2014 Fall Color Report

September 19, 2014

Don't Let the Stress Get to You

Don't mistake the late summer stress some trees and plants exhibit as a sign of an early fall foliage season. Take a look at these examples taken on September 18, 2014. While some species such as dogwoods, red maple, black walnut, and muscadine show a little color early, the trees that really put on the big fall color show are still green.

Muscadine leaves turn yellow

Red maple leaves stress by parking lot conditions turn color ahead of the fall color season
Red maple

Late summer reddish color of a dogwood tree

Every year at this time, folks long for the crisp mornings that beckon the start of the fall color season. Rumors of an early fall are in the wind. But Mother Nature is always right on time and the colors will change when all the factors come together and the symphony begins. So here's what the forest looks like today, Friday, September 19th.

Late summer view from the Brasstown Bald South Webcam, 9/19/2014

Pretty green, isn't it? In the mountains of north Georgia, the first hint of fall color shows itself on the top of our highest mountains. Lucky for us, webcams on our highest mountain, Brasstown Bald, are available for everyone to see exactly when fall color begins. But don't hold your breath just yet. We're not likely see the stunning landscape scale color changes for about 3 weeks. But keep an eye on the weather forecasts for north Georgia. Look for nightime low temperature between 35 and 45 with mostly sunny, mild days. The fall color in the mountains will develop about 3 to 5 days after that first good cold snap.

So while we have some time before the curtain goes up, now's a good time to plan your visit to the forest. For example, the Ridge and Valley Scenic Byway is a great way to take in this unique part of northwest Georgia. Other good drives will be along Georgia Highway 52 anywhere between Chatsworth and Dahlonega. For other locations and some scenic drives, take a look at the digital version of our "Outdoor Fun in the North Georgia Mountains" map.

For the lastest, real-time of the weather from the top of Georgia, watch the webcams on Brasstown Bald mountain.

Remember, you can get the latest forest news and alerts by following us on Twitter, and taking advantage of our mobile app that provides fall color alerts as well as a wealth of information about recreation opportunities in both the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests

Check out our fall color photo albums.

You can find fall color information for the rest of the United States on our national fall color page


Fall Color Viewing Tips

  • Be prepared to be outdoors and bring these items:
    • A hat
    • Sweater or jacket
    • Good walking shoes
    • Water
    • Snacks or a picnic lunch
  • Camera, camcorder and binoculars
  • The scenic byways have that designation for a reason. Take advantage of the scenery and the overlooks.
  • Lakes often provide great photo ops with colorful reflections. Think Vogel State Park, Lake Winfield Scott, Lake Conasauga, Lake Hiawasee, Lake Blue Ridge, Lake Burton, Lake Rabun, Lake Russell.