Georgia’s fall season is a wonderful time where we all celebrate many things including the cooler weather, the changing foliage, the return of football and holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. With the change of season comes a new range of fun activities to get the most out of the perfect weather and scenery. We’ve narrowed down some of the best things to do during Georgia’s autumn season.
Apple picking is a favorite fall activity. Apples are naturally in season during this time of year, and there are many orchards throughout Georgia that offer the chance to pick fresh apples right from the source. The northern half of the state has some of the best orchards worth a visit. There’s no better time to pick your own fresh apples for seasonal recipes like apple pie, cinnamon apples or apple jelly.
For beautiful mountain scenery, head over to BJ Reece Orchards in Ellijay. This family-owned and operated establishment is open from late August to October for 2020. Beyond apple picking, weekends at this orchard also offer farm tours, scavenger hunts, zip ines and more.
Another great place for apples in Ellijay is Hillcrest Orchards and Farms, which has been in business for more than 70 years. On weekends throughout September and October, they hold the annual “Apple Pickin’ Jubilee” with cow and pig demonstrations, mini-golf, pony rides and wagon rides. They also have a popular grill and bakery, so bring your appetite as well.
For a more hands-off experience, you can visit the largest apple orchard in the state, Mercier Farms in Blue Ridge. Here, they are offering a “We-Pick” season this year, where they will be picking the apples for you. There are more than 50 varieties of apples in the orchards as well as several other types of fruit. The orchard has delicious baked goods available to-go, and visitors can also place orders online for curbside pickup. Don’t forget to try their amazing hard ciders.
BJ Reece Orchards: 9131 GA-52, Ellijay, GA 30536 Hillcrest Orchards and Farms: 9696 GA-52, Ellijay, GA 30536 Mercier Farms: 8660 Blue Ridge Dr., Blue Ridge, GA 30513
Visiting a pumpkin patch
For seasonal decoration, you can’t go wrong with everyone’s favorite gourd – the pumpkin. Visiting a pumpkin patch is a picturesque opportunity to pick out some of these seasonal staples for home decorating or carving up a jack-o’-lantern.
Jaemor Farms in Alto is a huge 350-acre farm and market that has been in the Jaemor family for more than 100 years. Their market is one of the largest in the country with homemade treats like jams, homemade ice creams and fried pies, plus lots of farm-fresh produce. Last year they harvested nearly 80 acres of pumpkins in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, and this year they are inviting all pumpkin-lovers to come to pick the gourd of their dreams starting in October.
If you’re in Atlanta, Still Family Farms in Powder Springs is a great choice closer to the city. The farm is open September 19 through November 1 on Saturdays and Sundays this year. General admission is $15 per person, but this includes all activities. Their pumpkin patch features a wide variety of pumpkins, so you can find whatever you have in mind. They also have a 5-acre zinnia maze, hayrides and activities for children like pumpkin painting and climbing hay bales.
Jaemor Farms: 5340 Cornelia Hwy Alto, GA 30510 Still Family Farms: 5682 Macland Road Powder Springs, GA 30127
Exploring a corn maze
If you’d like a unique challenge, then a corn maze is a great fall activity for you and your friends and family. These mazes of maize can be found all across the state, and they can even be a little spooky at night if you’re in for a thrill.
From September 5 through November 15, Buford Corn Maze in Buford, is a perfect spot to bring your crew and get lost in a massive cornfield during the day or night. They’ve just added some alpacas to their family, so they’ll be making a first appearance this season, plus they offer hayrides night and day. There are plenty of kids activities like a huge jumping pillow, pony rides and combine slide in their Kid’s Corner. For those looking for a spookier evening trip, check out their Haunted Forest.
In Jasper, Yahoo Farm is also a family fun choice with a corn maze, fossil hunting, pony rides and a butterfly and flower garden. On Saturday nights in October, you’ll find Halloween-themed fun with a haunted hayride and a Cosmic Corn Maze nighttime experience. This location has a unique feature for very young visitors – a hay maze – perfect for little ones to get in on the maze craze.
Buford Corn Maze: 4470 Bennett Rd, Buford, GA 30519 Yahoo Farm: 4729 Waleska Hwy, Jasper, GA 30143
For those interested in natural beauty and enjoying the scenery provided by Mother Nature, taking in fall foliage is one of the best things to do during Georgia’s fall season. From late October through November, the leaves on the trees change from green to yellow, orange, reds and rich browns in many places across the state.
Less than an hour from Atlanta, Red Top Mountain State Parkin Acworth, is a great place to see the colors of the season reflected in the peaceful waters of Lake Allatoona. There are several hiking trails around this area including the Hill Loop which is great for biking or walking. Iron Hill Trail is another option for biking and walking and is a gravel-covered trail with views of the lakeshore. For a longer hike and more scenic views, the Homestead Trail is a 5.5-mile hike to enjoy as well. The park offers campgrounds as well as cottages for rent. Nearby attractions like Cartersville, Booth Western Art Museum and many historic sites can complete your day trip.
If you’re looking for a great hike to get a birds-eye-view of the leaves, then Black Rock Mountain State Parkin Clayton, is a wonderful choice. The James Edmond Backcountry Trail is a recommended path for prime foliage viewing, and it features some primitive campsites for visitors interested in tent camping overnight. This trail loops across 7 miles and extends to the top of Lookoff Mountain. There are also great views on the shorter trails including the Tennessee Rock Trail which spans just 2.2 miles.
Red Top Mountain State Park: 50 Lodge Road SE Acworth, GA 30102 Black Rock Mountain State Park: 3085 Black Rock Mountain Pkwy, Mountain City, GA 30562
Because of the pandemic, this year has presented many new challenges. But, social distancing is possible at all of these locations. Due to COVID-19, make sure to check the destination’s website for information on their current policies, and take appropriate precautions to keep everyone safe while enjoying Georgia’s fall season.
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