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7 Ways to Explore Leaf Season at Georgia State Parks this Fall

Crimson reds, rustic oranges and bright yellows mark the highly anticipated start of fall in Georgia’s State Parks.

Georgia's Largest State Park with 9,049 acres, rental cabins, modern campgrounds, a lake and the Pine Mountain Hiking Trail.

Opt outside to take in the kaleidoscopic scenery with family and friends from atop overlooks, underneath waterfalls, in kayaks, or tents. Whatever adventure visitors seek, there are activities that everyone can “fall” for at Georgia’s State Parks. Venture out to discover why these parks are a must-visit for autumn.

With the “Leaf Watch 2022” travel planner, visitors can find information on the perfect Georgia State Parks for viewing fall foliage at The site also includes hiking tips, autumn events and updates from park rangers. Visitors are encouraged to tag their most Instagram-worthy photos with #GaLeafWatch and #GaStateParks for a chance to be featured on the Leaf Watch website.

FDRStatePark Camping005 8 inches 1000pxFDR State Park is Georgia’s argest state ark with 9,049 acres, rental cabins, modern campgrounds, a lake and the Pine Mountain Hiking Trail. Photo by Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Sleep Under the Stars

Looking for the perfect spot to toast s’mores and truly enjoy crisp, cool fall air? There is no better time to gather around the campfire than fall. Regardless of equipment, whether it be a motorhome or a tent, or how you prefer to get there, via foot, boat, or car, Georgia State Parks have campsites for all tastes. Stay in the heart of autumn beauty and in the middle of the action at Black Rock Mountain, F. D. Roosevelt or Tallulah Gorge state parks. A few unique camping spots include Chattahoochee Bend and High Falls where you can paddle into your site, lakefront locations at Tugaloo, Elijah Clark and Seminole, or tent platforms at Victoria Bryant and Fort Mountain. Camp with your steed at equestrian campsites at Hard Labor Creek, A.H. Stephens, General Coffee, and Watson Mill Bridge state parks.

Cloudland Photo by Georgia Department of Natural Resources A view from Cloudland State Park. Photo by Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Leaf Peeping at Top Overlooks

Track vibrant fall color as it moves across the Peach State at some top parks for leaf-peeping. Top overlooks to experience glorious fall foliage await in Black Rock Mountain, Cloudland Canyon, Amicalola Falls, Vogel, Unicoi, F.D. Roosevelt, and Tallulah Gorge state parks. Visit these hot spots to revel in the dazzling display of fall color in late October through November, depending on weather and temperatures.

Those who enjoy venturing off the beaten path will particularly enjoy the lesser-known state parks for viewing fall color – Moccasin Creek, James H. Sloppy Floyd, Victoria Bryant, Chattahoochee Bend, and Watson Mill Bridge.

Go Chasing Waterfalls

Waterfalls are Georgia’s State Parks’ calling card. Pick and choose from one of Georgia’s many awe-inspiring waterfalls perfectly positioned around the state. Watch from atop an overlook or a bridge below at the whitewater cascading down as the rocks reflect bright reds and oranges of fall.

At 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast. Cloudland Canyon has two waterfalls that tumble over layers of sandstone and shale into pools below. Guests can also discover these wonders of nature at Fort Mountain, Black Rock Mountain, High Falls, Tallulah Gorge and Vogel state parks. Best of all, the cooler fall temperatures make the hike to reach these falls even more worth it.

Fishing in Georgia’s State Parks

Reel it in this fall. From trout to spotted bass, striped bass and crappie, Georgia’s State Parks offer some of the best fly fishing, trout fishing and bass fishing in the country. Pick from a wide variety of parks to get the adventure started. New to fishing? The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ “Fishing Tackle Loaner Program” allows new anglers to fish without having to purchase equipment.

Fall Water Adventures

At Hard Labor Creek, Stephen C. Foster, George L. Smith, Indian Springs and more, water lovers who prefer leaf peeping from a kayak are in for a treat. Paddling tours of lakes let you enjoy autumn color from a different perspective, including copper-colored cypress trees reflecting off tannin-tinted ponds. Sign up for a ranger-led paddle or rent a canoe to explore solo.

Horseback Riding at F.D. Roosevelt State Park

Trot through the Georgia countryside on guided rides at F.D. Roosevelt State Park. You will be surrounded by brilliant fall foliage and breath-taking views of Georgia hardwoods, mossy rock gardens, and Pine Mountain valley. Horse owners will find additional parks with equestrian facilities such as stables and nearby campsites.

Explore on Two Wheels

Bikers will get their fill of fall thrills as they speed down invigorating hills and breeze past colorful overlooks at Fort Mountain and Cloudland Canyon state parks. Race past bright fall colors and scenic views in the forests of Panola Mountain and Red Top Mountain. These parks belong to Georgia’s Muddy Spokes Club, a series of mountain biking trails created to challenge experienced and casual cyclists alike to tackle 68 miles of trails in 11 state parks.