Best times and places to see fall foliage in Alabama, Georgia

Alabama News

Alabama

The peak viewing time to see colorful fall leaves in Alabama is Oct. 19 – Nov. 4.

Chewacla State Park Auburn, Alabama

Chewacla State Park‘s 696 scenic acres offer plenty of rest, relaxation and recreation, just a short drive from the Auburn-Opelika area. Facilities include a 26-acre lake, swimming area, playground, a modern campground, picnic areas with tables, grills and shelters, cabins, hiking and mountain biking trails.

Cheaha Mount Cheaha, Alabama

The highest point in Alabama, the top of Mount Cheaha sits 2,407 feet above sea level. Called “Chaha” (or high place) by the Creek Indians, the mountaintop is now home to Cheaha State Park, a resort park complete with amenities at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Head up to the observation tower for a panoramic view of the autumn leaves’ vibrant colors.

Oak Mountain State Park Birmingham, Alabama

Mountain biking and hiking are two of the most popular activities at Oak Mountain State Park. With more than 50 miles of trails visitors have plenty of options to choose from be it a short loop or an overnight trip. The Red Trail has even been included on the International Mountain Biking Association’s (IMBA) list of EPIC rides.

The park also features a pump track and BMX course, Flipside Watersports cable skiing, boat rentals, basketball courts, nature programs, Peavine Falls, Oak Mountain Interpretive Center, an 18-hole golf course and driving range, beach and swimming area, fishing lakes, boat rentals, picnic areas, demonstration farm and horseback riding facilities. Make your plans!

Naturalist programs, educational opportunities, and avian rehabilitation are major components of the park as well. The Alabama Wildlife Center provides rehabilitation services to injured native birds each year in order to return them to the wild. The resident birds can be viewed from the Tree Top Nature Trail, an elevated boardwalk winding through a secluded woodland valley. Adjacent to the Alabama Wildlife Center is the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center, a 2,500 square foot interactive exhibit space, meeting room, and teaching laboratory. Go to Education Programs for more information on field trips and public educational events. 

Joe Wheeler State Park Rogersville, Alabama

The Joe Wheeler State Park is divided by the Tennessee River, which forms the 69,700-acre Wheeler Lake. Bass, bream and catfish are plentiful in the sparkling waters where sailboats and yachts cruise side by side. Each fall, Joe Wheeler Resort State Park hosts the Fall Rendezvous of boaters traveling the Great Loop–the continuous waterway that circumnavigates the eastern portion of North America, along the Atlantic Seaboard, across the Great Lakes, through inland rivers and around the Gulf of Mexico. As many as 250 vessels dock at Joe Wheeler’s marina and attend the conference in the resort lodge, coordinated by the park’s professional meeting planners.

Monte Sano State Park Huntsville, Alabama

Monte Sano State Park is located near Huntsville in northeast Alabama. In Spanish, Monte Sano means “Mountain of Health.” In the late 1800s, visitors from across the United States came for “the season” to experience and enjoy Monte Sano’s fresh air, spectacular views and mineral springs.

Lake Guntersville State Park Guntersville, Alabama

Lake Guntersville Resort State Park is located along the banks of the Tennessee River in Northeast Alabama. Whether you are looking for a resort style retreat or an outdoor adventure in the park’s 6,000 acres of natural woodlands, Lake Guntersville State Park will satisfy all your needs. Among the park’s many recreational offerings are an 18-hole championship golf course, the Screaming Eagle Zipline, a beach complex, an outdoor nature center, excellent fishing in Alabama’s largest lake, 36 miles of hiking and biking trails, weekly guided hikes, and a day-use area.

DeSoto State Park Fort Payne, Alabama

Continuing in the rustic tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), mountainous Desoto State Park is nestled atop beautiful Lookout Mountain in scenic Northeast Alabama and accented by many rushing waterfalls and fragrant wildflowers that will simply take your breath away. Developed in the late 1930s, the hard-working and dedicated men of the CCC made many natural enhancements to the park that have withstood the test of time and will last for future generations. Come commune with Mother Nature as DeSoto State Park offers a family-friendly atmosphere that holds wonders for people of all ages!

DeSoto State Park is conveniently located only 8 miles northeast of Fort Payne, Alabama; and DeSoto Falls – also part of DeSoto State Park – is located about 7 miles north of the park heading towards Mentone, Alabama.

Georgia

The peak viewing time to see colorful fall leaves in Georgia is Oct. 19 – Nov. 4.

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge — Dawsonville, Georgia

Just an hour north of Atlanta you’ll find the Southeast’s tallest cascading waterfall at Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge. A short, flat path leads to a boardwalk offering the most spectacular views. There’s also an easy-to-reach overlook at the top. For a tougher challenge, start from the bottom of the falls and hike up the steep staircase.

Black Rock Mountain State Park — Clayton, Georgia

At an altitude of 3,640 feet, Black Rock Mountain is Georgia’s highest state park. (Brasstown Bald is the state’s highest peak.) Roadside overlooks and the summit Visitor Center offer sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 2.2-mile Tennessee Rock Trail is a good choice for a short, moderate hike. For an all-day challenge, take the 7.2-mile James E. Edmonds Backcountry Trail. Stay atop the mountain in cozy cabins or wooded campsites.

Cloudland Canyon State Park — Near Chattanooga

One of Georgia’s most beautiful parks is Cloudland Canyon State Park. It offers easy-to-reach rim overlooks and challenging trails. A favorite hike takes you down a staircase to the bottom of the canyon, where you’ll find two waterfalls. (Remember, you have to hike back up, but it’s worth it.) The 5-mile West Rim Loop is moderately difficult and offers great views of the canyon. Mountain bikers can test their skills at the Five Points Recreation Area. Yurt guests stay overnight right by a hiking trail.

F.D. Roosevelt State Park — Pine Mountain, Georgia

Many people are surprised to find hardwood forests and rolling mountains south of Atlanta. The 6.7-mile Wolf Den Loop is a favorite section of the longer Pine Mountain Trail. For a touch of history, drive to Dowdell’s Knob to see a life-size bronze sculpture of President F.D. Roosevelt and views of the forested valley. Ga. Hwy. 190 is a pretty driving route. The F.D. Roosevelt State Park campground was renovated this summer and features new bathhouses.

Fort Mountain State Park — Chatsworth, Georgia

Fort Mountain State Park is best known for a mysterious rock wall along the mountain top, plus a variety of trails. For the easiest walk, take the 1.2-mile loop around the park’s green lake. For a challenging, all-day hike, choose the 8-mile Gahuti Trail. Mountain bikers have more than 14 miles to explore. Hwy. 52 has beautiful mountain scenery and overlooks worth stopping to see.

Moccasin Creek State Park — Lake Burton, Georgia

Georgia’s smallest state park, Moccasin Creek State Park, sits on the shore of a gorgeous deep-green lake. Guests can choose from the 2-mile Hemlock Falls Trail or 1-mile Non-Game Trail with a wildlife observation tower. Hwy. 197 is a particularly pretty road, passing Mark of the Potter and other popular attractions.

Smithgall Woods State Park — Helen

Protecting more than 6,000 acres around Dukes Creek, Smithgall Woods State Park is the perfect spot for fly fishing or romantic cabin getaways. Day visitors can picnic near the creek, and overnight guests can hike a private trail to Dukes Creek Falls. A 1.6-mile loop climbs to Laurel Ridge and provides a view of Mt. Yonah once most leaves are off the trees. Smithgall Woods has some of the park system’s most sought-after cabins and is near wineries and Helen’s Oktoberfest.

StatesDates
Alabama:Oct. 19-Nov. 4
Arizona:Oct. 5-21
Arkansas:Oct. 19-Nov. 4; (Ozarks) Oct. 12-28
California:Oct. 15-31
Colorado:Oct. 5-14
Connecticut:Oct. 12-28
Delaware:Oct. 19-Nov. 4
Florida:Nov. 2-11
Georgia:Oct. 19-Nov. 4
Idaho:Oct. 5-21
Illinois:(Northern) Oct. 5-21; (Southern) Oct. 12-28
Indiana:(Northern) Oct. 5-21; (Southern) Oct. 12-28
Iowa:Oct. 5-21
Kansas:(Northern) Oct. 5-21; (Southern) Oct. 12-28
Kentucky:(Eastern) Oct. 5-21; (Western) Oct. 12-28
Louisiana:Nov. 2-11
Maine:(Inland) Oct. 1-17; (Coastal) Oct. 5-21
Maryland:(Inland) Oct. 12-28; (Coastal) Oct. 19-Nov. 4
Massachusetts:(Inland) Oct. 5-21; (Coastal) Oct. 12-28
Michigan:(Northern) Oct. 1-17; (Southern) Oct. 5-21
Minnesota:(Northern) Oct. 1-17; (Southern) Oct. 5-21
Mississippi :Oct. 19-Nov. 4
Missouri:(Northern) Oct. 5-21; (Southern) Oct. 12-28
Montana:(Central) Sept. 28-Oct. 9; (Western) Oct. 5-21
Nebraska:Oct. 5-21
Nevada:Oct. 12-28
New Hampshire:(Inland) Sept. 28-Oct. 9; (Coastal) Oct. 5-21
New Jersey:(Inland) Oct. 12-28; (Coastal) Oct. 19-Nov. 4
New Mexico:Sept. 28-Oct. 9
New York:Sept. 28-Oct. 28, depending on elevation and distance from the coast.
North Carolina:(Inland) Oct. 12-28; (Coastal) Oct. 19-Nov. 4
North Dakota:Oct. 5-21
Ohio:Oct. 5-21
Oklahoma:Oct. 26-Nov. 4
Oregon:Oct. 12-28
Pennsylvania:Oct. 5-21
Rhode Island:Oct. 12-28
South Carolina:Oct. 19-Nov. 4
South Dakota:Oct. 5-21
Tennessee:Oct. 12-28
Texas:Nov. 2-11
Utah:Oct. 5-21
Vermont:(Northern) Sept. 24-Oct. 10; (Southern) Oct. 5-14
Virginia:(Inland) Oct. 12-28; (Coastal) Oct. 19-Nov. 4
Washington:Oct. 12-28
West Virginia:Oct. 5-21
Wisconsin:Oct. 5-14
Wyoming:Oct. 5-14

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