Where to See Fall Foliage in Georgia

The colors of autumn can be enjoyed in many places around Georgia, including Atlanta itself
The colors of autumn can be enjoyed in many places around Georgia, including Atlanta itself | © Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Mike Title
5 October 2020

From city parks to wild spaces, there are plenty of destinations in Georgia where you can appreciate the fall foliage and the changing of the seasons, as the leaves turn from their vibrant green to vivid orange, yellow and red. Peak time comes in late October or even early November, so we at Culture Trip have chosen our favorite spots in Georgia to appreciate this season of crisp air and warm colors.

Piedmont Park, Atlanta

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When appreciating the change of seasons, people end up traveling into the wild, into state parks or up mountains, but in Georgia it’s possible to witness some incredibly intense colors without even leaving the City of Trees itself. Piedmont Park in Atlanta erupts into fiery reds and bright oranges and yellows from late September into October. The view from the lake of the city towering in the distance is enough to make you feel all warm inside, as the maples, birches and ash trees turn.

Dahlonega

Architectural Landmark
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Dahlonega is a one-hour drive northeast of Atlanta past Lake Lanier and is a perfectly preserved mountain town that was once witness to the great Georgia Gold Rush. People travel in fall not only to appreciate the changing leaves but also for the fall festivals, where there is no shortage of wine, cider and wholesome food. The stunning colors really come into their own by late October, and you’re guaranteed to see lots of pumpkins too.

Amicalola Falls State Park

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If you drive 90 minutes north of Atlanta, you will get to Amicalola Falls State Park. Admission is $5 (£3.90) but well worth it. If you take the Appalachian Trail, which is home to an over 700-foot (213m) waterfall, the spectacular fall colors on the trek are absolutely inspiring. From the bridge near the waterfall, you can really appreciate the colors as the cascade rushes before you. The natural wonder on display during this season is really something to take in, making an overnight stay in the cabins or camp an excellent way to extend the experience.

Yonah Mountain

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Yonah Mountain in North Georgia, USA.
© Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

The Yonah Trail is a popular trek of about 4.5 miles (7.2km), and camping is encouraged when you reach the summit. In the morning, you’ll be greeted by views of Helen and the endless landscape beyond. Be wary of the side trails, because even though you may find incredible views, the drops are deadly. Oktoberfest is also well honored on Yonah Mountain, and that means lots of beer.

Red Top Mountain State Park

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Only a 40-minute drive northwest from Atlanta lies Red Top Mountain State Park (which also carries a daily admission price of $5), where people come from far and wide to trek around the lake set within a sea of electric colors. The Hill Loop Trail gives you the best of the lake and wooded areas, and the big oaks, maples and sourwoods of the region will lift your spirits as they signal the new season – a great choice for those who like the woodsier kind of camping.

Brasstown Bald

Natural Feature
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View from Brasstown Bald, Georgia, USA of the Blue Ridge Mountains in autumn at dusk.
© Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

Visitors head to Georgia’s tallest mountain, a 2.5-hour drive northeast from Atlanta, for its viewing platform, which is 4,784 feet (1,458m) above sea level and even offers views into two other states. Its towering position allows you to stare into swathes of wild color, and it is one of the first sites in the state where this colorful transition occurs. If you don’t wish to take the steep (yet short) hike to the top, you can always catch the shuttle, making your journey up above the foliage nothing less than a luxury.

These recommendations were updated on October 5, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.