Every year, as the last remnants of summer dissipate as September turns to October, we are asked this question by hundreds of excited visitors.
Autumn in Blue Ridge, Georgia, is a magical experience. As the leaves change from various shades of green into their cool-weather counterparts, thousands of people from all around the Southeast travel to the Mountains of North Georgia. Fall ushers in a bevy of popular activities to enjoy, from apple picking tours at Mercier to brisk hikes on the Benton MacKaye Trail.
Of course, one of the most popular events to enjoy is the changing of the leaves! Fall foliage is a big deal in Blue Ridge, and so the question remains – when is the best time to visit?
This answer varies from year to year, so let’s dive into some of the most popular times to see fall colors in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We’ll also give you the 411 on popular places for leaf-peeping, so that you can plan ahead and experience autumn in all of its glory.
Peak Times for Fall Foliage in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Usually, North Georgia’s autumn hues are at their peak of prettiness from late October through the November. While it’s likely to catch some colors in mid-October, if you want to play it safe you should plan for a fall vacation in November.
Since elevation plays a part in when fall foliage happens, here’s a brief breakdown for you:
October 10 – 20: This date range is peak time for elevations from 4,000 to 5,000 feet.
October 18 – 26: This date range is peak time for elevations from 3,000 to 4,000 feet.
October 24 – 31: This date range is peak for elevations from 2,000 to 3,000 feet.
October 26 - November 8: This date range is peak for remaining elevations.
To sum up - if you’re visiting Blue Ridge this fall, late October through the first couple of weeks in November are great dates to see the leaves' changing.
Pro Tip: Keep your leaf-peeping plans up to date by using the Georgia Department of Natural Resource’s LeafWatch website. This way, if you have a specific set of dates in mind, you can keep yourself posted!
Popular Locations for Fall Foliage Near Blue Ridge, Georgia
Lake Blue Ridge – Though this body of water is beautiful year-round, Lake Blue Ridge is extra awesome in autumn. There’s nothing like lounging on a boat in Lake Blue Ridge's calm, cool waters with a beautiful backdrop of fall colors. Contact the Lake Blue Ridge Marina or more info and ask if fall foliage tours will be active in 2020.
Blue Ridge Cabin Rentals – Blue Ridge is known for its unique cabins, and there sure are plenty to choose from in the area. From lakefront lodges to small properties buried deep in the woods, whatever your taste in vacation rentals is, you’re sure to find one for your budget in Blue Ridge.
Pro Tip: For fall foliage viewing, cabins with long-range mountain views or wooded views are your best bet. If they’re available, see if you can book a cabin with a view that is also close to Downtown Blue Ridge. That way, you can enjoy a misty fall morning with from the cabin and a fun afternoon Downtown in the afternoon!
Brasstown Bald – Is about 45 minutes from Blue Ridge, Brasstown Bald wins the award as Georgia’s highest mountain. Surrounded by the Chattahoochee - Oconee National Forest, Brasstown’s cloud-level observation deck provides stunning 360-degree vistas. Put a star next to this one on your list – you don’t want to miss out!
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway - Comprised of a 4-hour, 26-mile round trip along the beautiful Toccoa River, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is one of the most popular attractions to enjoy during the autumn season. Great by yourself or with your whole family, we recommend choosing the open-air rail car for the best fall foliage experience.
Vogel State Park – Located about 30 minutes from Blue Ridge in Blairsville, Vogel State Park offers some of Georgia’s most beautiful fall scenery. You will discover several hiking trails at Vogel State Park. These trails range from easy to difficult, so you can enjoy the fall colors on whichever trail makes you most comfortable.
Pro Tip: Make a day of it at this picturesque park and be sure to pack a picnic lunch. You will find several picnic benches scattered around the park, so you can enjoy a nice lunch in the crisp, refreshing air and burn off some calories afterwards as the fall colors surround you.
However you decide to celebrate fall in Blue Ridge, we look forward to seeing you around town very soon! Can't make it to North Georgia this year? Watch our webcam to see the changing colors virtually!