When autumn takes over Georgia it brings cool breezes and colorful leaves, both of which make for a perfect hiking experience.
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the fall color in Georgia’s mountain parks usually peaks in October, but leaves will begin to change colors as early as September. The agency is keeping up with fall color on their leaf watch page.
Check out our list of parks and places for the best fall hike in Georgia where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery.
You can explore fall colors in the city by walking the trails of The Atlanta BeltLine. Ericka Davis, director of communications and media, said that the Southwest BeltLine Connector Spur Trail along Utoy Creek and the Northside Trail along Tanyard Creek offer the best fall views with tree canopies.
Location: Lithia Springs
Historic Sweetwater Creek State Park is about 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta. The interior portion of the park is closed to visitors, but there are a few hiking trails available to guests located on the exterior of the park. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the trails are surrounded by ferns, magnolias, wild azaleas and hardwoods.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is a popular attraction during every season of the year, and it’s rich in Civil War history. There are at least a couple ways to hike up the mountain. Some people take the rugged Kennesaw Mountain Trail, and others, including bikers, take Kennesaw Mountain Drive, which offers beautiful roadside overlooks. Both paths converge on a parking lot and lead to the mountain’s summit.
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Amicalola Falls is the largest cascading waterfall in the Sourtheast, reaching 729 feet. The .3-mile West Ridge Access Trail takes you through the park’s rich woodlands and over a cascading creek. If you’re feeling up for a challenge, stop by the West Ridge Staircase along the way to see the top of the falls.
Red Top Mountain is known for Lake Allatoona, which spans 12,000 acres. The park also has around 15 miles of hiking trails of various lengths. Red Top Mountain gets its name from its reddish soil, which is caused by high iron-ore content, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Vogel State Park is one of Georgia’s oldest parks. Visitors can trek through 17 miles of hiking trials, which include a stop by the cascading Trahlyta Falls.
Hiking trails lead to the city of Helen and Anna Ruby Falls, and zip lines take you over the forest allowing you to see a beautiful canopy of fall leaves below.
Panola Mountain rests just 15 minutes outside of Atlanta. It’s similar to Stone Mountain, but smaller and more pristine, says the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. There’s plenty of forestry to go around the 100-acre granite outcrop. A crowned jewel of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, the park boasts 25 miles of hiking trails that showcase the mountain’s magnificent geography and thick woodlands.
Location: Mountain City
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Black Rock Mountain is Georgia’s highest state park, reaching altitudes of 3,640 feet and providing roadside views. Visitors can hike through 11 miles of trails, which lead past lush forests, wildflowers and waterfalls. The most popular trail is the 2.2-mile Tennessee Rock Trail.
Location: Rising Fawn
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Cloudland Canyon is one of Georgia’s largest and most beautiful parks. Thirty miles of hiking trials stretch over the park’s woodlands and around cascading waterfalls, creeks and caves. The three most popular trails are the one-mile Overlook Trail, the strenuous Waterfalls Trail and the moderate West Rim Loop Trail.
View the map below to see each location in Georgia: