If you aren’t already familiar with the term “leaf peeping,” it’s a phrase coined for people who hit the road looking at leaves during the fall season. Basically, everyone on the roads during the month of October and early November. The golden yellows, bright oranges, and deep reds of fall are too beautiful to resist finding a long, winding road to drive down or a peaceful path to walk on.
Don’t worry, we GET IT. So, if you’re looking for a good excuse to come up to the North Georgia Mountains, look no further because the leaf peeping season is upon us! The leaves have begun to change and will be at their peak just before Halloween. Here’s a quick list of some of the top places in Northeast Georgia to go out and see the best of what a southern Autumn has to offer.
Vogel State Park
Located just 2 miles north of Mountain Crossings, Vogel State Park has a wide variety of options for those wanting to camp, hike, or simply take a stroll around the lake loop. For those who want a little more strenuous of a walk, the 4-mile Bear Hair Gap Trail at the park is perfect for experienced hikers and offers an aerial view of the lake and all of the gorgeous colors of the park. And, if you don’t want to go into the park and prefer driving, Wolf Pen Gap Road near the park provides a beautiful twisting tour of some of the best colors in Northeast Georgia.
Richard Russell Scenic Highway
Starting near Helen, in White County, and winding its way through the mountains all the way to Union County, just below Brasstown Bald, the Richard Russel Scenic Highway is the place to be during the peak leaf peeping seasons in Georgia. While the changing colors may take their sweet time, when the brilliant yellows and reds and oranges finally make their appearance, a drive down Richard Russel is the best way to get your yearly dose of fall foliage. And the best part about it? This scenic highway is biker-friendly and motorcycle-friendly as well!
Unicoi State Park and Lodge
While Unicoi State Park is beautiful all on its own, especially during the fall season, the park offers some unique experiences to make it even better. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous than usual, check out the park’s zip line course that will take you up above the canopy, allowing for premium leaf views. And for the avid hiker, the park boasts the steep 4.8 mile Smith Creek Trail that winds up to Anna Ruby Falls.
If you’re wanting to see a vast expanse of fall colors, what better place than the tallest peak in Georgia. Standing at 4,783 ft., visitors can see all the way to Atlanta on a clear day. So can you imagine the 360 degree view of the treeline? To say that it’s breathtaking would be an understatement. Visitors have the choice of taking a shuttle up to the top or hiking the 1 mile trail to the top, where an observation tower promises gorgeous views. While clear skies are the hope, seeing the fog floating through the mountains is equally as beautiful. Just make sure to check the weather before you head up!
Of course, there are plenty more places, roads, and parks to visit during the fall season to catch leaves, but these are just some of our favorites. And, while you’re out, make sure to stop by the shop! We’d love to see ya.