It's getting close to prime fall foliage viewing time in Georgia and don't think you have to be stuck inside your vehicle looking out the window. With some planning (and in some cases, a taste for adventure), you can make it a memorable experience you won’t forget.
Check out these nine fun ways you can enjoy Mother Nature's brilliant colors on display throughout the state.
According to a representative with historic Banning Mills
in Whitesburg, leaf-peeping here is "highly interactive and not just a passive leaf-looking experience." In addition to the over 10 miles zip lines
that cover a large area of foliage, there are suspended bridges, some up to 140-feet high, which provide another vantage point. Other activities that get you out in nature include a 100-foot free fall
from the world’s tallest free-standing climbing wall and an aerial challenge course
. If you rather stay on the ground, hike along the trails that follow the bordering creek running through the heart of the park.
Dedicated leaf peepers can book a room in one of seven treehouse rooms
surrounded by trees, complete with a porch that overlooks the gorge and slight sway in the trees.
In Augusta, view the changing colors within the Augusta Canal Heritage Area. Take a guided Petersburg boat tour
and get an eyeful of fall foliage while learning about the history of the area. Other options include putting in a canoe or kayak
to explore on your own or hit one of the many trails
on foot or by bike.
Climb to the top of some of Georgia State Parks
' mountains for panoramic views of the fall foliage
. Hikers can enjoy hundreds of miles of spectacular fall colors that blanket several Georgia State Parks. Panola State Park
Canyon and Black Rock Mountain
are parks that offer some of the best foliage views in the state. Cloudland Canyon, in Rising Fawn, with elevation shifts between 800 and 2,000 feet, offers varying views for leaf-peeping. Panola Mountain, located about 15 minutes from metro Atlanta, another challenging hiking destination, is home to a 100-acre granite outcrop that rises above miles of forest and the Ocmulgee River. Black Rock Mountain, in Mountain City, set within the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, is the highest state park.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the colorful foliage from either a vintage climate-controlled or open-air rail car aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
. Departing from downtown Blue Ridge, the four-hour round trip travels along Toccoa River at a leisurely pace toward McCaysville, Ga./Copperhill, Tenn., where you can enjoy two hours exploring the quaint towns.
Feel like you are on "top of the world" as you float through the clouds in a hot air balloon with Balloons Over Georgia
from Cumming. Offering views of a variety of landscapes, they'll soar over everything from Lake Lanier to the silhouettes of the North Georgia Mountains.
Take the Summit Skyride
to the top of Stone Mountain
and enjoy the scenery along the way and from the top. The attraction transports you more than 825 feet above the ground and encompasses colorful views that reach all the way to the Appalachian Mountains. Stone Mountain is surrounded by over 3,000 acres of natural beauty, which allows everyone to enjoy the beauty of fall from every angle.
If you are looking to combine leaf-peeping with adventure, tandem hang glide off Lookout Mountain with Lookout Mountain Flight Park
in Rising Fawn. Proclaiming that fall is a "beautiful time to be here," the flight park accommodates all levels of experience; and by the end of the day’s excursions, you'll reach heights between 1,500 and 3,000 feet above Lookout Valley, above the mountain foliage.
Take the 30-minute guided tour along the TreeTop Canopy Trail
at Oxbow Meadows in Columbus.
Suspended 35 feet above the ground, the canopy trail is linked to three platforms surrounding oaks, hickories, and sweetgum trees. Not only can you see fall foliage but possibly some wildlife as well.
in Albany is one of only 40 rivers in the continental U.S. that flows unimpeded for more than 200 river miles. Connect with Kayak Attack Adventures
to rent either a kayak or canoe to paddle down the scenic river and take in the changing leaves.
photo credits: (top left) aerial view historic Banning Mills, courtesy of Banning Mills; (top right) Panola Bike Trail, courtesy Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites; (middle left) courtesy of Balloons Over Georgia; (bottom right) TreeTop Canopy Trail at Oxbow Meadows, personal collection