Northwest GA Specific (Ridge and Valley/Cumberland Plateau):

Cooler nights and sunny days with large fluctuations in temperature have signaled the beginning of fall. These conditions coincide with foliage color change within hardwood dominant areas across North Georgia. Trees are beginning to drop their leaves as the annual foliage cycle progresses. The area has had sufficient rainfall over the summer, and forest health appears to be very good overall. Average temperatures have been slightly higher, leading to a later peak season. Expect the first week of November to peak.

Future weather events within the season will largely determine overall color vividness and continuity. Rainfall and wind intensity in the following months will determine how good of a season we can expect. Multiple moderate to severe storms will lead to premature leaf fall and less overall color. It is still very early in the season; therefore, overlooks and ridges are still predominately green.

Species specifics:

  • Maple – green to light shades of red and yellow.
  • Dogwood – still green
  • Sourwood – usually the first species to show signs of color.

Estimated percentage of color change from green to date: 4% above 3000 feet and 2% below 3000 feet.

Aside from dropping leaves, the only notable change that can be seen so far include spots within vistas that have begun shifting from dark green to light green with an occasional yellow patch at higher elevations.

Scenic NW drive:

Take Hwy 136 from i75 to Hwy 341. Turn left on Hwy 341 / Hog Jawl Road. Continue on Hog Jawl through Mountain Cove Farms and up Daughtery Gap to Hwy 157. Turn right on Hwy 157. Turn right on Scenic Hwy 189 (or continue on Hwy 136 to Cloudland Canyon State Park). Follow Hwy 189 to Sunset Rock, Point Park, or Rock City. Drop down into Chattanooga via Ochs Hwy / 58. Turn right on Hwy 193 to get back to Hwy 136.

For the best route in current traffic, visit

North Central GA:

The recent clear, crisp, cool nights and warm sunny days are the perfect recipes for developing fall color. Some beneficial rain is forecast for late this week and weekend but should not impact this year’s fall foliage. The forest canopy throughout all elevations in north-central Georgia is primarily green.

Species specifics:

  • Maple – starting to show tinges of orange and red.
  • Yellow poplar – beginning to show some yellow hues, but overall the dominant color is green.
  • Dogwood and Sourwood – beginning to display some good hues of red/ burgundy

Estimated percentage of color change from green to date: approximately 3% above 3000 feet and 0% below 3000 feet.

A great leaf-viewing season is expected due to adequate precipitation throughout the spring and summer. Most tree species should have mits of stress due to drought and other environmental factors. It appears that fall colors should peak in the upper elevations from mid-late October and lower elevations from late October to early November.

Scenic NC Drive:

State Route 180 via U.S. 19 South of Blairsville, on the way to Brasstown Bald, offers great views of mountains and countryside. There is only minimal color change at this time; however, open fields provide some nice displays of fall wildflowers.

Northeast GA:

As of September 28, no significant coloration has begun; deep greens are fading in over-story trees, which will soon expose the fall colors.

Species specifics:

  • Dogwood, sourwood, sumac, and black gum – Colors are becoming more notable.
  • Sycamores, poplars, and beeches –  Some yellowing.
  • Maples – showing small signs of color change in leaves.

Conditions at this time should contribute to a good season. Peak should still be expected in the last week of October above 3000 feet and the first week of November for elevations below 3000 feet.

Estimated percentage of color change from green to date: 5% above 3000 feet and below 3000 feet.

Scenic NE Drive:

Lovell-Wikle Scenic Highway was the best for overall color this week. There were many of the understory species in color along the roadside. This route was enhanced by wildflowers that are in full bloom, like goldenrod, ironweed, and several native sunflowers. Many of the corn fields are currently being combined, adding to the fall feel.

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