Fall is a great time of year to get away from your desk and out of the house to enjoy what the outdoors has to offer. Today we’ll give an overview of some of these activities and the weeks ahead we’ll take up some of these topics in detail. For now just think about these possibilities and don’t let your kids sit in front of the TV or computer.
The leaves are changing in North Georgia and you and the family can take advantage of this spectacular scenic wonderland. The typical peak is late October but the brilliant red, yellows and oranges are already showing up. This annual spectacle will be on display into the first half of November. Don’t miss it. Some of the most popular places to soak up this scenery are Amicalola Falls, Tallulah Gorge, Vogel State Park, Black Rock Mountain, Cloudland Canyon and Unicoi State Park. You can go to www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/Leafwatch for advice on where and when to find the best colors at Georgia’s state parks. Additionally there is a web cam that shows the mountain side of Black Rock Mountain State Park located near Dillard, Georgia. Later in the fall the parks in Central and South Georgia can put on quite a display as well. A couple of good bets are George L. Smith State Park and the brand new Chattahoochee Bend State Park.
As you shuffle through all your outdoor options that are currently available don’t forget about hiking. Georgia is full of places to hike, the most famous of which is the Appalachian Trail. With the leaves changing it’s an opportune time to hit the trail.
Along with the Leaf Watch there are numerous activities planned at Georgia’s state parks in the next couple of months. Here are a few samples.
In North Georgia at Cloudland Canyon State Park near the town of Rising Fawn there is a hayride and campfire each Saturday afternoon in November beginning at 2 p.m. Call (706) 867-4050 for information.
Unicoi State Park near Helen, Georgia is offering a concert series on November 5th and 12th featuring Bluegrass, Southern Gospel, and Appalachian Mountain music performed by a variety of regional bands and musicians. 706-878-2201 extension 305 is the place to call for more info.
If you prefer to recreate in South Georgia there are opportunities there as well. There is the Sunset Tour at Stephen C. Foster State Park near Fargo on November 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th. This is a close up look at Billy’s Lake in the Okefenokee Swamp. The sights and sounds of one of nature’s last great swamplands is a feast for the senses and might even send chill up your spine when the red eyes of alligators are spotted. The tour usually costs about $15 to $20 and the number is (912) 637-5274.
Also worth checking out in South Georgia is the Canoe trip to Lewis Island. This is an overnight trip that begins at Fort King George Historic Site and includes canoes, paddles and life jackets. You will have to bring your own food and any other supplies you need. Cost is $65 and it’s advisable to register in advance. Call (912) 437-4770 for details.
If you want to enjoy the outdoor scenery and do some hunting there’s a great opportunity to do that as well. Firearms season for white tailed deer will open Saturday, October 22nd statewide and it is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Georgia. The season lasts through January 1st in the Northern Zone and through 15th in the Southern Zone.
If wing shooting is more your style the second round of dove season is now open and will conclude on October 16th followed by the final portion of the season that begins November 24th and runs through January 7th.
Those of you who prefer hitting the lakes and ponds are probably foaming at the mouth. The fish are frisky right now and the bass and crappie are there for the taking. I caught a big mess of bass and crappie two days ago and had no problem enticing them. I caught the bass on a Trick Worm and the crappie by simply dragging minnows about three or four feet down under a cork.
The list of things to do outside just goes on and on. Biking is a popular activity and camping this time of year is hard to beat. The temperature is just right for a fire on your campsite and as mentioned earlier our state parks are brimming over with cool stuff to do.
With all these choices it may be hard to decide which one to do first. My advice is to get out there and take advantage of as many as you can over the next couple of months. If the temptation arises to watch a football game just do like I do. Tape it and watch it after the sun goes down.
Articles and columns by Alvin Richardson about hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports appear weekly in the Statesboro Herald. Richardson can be reached at