Northern Georgia is at the south end of the Appalachian Mountains, and is at the beginning, or end, of the Appalachian Trail. These areas are heavily forested with hardwoods and provide outstanding fall colors along the many trails in the mountains.
The leaf season in Georgia is generally the entire month of October, with the third week normally the peak. The peak, as well as the season itself, can vary a week or two, and weather conditions also play a part in how brilliant the leaves are. The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest is the largest region with many trails, and its website posts weekly updates on conditions. Several state parks and visitors bureaus also post weekly updates so you may plan your adventure accordingly.
The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest contains more than 200 miles of trails, and much of that is through northern Georgia mountains that are prime areas for leaf viewing. The Appalachian Trail goes 79 miles along the east side of the Appalachians. The Benton MacKaye Trail, named after the man who created the Appalachian Trail, is nearly as long and goes on the west side of the Appalachians and is not quiet as brilliant in the fall. There are many other shorter trails in the national forest.
The combination of rivers with waterfalls and brilliant leaves makes many trails in northern Georgia well worth the hike. Amicalola Falls Trail is two trails, one going to the base and one going to the top. Parts are easy and paved, while other parts are dirt and difficult. The views are spectacular whichever trail you choose and the 729-foot series of waterfalls makes the fall leaves even more spectacular. Tallulah Gorge State Park has whitewater rafting and great views along the river trails in and around the state park.
Article Written By James Jordan
James Jordan has been a writer and photographer since 1980. He has worked for newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kansas, winning state press association awards for writing, photography and page design. In 1995 he received his master's in Christian education and completed two years of Ancient Greek at the graduate level. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.