Fall in the North Georgia mountains is always a beautiful time of year. It’s no wonder that it is also the busiest time of the year for tourism and guests visiting the inn. At the inn we always look forward to seeing color changes. The colors range from the vivid reds to oranges to yellows. Each day brings another tree turning colors until mid November.
Weather influences when the colors change and the vividness of the colors. By weather we mean the balance of the right amount of rainfall with the right amount of cooler temperatures.
Guests to the area can enjoy viewing the Fall colors from hiking on the Appalachian trail, visiting one of several waterfalls including Amicalola Falls or just sipping wine on one of the decks of the many wineries in the region. One of our favorite viewing areas is Preacher’s Rock (more info below) which is located on the Appalachian trail near Woody Gap (see our video at Preacher’s Rock).
North of the inn there is a scenic route that circles some the highest areas which provides some of the most beautiful Fall colors (See map below).
From the inn take a left onto highway 19 north to the rock pile Stone Pile Gap. Legend claims the rock pile is Queen Trahlyta’s grave. If you add a stone you will have good luck. Take away a stone and you will have bad luck. Supposedly years ago the DOT moved some of the rocks and lost a bulldozer over the mountain side.
After the rock pile you will take a left towards Suches- before you get to Suches the Appalachian trail crosses the road (Gooch Gap)- park on the right and hike to Preacher’s Rock on the AT behind the bathrooms. Preacher’s rock is a granite mountaintop and has beautiful vistas for miles. The hike is about a mile with a little climbing at the end. For more information on this hike and the Blood Mountain hike mentioned later in this post visit Dahlonega Hiking Trails.
After that short hike come back to your car and head towards Suches. Take a right in Suches and head past Lake Winfred Scott Park (stop and see the lake if you wish). Take a right out of the park and head towards Blairsville.
You will see another intersection which will take you left or right- choose right and you will see Vogel State Park on the right. Vogel also has many hiking trails to enjoy the Fall colors and a Lake Trahlyta you can walk around. More information on their web site.
Take a right out of Vogel and you will eventually see the Byron Herbert Reece parking area. This parking connects the Byron Reece trail to the AT and then Blood Mountain. Blood mountain is the highest peak on the Appalachian trail in Georgia. See our blog post on Dahlonega Hiking Trails for more details and trail directions/maps.
After hiking blood mountain you can then take a right onto the highway again until you get to Mountain Crossing Store on your left. Built by the civilian conservation corps it is a beautiful rustic stone building full of hiking gear, unique gifts and snacks. The Appalachian trail goes through the building. They also have a nice stone patio with views of the valley below. More information on their web site.
Head left out of Mountain Crossing’s parking lot down the mountain to Desoto Falls on your right. There are actually two waterfalls at this location. See our blog post on waterfalls for more information.
After visiting the falls head right down the mountain and you will eventually see the intersection with Dahlonega to the right. On the corner there is a little restaurant called Riverside Tavern on the river (picture below). Stop in for a cold beer, mixed drink or a meal while watching the river rush by.
After leaving the Tavern you will be heading towards Dahlonega and will take a left at the earlier rock pile (Stone Pile Gap) mentioned near the beginning of this journey. Before you know it you will be back at the inn.
Other favorite Fall viewing places include the Richard Russell scenic parkway
towards Helen, northeast of the inn. On the parkway is Raven Cliff Falls and Duke’s Creek which are great hikes. Waterfall Blog Post has more information.
Some guests enjoy going the Fall festivals in other nearby counties like the Apple Festival in Ellijay. You can also visit the pumpkin farm near Amicalola Falls to see the giant pumpkins and take a hay ride. Nearby corn maze’s are fun!
Come stay with us and enjoy the vibrant colors.
For more things to do in the area visit https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/dahlonega-attractions/
All Photos courtesy of Julie Best except Riverside Tavern
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