George L. Smith State Park in Twin City, Georgia

George L. Smith State Park in Twin City, Georgia

7 Secret Georgia State Parks for Fall Color

Find a quiet spot to immerse yourself in the beauty of the season at these Georgia State Parks.

You might already know about some of the most popular Georgia State Parks for fall color, but did you know there are many more to explore that don't disappoint with an array of stunning scenes? If you're looking for some hidden gems for fall foliage, head to these seven parks and take advantage of the smaller crowds and wide open spaces.

Don Carter State Park on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia

Don Carter State Park in Gainesville

Georgia's only state park on Lake Lanier, Don Carter State Park, offers more than 14 miles of forested trails, boat ramps, cabins and campsites. Equestrians will especially enjoy autumn views from the trails, and guided trail rides are available.

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On the water at George L. Smith State Park in Twin City, Georgia. Photo by Mill Pond Kayak

George L. Smith State Park in Twin City

Photo by Mill Pond Kayak

In late autumn, cypress trees turn deep orange and make a beautiful reflection off George L. Smith State Park’s blackwater pond. Join Mill Pond Kayak for a guided paddle trip under Spanish moss and tupelo trees. Photographers will appreciate exploring a covered bridge built in 1880.

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Waterfall at James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park in Summerville, Georgia. Photo by @westy4xer

James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park in Summerville

Photo by @westy4xer

Quiet James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park in northwest Georgia has five miles of hiking trails, plus access to the 60-mile Pinhoti Trail. The moderately easy Marble Mine Trail follows an old road to a 35-foot waterfall adjacent to an old mine opening (now closed).

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Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia, in the fall

Providence Canyon State Park in Lumpkin

Georgia's "Little Grand Canyon," Providence Canyon State Park, may be best known for its orange-hued soil, but its trees provide a colorful palette, as well. In late fall, rent a cabin nearby at Florence Marina State Park, then hike the canyon for the best leaf watching.

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Historic Vaughn Cabin at Red Top Mountain State Park in Acworth, Georgia. Photo by @damian_bacci

Red Top Mountain State Park in Acworth

Photo by @damian_bacci

More than 15 miles of trails wind through Red Top Mountain State Park, providing beautiful views of Lake Allatoona and the surrounding forest. The 4-mile Iron Hill Trail is open to hikers and bikers, and its wide path is fairly easy for smaller children.

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Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs, Georgia

Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs

A wooded trail follows the stream to the ruins of a textile mill burned during the Civil War at Sweetwater Creek State Park. Beyond the mill, the trail climbs rocky bluffs to provide views of the beautiful rapids below. Additional trails wind through forest, fields and along the creek.

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Hiking at Victoria Bryant State Park in Royston, Georgia

Victoria Bryant State Park in Royston

Located just minutes from I-85 in north Georgia, Victoria Bryant State Park has eight miles of hiking trails, a pretty stream and small fishing ponds. Tent campers will like the wooden platforms surrounded by hardwood forest. Golfers can tee off surrounded by fall color on the park's 18-hole Highland Walk Golf Course.

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Published: August 2021
Written by: Kim Hatcher