It’s fall, y’all. Autumn is my favorite time of year, and there are tons of places to celebrate the season in North Georgia. Leaf season doesn’t last long in the South, so take advantage of all the fall fun while it’s here!
1. Explore the Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, & Apple Picking
North Georgia has some of the best fall activities around. Whether you’re looking to gather apples for cider, get lost in a corn maze, or pick the perfect pumpkin, the Peach State has you covered.
If you’re craving some apple-flavored fall festivities, head to Ellijay, where you will find some of the best orchards in the state. You can pick a perfect peck of apples at family-owned farms while enjoying a ton of apple-flavored baked goods, such as fried apple pies, apple cider doughnuts, and apple fritters.
The farm stores also have fall pantry staples like apple butter, jams, and jellies. Families can enjoy the petting farm, apple cannons, and pony rides at B.J. Reece Orchards or the live bluegrass music, pig racing, and mini-golf at Hillcrest Orchards.
Test your navigation skills at one of North Georgia’s entertaining corn mazes. Get lost (and found!) in 15 acres of cornstalk forest at Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze in Dawsonville, or take a hayride and roast some s’mores around a campfire. Alto’s Jaemor Farms offers a corn maze with a farm slide, local arts and crafts, baked goods, and delicious boiled peanuts.
If you need a pumpkin to carve for Halloween or bake into that perfect pie, North Georgia has several pumpkin patches where you can spend a whole day enjoying family farm activities. Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawsonville is a fall lover’s dream, with 40 acres full of thousands of pumpkins, hay rides, Indian corn, and an array of mouth-watering desserts and baked goods. Scottsdale Farm in Milton offers a forest full of pumpkins, hay rides, face painting, lawn games, and more.
2. Attend Fun Fall Festivals
Fall is the prime festival season in North Georgia, and there is no shortage of enjoyable festivals throughout the region. Hiawassee’s Georgia Mountain Fall Festival celebrates the season with local arts and crafts, live performances, and carnival rides.
Dahlonega’s Gold Rush Days celebrates the country’s first major gold rush. The downtown streets are filled with vendors and activities, including live music, fun competitions and performances, a fashion show, and more.
The Sorghum Festival in Blairsville celebrates a legendary sugar source in the Appalachian Mountains with syrup-making demonstrations, competitive games, live performances, and an old-fashioned square dance.
3. Walk in the Park
Since Georgia enjoys warm weather most of the year, it takes a bit longer for the leaves to change color here in the Peach State. While the fall season technically begins in September, the foliage won’t show the best colors until late October and early November. Your best bet for leaf-looking will be visiting one of the magnificent state parks around the North Georgia area. Expect a kaleidoscope of colors to be revealed when the temperature drops.
A trip to Vogel State Park (Blairsville) offers some of the prettiest drives along winding mountain roads surrounded by unparalleled scenery. Walk the trail around Trahlyta Lake for an impressive photo of the splendid fall foliage reflected in the water.
Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville provides a look at the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast, surrounded by striking fall colors. Enjoy spectacular views from the easy-to-reach overlook at the top, or challenge yourself with a hike up the steep staircase to see the falls up close.
Unicoi State Park in Helen offers a zipline course for a unique view high above the colorful forest canopy. A steep hike will take you to Anna Ruby Falls for a scenic waterfall view deep in the Georgia woods.
Although not technically a state park location, Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia and offers panoramic views of the splendid fall foliage of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest.
4. Celebrate Oktoberfest in the Bavarian Town of Helen
Enjoy live music and dancing, beers, bratwurst, and much more in Helen. This Bavarian-themed mountain town will make you feel like you have traveled to Germany. There’s no better place to enjoy Oktoberfest in North Georgia, where you can shop for imported European goods, local arts and crafts, and quirky souvenirs. Outside the city limits, there are loads of opportunities to enjoy the natural fall beauty with dozens of waterfalls, hiking trails, and world-class fishing.
You can read more about this immersive Alpine village here!
5. Ride the Rails
The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway takes passengers on an enchanting ride through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The Fall Foliage ride begins at the end of September and runs through the beginning of November, providing perfect timing to witness the peak fall colors of North Georgia. The journey is approximately 4 hours round-trip through some 26 miles of colorful mountain scenery along the Toccoa River, including a couple of stops in the charming sister towns of McCaysville and Copperhill, Tennessee.
Three seating options of premier coach, closed coach, and open-air seats provide different experiences and amenities. A concession car offers a range of snacks, candy, and beverages. Tickets are limited, so book your trip early for this unique view of the North Georgia countryside.
These are just a few suggestions to enjoy the fall season in North Georgia. Visit Explore Georgia for a complete list of locations and activities available to have an unforgettable fall in the Peach State of the South.
This article was written by Allison Fulcher of Allison’s Wanderlands.
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