Before I lived in metro Atlanta, I used to travel through the area on my way to Murphy NC. Most of these trips were in the early and late summer. But sometimes they would be in the late fall. And having grown up in the northeast, but living in south Florida at the time, there is nothing like driving through the mountains in the fall. The mountains are ablaze with amazing fall colors. From the very first mile it is a road trip to remember. And now that I live here, a fall trip through the mountains from West Cobb is mandatory!
As I-575 ends, you begin to travel the Georgia Mountain Parkway, also known as the Zell Miller Parkway or Highway 515. The highway winds through five counties along the Appalachian Mountains. As you travel, there are lookouts where you can pull over to view the breathtaking splash of color. The small towns along the way offer quaint downtowns with unique stores, cafes and more to stop and enjoy. The drive will take you through Jasper, Ellijay, Blue Ridge, Hiawassee and more.
Depending on when you go, there is always something going on in one of the communities, especially during the fall season. Through the end of October you can enjoy apple picking. Driving north, you will arrive in Blue Ridge, where you can catch a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Enjoy the ride and the scenery. When you return to Blue Ridge, stop for coffee, some fudge or just stroll through the quaint shops of downtown.
Also in October is the annual Blairsville Sorghum Festival bringing visitors in from all over. It is in Meeks Park which is just off of Hwy. 515.
As you continue past Blairsville, you will enter the Chattahoochee National Forest. The Russell Brasstown Scenic Byway Driving Tour takes you through Brasstown Bald, which is Georgia’s tallest mountain and offers you 360° views of the Georgia mountains. Continuing the driving tour, visitors come close to the town of Helen, a Bavarian village and all buildings must follow this theme. There are restaurants and quaint shops to explore. Prepare yourself to enjoy Oktoberfest every day through November 2.
You can also drive through the Brasstown area, exploring Lake Hiawassee and surrounding towns. Stop for lunch or stay overnight at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa. Enjoy the amenities including golf, horseback riding, hiking and more. Another option is renting a cabin on nearby Lake Chatuge.
And don’t forget to share your pictures! We can’t wait to see them.
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