ridge and provides a view of Mt. Yonah once most leaves are off the trees. Smithgall Woods has some of the park system’s most sought-after cabins and is near wineries and Helen’s Oktoberfest.

 

Tallulah Gorge State Park — Near Clayton

Tallulah Gorge

Tallulah Gorge is one of the most spectacular canyons in the Southeast, and you can choose from easy or difficult trails. Hike along the rim to several overlooks with waterfall views, or take the staircase down (and up from) a suspension bridge. Camp inside the park or rent cabins at nearby Black Rock Mountain State Park.

 

Unicoi State Park & Lodge — Helen

Unicoi

Ziplines take you high above the forest canopy for a unique view of leaves. If you’re up for a steep hike, take the 4.8-mile Smith Creek Trail up to Anna Ruby Falls. Unicoi offers a lodge and restaurant.

 

Vogel State Park — Blairsville

Vogel

The 4-mile Bear Hair Gap Trail makes a nice day trip for experienced hikers, offering a birds-eye view of the park’s lake. For an easier walk, follow the Lake Loop to a small waterfall below the dam. The twisting roads around Vogel, particularly Wolf Pen Gap Road, offer some of north Georgia’s prettiest fall scenery.

 

"Hidden Gems" for Fall Color

Red Top Mountain State Park – Acworth

Red Top Mountain

With its Lake Allatoona location, Red Top Mountain is best known as a summer destination. However, more than 15 miles of trails wind through the park, providing beautiful autumn views of the forest. The 4-mile Iron Hill Trail is open to both hikers and bikers, and its wide path is fairly easy for smaller children. Beautiful new cabins are available for rent.

 

James H. Floyd State Park — Summerville

James H Floyd

This quiet park in northwest Georgia has five miles of hiking trails, plus access to the 60-mile Pinhoti Trail. The moderately easy Marble Mine Trail follows an old road to a 35-foot waterfall adjacent to an old mine opening.

 

Victoria Bryant State Park — Royston

Victoria Bryant

Located just minutes from I-85 in north Georgia, this little known gem has eight miles of hiking trails, a pretty stream and small fishing ponds. Tent campers will like the wooden platforms surrounded by hardwood forest. Golfers can tee off surrounded by fall color on the park’s 18-hole Highland Walk Golf Course.

 

Don Carter State Park - Gainesville

Don Carter

Georgia’s only state park on Lake Lanier offers more than 14 miles of forested trails, boat ramps, cabins and campsites. Equestrians will especially enjoy autumn views from the trails, and guided trail rides are available.

 

George L. Smith State Park– Twin City

George L Smith

In late autumn, cypress trees turn deep orange and make a beautiful reflection off this park’s blackwater pond. Join Mill Pond Kayak for a guided paddle trip under Spanish moss and tupelo trees. Photographers will appreciate exploring a covered bridge built in 1880.

 

Providence Canyon State Park -Lumpkin

Providence Canyon

Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon” may be best known for its orange-hued soil, but its trees provide a colorful palette as well. In late fall, rent a cabin nearby at Florence Marina State Park, then hike the canyon for the best leaf watching.