As we say in Georgia, “it’s fall ya’ll” and since the South basically gets a two month extension of summer minus the hair poofing humidity, it’s the perfect time of year to pack up the kids and head for the hills!
As the leaves are painting an autumn mural across the North Georgia Mountains, there’s plenty to discover! From colorful hikes, to juicy apple orchards, to a southern town that turned German, and pumpkins so big, you’ll need a pick up truck to haul one home, well almost! So let’s take a tour of fall in North Georgia.
FALL HIKES & DRIVES
As mother nature gets our her color palette, there are plenty of spots in North Georgia to get a front row seat to the fall spectacular.
Take a drive to Blairsville and hit Brasstown Bald, the highest spot in Georgia for a birds eye view of the foliage.
If you are heading to Helen, take a drive up Yonah Mountain for stunning views of the valley below.
Take a hike through Tallulah State Park. There are trails overlooking the rim of the gorge or all the way up to the waterfalls to enjoy the changing leaves.
Amicalola Falls State Park
418 Amicalola State Park Rd.
Dawsonville, GA 30534
This 829 acre state park on the edge of the North Georgia Mountains is home to the highest waterfall in Georgia, Amicalola Falls, coming in at 729 feet. The park’s name is derived from the Cherokee word, tumbling waters. The trails are fairly easy to explore on your own but coming down from the falls there are several dozens of steps.
If you are looking for more of an adventure, check out the lodge where you can rent a room, entire cabin, or be one with nature at your own campsite. During the day, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy, from guided hikes, to archery, to zip lines (8 years and older) and of course the view of the falls will never gets old. The lodge is even home to The Maple restaurant which serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner so you won’t have to rely on your wilderness skills!
BLUE RIDGE SCENIC RAILWAY
If hiking is not your thing and you’d rather leaving the driving to someone else, take a fall foliage ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Through November 7, this train departs from the historic depot in downtown Blueridge and winds along the Toccoa River in a vintage car. Book your seat in advance since this popular ride sells out fast!
B.J. Reece Orchards
Ellijay, GA 30536
Apple pies, apple crisp, apple cobbler, applesauce, you can have apples any way you want with a freshly picked peck straight from the trees of B.J. Reece Orchards. Make sure you check the U-pick Calendar on their website to see what apples are ready for picking before you go!
After you’re done gathering your apples, have some fun on the farm with a petting zoo, pony rides, cow milking, apple cannons, and the not to be missed pig races. Don’t forget to try one of their apple cider donuts or take home a “world famous” fried pie.
Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash, but no pooches permitted in the store!
1074 Edelweiss Strasse
Helen, GA 30545
Helen, Georgia, the southern town with German charm celebrates it’s 50th Oktoberfest this year.
Head over to Helen Festhalle for some beer, brats and, bands. Hit the dance floor with German bands from across the country playing festive music, and kids under 6 have their own dance floor!
Take a stroll through this Bavarian themed town where you can shop can explore arts and crafts, quaint shops, and restaurants galore.
For a big pint of beer, check out Paul’s, and pull up a chair and watch the bubbling rapids of the Chattahoochee River below you. Ready for a traditional German breakfast, Hit Hofer’s of Helen. It’s a traditional cafe and bakery that serves up everything from Leberkase, Apfelkuchle to dozens of tortes and strudels! For dinner check out Mully’s Nacoochee Grill. Most dishes are cooked on a wood grill. Trout is the favorite, followed by baby back ribs, but save some room for Oreos and blackberry bread pudding!
BURTS PUMPKIN FARM
5 Burts Pumpkin Farm Road
Dawsonville, GA 30534
(1/4 mile from Amicalola Falls)
Burt’s Farm started way back when in the 1800’s. It first opened as a general store that was passed down from generation to generation. In the early 1970s, the family started growing pumpkins and now grows 50-70 acres of pumpkins a year.
Be the envy of your neighbors with perfect pumpkins picked right from the patch. From tiny pumpkins to ghost pumpkins to pumpkins that weigh in at a whooping 100 pounds plus, you will find more pumpkins than you can imagine at Burts.
Take a two mile long hayride on a tractor through the farm for a first hand look at pumpkin patches, fields of flowers and a glimpse at Amicalola Falls.
Stop by the Country Store for fresh baked pumpkin pies, pumpkin rolls, candied popcorn and some amazing fall decor.
And don’t forget your camera, the snaps here will make you all the envy of @Insta!
Lisa Lossie is an Emmy Award Winning former television news writer/producer. She now writes about her travel adventures and mom life. You can follow her @ instagram.com/blondie_on_board/ or on her travel blog, blondieonboard.com