Best time to travel to Atlanta

Atlanta Fall Colors

Indulge your leaf-peeping whimsy in Atlanta and beyond

Atlanta Fall Colors
Atlanta Fall Colors
Fall foliage in Piedmont Park, Atlanta

While North Georgia offers some of the most scenic spots for leaf-peeping in the fall season, you don't have to leave the city to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage. Some of Atlanta's sites make for excellent places to soak up that fall air and view the changing leaves. Yet, if you want to see more extraordinary landscapes, you can find lots of nature spots with sweeping views within a two-hour drive from Atlanta.

When is the best time to see fall foliage in Atlanta

The fall foliage season in Atlanta usually runs from early October to mid-November, with a peak in late October or early November. Some areas see the change of color as early as late September, but you would want to aim for the peak season to get the most stunning views of fall colors in and around Atlanta.

Fall colors in Atlanta

You can find bits of fall color in metro Atlanta, as the city boasts some excellent parks. The days in October tend to be warm enough, so grab a blanket and your favorite food to enjoy a picnic in one of Atlanta's parks.

Piedmont Park fall colors

Piedmont Park is one of the most popular parks in Midtown Atlanta. Go for a stroll under a canopy of fall leaves. The park has it all, from playgrounds to dog parks. On a Saturday morning, go to Piedmont Park Green Market with dozens of vendors selling local produce, which can be pre-ordered or purchased on-site.

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Sweetwater Creek State Park is a few miles west of the city. The park is packed with trees and offers about a dozen miles of hiking trails through fields and forests. For an easy hike, go on the one-mile Red/History Trail that runs along Sweetwater Creek and ends at the New Manchester Mill ruins, a filming location for The Hunger Games. You can also kayak, canoe, or paddleboard the park's reservoir lake. To enjoy the fall season in the park fully, consider staying overnight in the park's yurt village and campground.

South Peachtree Creek Trail at Mason Mill Park

South Peachtree Creek Trail at Mason Mill Park explores a beautiful creek valley in Decatur along paved trails and raised wooden boardwalks beside a tumbling creek. The trail connects Mason Mill Park and Medlock Park and meanders northwards to North Druid Hills Road. South Peachtree Creek Trail is a popular running route with scenic treetop views and historic structures in the suburban landscape, so you can either walk or run the route.

Fall colors near Atlanta

Amicalola Falls Loop

Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast at 729 ft (222 m), located near the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail in Dawsonville, about 1.5 hours north of Atlanta. To see the splendid fall foliage views, hike the Amicalola Falls Loop, with several challenging miles through the woods, across bridges, and up and down a few flights of stairs. Stop at the bridge spanning the crest of the waterfall to get the most stunning view of the fall colors dotting the Blue Ridge Mountains. The flaming red foliage is a result of the mountains' dry soil. You can stay overnight at the Amicalola Falls Lodge that offers both rustic camping and plush hotel rooms. Extra services at the lodge include dining and all sorts of activities ranging from archery to zip-lining.

Brasstown Bald

If the tallest waterfall isn't enough, you can conquer the highest peak in Georgia—Brasstown Bald in Towns County, about 2 hours north of Atlanta. At the summit, you will find the visitor center and an observation deck with 360-degree views of the colorful trees on the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Thanks to its accessibility, Brasstown Bald is a popular spot for sunrise and sunset watching.

Cloudland Canyon State Park

In the northwestern corner of Georgia, about 2 hours from Atlanta, explore Cloudland Canyon State Park, which is particularly scenic in fall. You can hike or ride a mountain bike on numerous park trails. West Rim Loop, a moderately difficult 5 mi (8 km) hike, promises some truly sweeping views. For a glamping weekend amidst the fall foliage, you can stay overnight in one of the yurts in the state park.

You can read about more leaf-peeping locations in Georgia, USA here.

Practical info

When can individuals view the fall foliage in Atlanta?

The most opportune time to view Atlanta's fall foliage is mainly from late October to early November. Although minimal colors can be seen from late September, for the best experience, plan your visit during the peak season. During October, the weather typically remains warm enough to spend the day outdoors, taking in the scenic views and having a picnic at one of the city parks located in Atlanta. Show more

What are some places to view fall foliage in and around Atlanta?

There are several appealing places to view fall foliage in and around Atlanta. Popular destinations within the city include Sweetwater Creek State Park, Piedmont Park, and South Peachtree Creek Trail located at Mason Mill Park. To experience other scenic spots, traveling north of the city to Amicalola Falls, Brasstown Bald, and Cloudland Canyon State Park is recommended for viewing the beautiful fall foliage scenery. Show more

Which parks are recommended for viewing fall foliage in Atlanta?

Atlanta has several parks that offer excellent opportunities to view the fall foliage. These include the famous Piedmont Park, renowned for its spectacular display of fall leaves. Sweetwater Creek State Park, located a few miles west of Atlanta, provides about a dozen miles of trails for enjoyable hikes through fields and forests. South Peachtree Creek Trail located at Mason Mill Park presents the opportunity to admire a beautiful creek valley in Decatur. These parks provide a serene environment to relax and take in the picturesque views of the fall foliage. Show more

What are some of the scenic leaf-peeping spots near Atlanta?

Touring North Georgia offers several scenic foliage-lover spots near Atlanta. Amicalola Falls, located approximately an hour and a half north of the city, is a magnificent location to witness the fall foliage due to its extensive range of great views. In Towns County, Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia, gives a 360-degree view of the colorful trees from its observation deck. Cloudland Canyon State Park, situated in the northwestern part of Georgia, about two hours from Atlanta, has several hiking trails and is splendid in the fall. Show more

Is it possible to stay overnight at any locations for leaf-peeping referenced in the article?

Yes, overnight accommodations are available at some of the referenced leaf-peeping locations. Sweetwater Creek State Park has a yurt village and a campground for fall fun activities. The Amicalola Falls Lodge offers both rustic campouts and luxurious hotel stays. Cloudland Canyon State Park provides yurts for glamping, a more upscale camping experience. These venues offer an opportunity to immerse oneself in the fall season atmosphere without time constraints and explore other nearby fascinating vistas leisurely. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin