Panola Mountain State Park | GA Dept. of Natural Resources

Planning to take the family on a pilgrimage to the North Georgia mountains to check out the spectacular scenes of orange, red, brown and gold leaves? How about checking out the fall foliage nearby instead? There are plenty of areas right here in metro Atlanta to catch that magical leaf transformation. Late October to early November is prime time for leaf watching.

Panola Mountain State Park

Less than 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta, Panola Mountain offers picturesque scenes of foliage throughout the park as well as a playground. Bonus: it is one of only three “natural heritage areas” in the state, meaning it is recognized as a place where history, cultural and natural wonders combine with places where people work and live.

Grant Park

On the Eastside of Atlanta, enjoy the mature trees lining the streets of Grant Park, a historic Atlanta neighborhood. The park itself, Atlanta’s oldest, is 131 acres of green space with mature trees with fall color throughout. Grant Park is also home to Zoo AtlantaGrant Park Farmers Market, and a great playground and walking trail.

Roswell Mill and Historic Town Square

In Roswell, add a little history with fall foliage by checking out the leaves at The Roswell Mill and the nearby historic town square. At the Mill, visitors hike across the bridge and up to a waterfall while enjoying the scenery –the bridge is a popular spot for photographers. Then, take the less-than-half-a-mile walk to Roswell’s historic town square. There, gaze at the beautiful trees around the square and tour the nearly 200-year-old mansion, Barrington Hall.

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Just a few miles west of the city and packed with trees, tell the kids you’re in north Georgia at this beautiful park. For a family-friendly hike, the one-mile Red/History Trail follows Sweetwater creek and ends at the ruins of an old textile mill. This park is a great overnight option as well. Wake up to the sight of fall foliage with playgrounds, campsites and even a yurt village.

Piedmont Park | Piedmont Park Conservancy

Piedmont Park 

In Midtown, visit Piedmont Park for family fun under a canopy of fall leaves. From playgrounds to dog parks to just walking around and enjoying the views, the park has everything your family needs for a fun fall day. Don’t miss the Piedmont Park Green Market, with dozens of vendors and live music on Saturday mornings.

College Campuses in Atlanta

Atlanta is home to some of the finest universities, many of which have gorgeous campuses lined with trees. Emory University in Decatur has Lullwater Preserve, a large, peaceful park with a waterfall, wildlife and a 210-foot suspension bridge. Agnes Scott College, also in Decatur, offers a tree walk through their arboretum to see the beautiful fall colors of their oaks and maples. Download an app to guide you through the walk. Another school worthy of tree gawking is Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven, which has a 100-acre wooded campus and benches throughout.

Lake Allatoona 

What’s better than gorgeous fall leaves on the water? How about that Lake Allatoona is only 45 minutes northwest of downtown Atlanta? Drive up to the visitor’s center or use this handy hiking guide to hit one or two of their many trails. Bring your camera—there will be lots of frame-worthy photo ops with your kids and those colorful leaves.

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