With the cooler temperatures, it finally feels like Fall and may be a good time get out and explore Georgia’s changing leaf color this weekend.
Regional Forester Ken Masten, the Georgia Forestry Commission’s leaf expert, says peak season is expected to begin this weekend and likely last into the third week of November.
“Anywhere you go right now, you’re going to find some color,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Masten says unlike most years, color developed first in the lower elevations and is now spreading to the upper ones—something that he says is most likely the result of the drought and the 90-plus degree temperatures we experienced going into October.
“(It’s) not as vibrant as some years and we may not get some of the spectacular colors we get in some years; but I haven’t ruled them out,” he says.
Masten says the northeast side of the state seems to have the best views right now but he expects that to eventually spread to the western half as well. As for the best drives this weekend, he says you can’t go wrong with the Richard Russell Scenic Highway to Helen, SR 180 from Vogel State Park to Suches, and SR 60 back to Morganton and Blue Ridge.
Jennifer Burkhardt, from midtown Atlanta, spent time this week with family at Vogel and says the timing was just right.
“Last year… we came about a week or two too early. This year, we timed it real nice because I like when I get a mix of the green, oranges and reds at the same time. It’s really pretty,“ she says.
For more information on the best routes to see the most color, you can log on to the Georgia Forestry Commission's website at https://gfccommunityforestry.wordpress.com/.