Great Georgia Mountain Trips
For Southerners and Georgians, near the mountains, Blue Ridge and Appalachian October leaf colors and scenes will be great for trips and hiking due to ideal conditions.
Shortening daylengths, cooler days and nights, remind all that Fall is here. Spectacular leaf shows soon will unfold in North Georgia. Even now, some leaves are turning color – plan early and wisely for trips to enjoy the Fall scenery. Peak leaf time should fall between October 28 – 31 this year (2010) with modest leaf color displays a week before and a week after the peak. On October 12 in North Georgia some yellow, orange and red leaf colors are evident — dogwood and sourwood trees are in full red display.
Oaks, maples and hickory also are showing on October 19, 2010 hints of orange, red, and yellow leaves in many North Georgia locations. This weekend of November 6-8 should still reveal good color on some maples and oaks as leaves continue to be shed. On November 5 about half of the deciduous North Georgia trees have fully shed their leaves. Oaks and maples still have reasonable color displays.
A day or weekend trip is good. Be prepared for traffic and congestion in some areas of North Georgia. Plan final destinations and routes carefully for enjoyable, safe trips – here are some ideas:
Dahlonega is Cherokee for “golden color” or “yellow money”, and this famed Gold City was a gold rush territory in 1828. Dahlonega, founded in 1833, has the Gold Museum, the Corral and Carriage Co., and connects with the nearby Appalachian Trail. The town also has interesting gift stores and good eating. Four miles away is Amicalola State Park and beautiful Amicalola Falls.
Lake Lanier is vivid and scenic with nice restaurants and shopping places, and it is only 45 miles from downtown Atlanta. The Buford Dam site provides great vistas and nearby picnic areas
Rome, a city of about 36,000 – where the three “rivers meet and the mountains begin” – is the home of Berry College and Shorter College. Good dining and stores abound throughout Rome – a wonderful, historic area to visit about 65 miles from Atlanta.
Great North Georgia Fall Trips
Octoberfest is one of Helen’s and North Georgia’s biggest tourist attractions. Helen is at the base of a mountain and the Chattahoochee National Forest. The Chattahoochee River originates a few miles northward, and gently flows along the edges of town. This is a premier place to visit in Georgia for German food, atmosphere and crowds. Helen has many restaurants, shops, plenty of lodging, abundant musical entertainment, and merriment throughout the town. Regular horse carriage rides are available for visitors, and carriages definitely slow the pace through town. If you like crowds and do not mind traffic, this is a do not miss event that occurs all through October, and into November.
Anna Ruby Falls Park
Anna Ruby Falls Park is a few miles down the road and is an excellent visitor’s attraction. A short hike up the trail provides a great view of the falls and many photographic opportunities. Less than a mile away is the Unicoi Lodge and State Park with fine accommodations and excellent buffet dining. A short distance up the mountain on Ga. Route 75 Appalachian Trail hiking is available.
This is a beautiful mountain and Lake Chatuge location with fine lodging, campgrounds, several restaurants, and the Anderson Music Hall for Country and Western music. The Georgia Mountain Fair in Hiawassee runs through the 16th of October. Hiawassee is only a short distance away from the Young Harris , the hometown and continued residence of now-retired Governor and U.S. Senator, Zell Miller. Heading West on Ga.515/76 are Blairsville and Lake Nottely, and Blue Ridge town and lake. The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway leaves from Blue Ridge to McCaysville, Ga. and Copper Hill, Tenn. for a 26 mile, 4.5 hr roundtrip with beautiful vistas.
North Georgia Tours & Trips
Scenic mountain vistas and waterfalls abound in this Blue Ridge Mountain area that was inhabited by aboriginals over 10,000 years ago. The area was home to Cherokee Indians, and many of the names reflect Cherokee influences ( Nacoochee, Tallulah, Terrora, Cherchero, Stekoa). In the 1700’s the region was settled by people moving from North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Toccoa River & Terrora Park
The Toccoa River and Terrora Park, maintained by the Georgia Power Co., is a beautiful area to visit and photograph. A short distance away is Tallulah Gorge where the great Carl Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas, used a tightwire to cross the gorge’s width of over 1200 feet. At age 65 he did a headstand twice on the wire suspended about 150 feet above the gorge’s bottom. He lived to die another day.
Clayton & Mountain City
A few miles further are Clayton and Mountain City with gift stores, antique stores, and roadside sales of Fall goods at assorted flea markets. The Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, famous for the Foxfire series of books, as well as the family-style restaurant, the Dillard House are embedded in this county.
Peak Leaf Color and Times for North Georgia’s Fall Season
The expected full, Fall-time, leaf colors will peak between October 28-31. This article will update information as it becomes available. Have a great trip and enjoy this annual spectacle!
Resources – Rand-McNalley Road Atlas 2004. Skokie, Illinois