By Alli Hill
When it comes to location, Georgia’s got it made: from beautiful beaches to impressive mountain scenery and everything in between, there’s no shortage of the great outdoors in the Peach State. Which also means it’s one of the best states in the country to enjoy Mother Nature’s annual show of fall foliage. Take a drive or train ride through Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and you’ll see a never-ending landscape of yellows, oranges, and reds just begging for a photograph. Or, get out on foot and explore all the natural beauty up close in these five stunning foliage hikes in Georgia.
About an hour’s drive north of Atlanta you’ll find the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast that sets the backdrop for the most beautiful fall foliage in the Peach State. Spend a night in the lodge or embark on a guided day hike to the falls. The views are spectacular, plus you’ll have every opportunity (and desire) to fill your Instagram feed with some of the best scenes you’ll see this fall.
This popular hiking destination is a favorite year-round, but particularly in October when the leaves start to change. The trail system here takes you directly across the gorge, where you’ll find an impressive view of Tallulah Falls from up high surrounded by gorgeous fall foliage. The hikes here aren’t as difficult as they are tiring, since there are hundreds of stairs to the suspension bridge and hundreds more to reach the bottom. However, if you prefer to skip the steps, the trails offer several rim-side overlooks that give you amazing views without the effort.
No matter what your skill level, there’s a hiking trail here that will give you an amazing up close view of the fall colors. As one of the largest parks in the state, this park plays home to beautiful canyons, caves, waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, and plenty of wooded areas that are set ablaze with color in October. Along the trail system are plenty of overlooks for photo opportunities of the sweeping expanse of brilliant fall foliage.
Also known as the “Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon,” Providence Canyon is well known for its naturally sculpted rock facings and colorful soil. In addition to being a mini tourist attraction, the canyons are a prime viewing spot for those who enjoy fall foliage. There are several overlooks around the rims of the canyons that offer magnificent views of the fall-colored flora, each of which are accessed by the network of trails in the park.
Also home to one of the biggest and most anticipated Oktoberfests in the country, Helen also plays home to some of the prettiest fall foliage you’ll see anywhere. Head to Unicoi State Park, where you can jump on a three-mile trail that leads from the park to downtown Helen. Along the way, you’ll get your fill of lovely fall sights. Or, opt for the longer Smith Creek Trail that leads you directly to Anna Ruby Falls.