Colorful Autumn Drives In Northeast Georgia Mountains

While every season has its charms in the mountains, autumn rates a few extra stars for all the stunning colors it brings. Head out in any direction and you’ll see hillsides dotted with oranges and reds, set off by the cool green of pine trees. Plan a stay at Lucille’s Mountaintop Inn & Spa and you can take day trips to soak in fall colors and enjoy a little “local color” along the way. (Check out this map for best fall foliage times).A winding road through a forest showing colorful golden trees on each side.

The drive from Helen to the towering Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s highest point, is a must-do any time of year, but especially in mid to late October when the colors are peaking. This route, known as the Russell Scenic Highway, is a nationally designated Scenic Byway that’s 40 miles long and loops through the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest, winding and dipping and rewarding with beautiful scenery. You’ll find many enjoyable stops along the way, such as Unicoi State Park and Anna Ruby Falls, and many chances to park and take a hike to waterfalls or scenic overlooks. Charming downtown Dahlonega would be a good lunchtime stop, before returning back to the Inn.

Another stunning drive is along Scenic Highway 197, from Clarkesville north through Batesville. The road meanders along the Soque River and through the Chattahoochee National Forest before meeting up with State Route 76. Head east to Clayton or west to Hiawassee—either way you’ll discover more pretty sites and colorful displays. From Hiawassee, you can drop down along Route 75 and end up back in Helen, just in time to enjoy some of the town’s Oktoberfest celebrations!

Northeast Georgia is home to multiple state parks, providing even more excuses to go in search of color. Just outside of Helen is Smithgall Woods State Park, notable for Dukes Creek, a favorite of fly fishers. Tallulah Gorge State Park, located northeast of Lucille’s in Clayton, has a spectacular canyon with wonderful waterfalls. Head here in November and you can eye kayakers maneuvering the bi-annual whitewater release. At Vogel State Park in Blarsville, northwest of the Inn, Wolf Pen Gap Road gently winds through the park, revealing colorful scenery at every turn.

The large deck at Lucille's with views of the mountains in the distance.And, best of all, drive onto the grounds of Lucille’s and you’ll discover one of the most incredible fall views of all! Pour a glass of wine, settle down on the deck, and marvel at just how beautiful our Georgia mountains can be. Don’t miss out! Call today or book your stay online.