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8 Prime Fall Foliage Drives in Georgia
Road touring through Georgia is one of the best things you can do during the fall season. During the autumn season, the crisp air and colorful leaves provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely drive in the magnificent topography of Georgia.
Georgia also boasts astonishing rolling hills, dramatic mountains, flat plains, and winding country roads. It is one of the best places to soak in stunning fall scenery. Here are a few of Georgia's prime fall foliage drives that you can take.
1. South Fulton Scenic Byway
The South Fulton Scenic Byway boasts a 29-mile loop. It covers the rural landscape of Georgia and offers one of the best places to see fall foliage during your road trip in Georgia. This region promises tranquility. It provides a great place to escape the masses and enjoy a serene environment.
Furthermore, the South Fulton Scenic Byway transverses through Cochran Mill Park, and here you can see more of the fall foliage. The Cochran Mill Park boasts 800 acres of land with plenty of streams, woods, huge boulders, stunning waterfalls, wildflowers, rocky outcrops, native azaleas, three historic mills, and mountain laurel. You can make a stop at this park and relish what it has to offer.
2. Suches on Highway 60
Suches on Highway 60 promises one of the most stunning drives through the countryside of Blue Ridge in Georgia. Most tourists call this region “the Valley Above the Clouds" as it is in an elevated area of 3000 feet above sea level. The magical area of Suches is surrounded by the lush Chattahoochee National Forest; thus, driving through this region will give you the best fall colors.
In addition, there are several areas where you can make pit stops and enjoy the beautiful scenery that Suches has. One incredible area you can go to is the Swinging Bridge. There is also the Preacher's Rock, where you can hike and see stunning fall views.
3. Richard B. Russell Scenic Byway
The Richard B. Russell Scenic Byway boasts several scenic sights, including rugged cliffs, trickling waterfalls, flowers, and ferns. It stretches for 20 miles and provides access to Georgia's most stunning trails, such as the Raven Cliff Falls.
One incredible stop you should make during your road trip is Hogpen Gap. The Hogpen Gap is one of the highest points in Georgia, and it usually offers great views of the Brasstown Bald, where you can relish the stunning fall colors.
4. The Scenic Drive in Black Rock Mountain State Park
Nestled in Rabun County, the Black Rock Mountain State Park, boasts 1700 acres with plenty of campsites, trails, and amazing views of the fall foliage. This park is one of the most mountainous regions in Georgia, with plenty of natural gems such as waterfalls. The best thing about Black Rock Mountain State Park is that you do not need to get out of your car to enjoy the golden colors of fall. You can access several of the state park's overlooks from scenic roads that run through it.
The Black Rock Mountain State Park is one of the first places that will begin to change colors in Georgia compared to others. For better views of the amazing fall colors, consider visiting the Wolffork Valley, located in the park.
5. Millens-Jenkins County Scenic Byway
If you are a history lover, the Millens-Jenkins County Scenic Byway is the place to be. This route will let you enjoy the spectacular fall foliage as you transverse the historic district. You will get access to adorable small towns, churches, antique farmhouses, and abundant wood with vibrant fall foliage.
Many of the best Millens-Jenkins County Scenic Byway sightseeing stops are on Herndon Road. This byway comprises a 35 miles loop that starts at Cotton Avenue in Millen. It has narrow roadways that will take you through a tunnel of trees, where you can relish the changing colors.
Note that this byway boasts several historic buildings, where many were constructed in the 1880s and 1930s. One of the most majestic buildings you will see is the Jenkins County Courthouse, constructed in 1910. Other historic buildings that you will see include the Fair Haven Methodist Church, Big Buckhead Baptist Church, and the Carswell Grove Baptist Church.
6. The Scenic Drive in Red Top Mountain State Park
Leaf peeping at the Red Top Mountain State Park promises an adventure like no other. This state park is only an hour away from Atlanta. The best thing is that you can explore the fall foliage from the mountain roads, as the roads are the park's best spots for viewing the golden fall colors. Note that the mountain roads are at a high elevation; thus, the leaves begin to change color early.
The best time for fall foliage drives in the Red Top Mountain State Park is mid-October. Also, note that this region has several hiking trails that will take you to magnificent viewing points. One incredible route you can consider is the overlook trail available on Highway 20. Driving through this road will present you with spectacular views of the fall colors. You can also consider hiking Pine Mountain to see more stunning fall foliage.
7. Cohutta-Chattahoochee Scenic Byway
Cohutta-Chattahoochee Byway stretches for 54 miles and will take you through gorgeous sites to see fall foliage and other natural beauties. It begins in Whitfield County at the 19 Century Prater's Mill and will take you to Fort Mountain State Park, where you can make several stops and enjoy the changing fall colors.
This scenic byway will also take you through the Oconee and Chattahoochee National Forests, which offer some of the fall's best sights. If you have enough time during your drive, explore the Oconee River, gentle rolling peaks, streams, and lush forests in the area. You can also participate in white-water rafting, kayaking, and discovering Native American history.
8. Cloudland Canyon Park Road
The Cloudland Canyon Park Road will take you to Cloudland Canyon Park, where there are magical views of the fall foliage. This state park is located on the northwest side of Georgia and is one of the most beautiful places to be in Georgia. Driving through this state park will allow you to see miles of fall colors. In addition, you can make stops to see the Boulder-strewn Sitton Gulch Creek, Cherokee Falls, Hemlock Falls, and Sitton's Cave.
Note that Cloudland Canyon Park can be extremely busy in the fall season. Thus, visiting during weekdays can give you a better chance to fully enjoy the park's changing colors and natural beauty with a lesser crowd.
Summing it up
The changing colors of leaves in Georgia are a much-anticipated time of the year. As you can see, there are plenty of scenic driving areas in Georgia where you can enjoy the changing colors as you see other beauties, such as historic landmarks and state parks.
The best thing about this magical area is that you do not need to leave your car to relish the lavish display of Mother Nature's fall foliage. You can ride at your own pace, choose your own route, change your plans on a whim, or make spontaneous decisions. However, if you are self-driving on your trip to Georgia, be sure to carry auto insurance as it’s required by law.