Travel Tips for Leaf Peepers
STOCKBRIDGE, GA, September 23, 2019 – “When will the leaves change?” That’s the most common question park rangers hear when autumn rolls around. Only Mother Nature knows, of course, but peak color in Georgia is usually at the end of October or early November. For many visitors, that perfect autumn weekend includes cozy campfires and gooey s’mores surrounded by fiery-hued forests. To help leaf peepers plan their fall escapes, Georgia State Parks has launched “Leaf Watch 2019” to track fall color as it moves across the Peach State.
Found at GaStateParks.org/LeafWatch, the travel planner is filled with top trails and overlooks, mountain cabins and campsites, fall events and safe hiking tips. Shutterbugs are encouraged to share their favorite shots on Facebook and Instagram, tagging #GaLeafWatch and @GaStateParks. Rangers will also post updates on how fall color is progressing in their parks.
Northern Georgia includes part of the Blue Ridge Mountain range, which is part of the Appalachian Mountains. Typically, Georgia’s section peaks toward the end of October; however, meteorologists predict color will be pushed back this year. The culprit is September’s hot, dry weather. The key for a vibrant autumn is warm sunny days coupled with very cool – but not freezing – nights. Still, vacationers will find beautiful forests no matter what time they travel.
Some of the most popular parks for leaf watching and mountain scenery include Amicalola Falls, Tallulah Gorge, Vogel and Cloudland Canyon. Since these parks are heavily visited on October weekends, travelers may want to visit mid-week or explore lesser-known destinations such as Fort Mountain, Black Rock Mountain or Smithgall Woods.
From cabins to campsites, Georgia’s State Parks offer a variety of accommodations where leaf peepers can stay in the heart of autumn scenery. Guests can even choose from lodge rooms or yurts – a “glamping” adventure that is like a combination tent-cabin. Park officials advise visitors to make reservations as soon as possible, even for October 2020, since it is not uncommon for mountain cottages to be filled more than a year in advance. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-864-7275 or at GaStateParks.org.
Park rangers have also planned numerous events throughout autumn, including guided hikes and kayak tours, fall festivals, Halloween hayrides and campground trick-or-treating. A list of events can be found at GaStateParks.org.