2014 Fall Color Report

Fall leaves cover the High Shoals TrailColorful trees along Forest Road 283

2014 Fall Color Wrap-up

In mid-September, it's not unusual to see interest rise in the coming fall color season in the mountains of north Georgia. In 2014, not only did we get some calls asking about how good the fall color would be, we got several questions asking if fall would come early. As it turned out, the fall color came as it usually does about the middle of October. This year, an Arctic air mass moved into north Georgia the first week in October. This cold weather was the catalyst that put an end to the dominance of the green chlorophyll in the leaves and revealed the color of the other pigments. Temperatures rebounded during the following two weeks, but the gradual downward trend continued through the rest of October and November. By the end of the first week in November, most of the fall color had faded across the mountains. But interestingly, there were pockets of pretty nice color the persisted for the next couple of weeks. As is usually the case, by Thanksgiving most trees have lost their leaves. Take a look at some photos taken Tuesday, October 28th and see for yourself.


Here are some suggestions for driving tours through the mountains in the fall or any time of year.

  • Russell-Brasstown National Scenic Byway
  • U.S. Highway 76 between Blairsville and Clayton
  • State Highway 197 between Clarksville and U.S. Highway 76. Very pastoral and scenic.

Other good drives will be along Georgia Highway 52 anywhere between Chatsworth and Dahlonega. 

For other locations and scenic drives, check out some of the digital maps you can use.


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.

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.