2013 Fall Color Report

Bright sunshine light up Black Gum and Maple leaves with Lake Winfield Scott in the background,  taken on 10/21/2012.
Sunshine lights up the red leaves of a Black Gum  tree as a few golden leaves of a Maple tree provide an accent on the backdrop of Lake Winfield Scott. Taken October 21, 2012. Click the picture or this link to see more. Photo by Mitch Cohen

MODIS Satellite image for 10/31/2012
This image from the MODIS satellite taken October 31st shows all the Appalachian Mountains covered in a brown color as the color season comes to an end. Notice the snow in the mountains of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Click the image to see a larger size for more details.

A few photos from 2011

Photo from the north facing Brasstown Bald webcam taken October 12, 2011
View from the north facing Brasstown Bald webcam taken October 12, 2011

October 12, 2011 photo of fall color at Lake Winfield Scott.
Lake Winfield Scott, October 12, 2011
Photo by Becky Vaughters

September 20, 2011 photo of bright red leaves of a black gum tree.
Black gum, September 20, 2011
Photo by Erika Mavity


November 14, 2013 Final Report

While the color has left north Georgia for points south, it has also left many wonderful experiences and memories of nature's wonder with the people who came to visit during this special time of year.

Color Season Recap

From late winter and early spring up to the beginning of fall, there are many factors that affect how fall color will appear across the landscape. Precipitation, temperatures, insect infestations and disease all affect the general stress and health of the forest. Even as the days shorten and the nights get longer as we approach autumn, the daily weather and the species composition of the forest contribute to the unfolding of nature's palette.

The winter of 2012 and 2013 was relatively mild and wet. Spring and summer saw well above average rainfall over many areas of north Georgia and while there were a couple of short periods of summer heat, it was a relatively mild summer. Unexpectedly, summer seemed to linger well into the first half of October. But then things changed, and all those leaves that had done their work so persistently throughout the year finally got the nudge they needed to give up their dominantly green chlorophyll to reveal the colors of fall. The fall color kicked into high gear up in the higher mountains around October 13th and spread into the lower elevations over the next three weeks. As you can see from the photos in the slideshow at the top of this page, it was a season of fall color worthy of the effort to venture out see nature at its best.

Now that we are well into fall, most of the leaves are on the ground and winter is approaching, it's a great time to go for a drive or take a hike. Without the leaves on the trees, many vistas once hidden by the forest open up to provide many opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. 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 new mobile app that provides 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

If you take some good photos you can still send up to 12 of your favorites from your outing and we'll make them available to visitors of this site. Your willingness to share your photos means you're releasing them into the public domain and there are no strings attached to the use of your photos by anyone who sees them. Send your photos to GeorgiaFallColor at yahoo dot com.

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.