Posted on 9/8/2023

FALL BLUE RIDGE BUCKET LIST

Fall has arrived in the mountains and there’s no better time to Escape to Blue Ridge! Blue Ridge is home to beautiful mountain ranges that come alive with stunning hues of red, orange, and yellow in the fall, world class apple orchards, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, dozens of breweries & wineries, and so much more! As you can see, there’s so much to do here in the fall but we’ve narrowed it down to a few of our favorites. Check out our go-to Fall Bucket List for Blue Ridge, Georgia!

APPLE PICKING

Photo Courtesy of the Folk Collaborative

You can’t have fall without visiting an apple orchard! We love spending a fall afternoon at Mercier Orchards where you can pick your own apples, explore the market, go for a tractor ride, try a hard cider or a glass of wine, and munch on some delicious fried pies. Check their website for U-Pick dates and apple availability. You can also visit Deep Roots Orchard, part of Folk Collaborative, for more apple picking fun. They grow a variety of apples like honeycrisp, red delicious, granny smiths, and more; so check their website for a schedule of when your favorite type of apple is in harvest. You can also enjoy wagon rides, cider tastings, and barn tours around the orchard.

And just outside of Blue Ridge in Ellijay, GA you can experience the Georgia Apple Festival in early October! Ellijay is known as the Apple Capital of Georgia so every October they celebrate apple season with demonstrations, arts & craft vendors, an antique car show, a parade, and lots of apple fun!

FALL TRAIN RIDE

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

There’s no better way to admire the beautiful fall foliage around North Georgia than on a scenic train ride through the countryside with Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. You’ll go on an unforgettable journey past picturesque landscapes that encompass mountains, streams, and forests; every inch of it covered in bright, beautiful autumn colors. Choose between the 2-hour Fall Express train or the 4-hour Fall Foliage train, where you’ll enjoy a two hour layover in the twin cities of Copperhill, TN and McCaysville, GA. The whole family will love taking in the beauty of Blue Ridge this fall in such a unique and fun way!

HAYRIDES & PUMPKIN PATCHES

Photo Courtesy of Burts Pumpkin Farm

Pick out the perfect pumpkin for fall and go on a hay ride through the farm fields at Burts Farm in Dawsonville, GA. Starting September 1st you’ll find thousands of pumpkins spread among the fields at Burts. They grow over 20 different varieties of pumpkins, so you can find all kinds of unique pumpkins that you won’t be able to find at your average grocery store. After you pick out a few of the best pumpkins, for carving or eating, take the kids on over to the tractor for a good old fashioned hayride around the farm! On the ride you’ll hear stories told from some of Burt’s most famous pumpkins, Autumn and Gordy, and you may even see some singing pumpkins as you cross over the covered bridge. It’s a fun experience that the whole family will enjoy! And before you leave be sure to to check out their country store for fall decor and delicious baked goods!

CORN MAZE

Photo Courtesy of Uncle Shucks Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

Have some a’maze’ing fun on the farm! About 45 minutes from Blue Ridge in Dawsonville, GA sits Uncle Shucks Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch! You’ll find all kinds of fall fun here including a pumpkin patch, a goat walk, wagon rides, kids activities, delicious farm food, and the highlight of your trip- the 15 acre corn maze! Each year the maze takes on a new shape that comes with its own twists, turns, and new challenges. There are two mazes to explore so make sure you allot plenty of time to experience them both (one maze can take 30+ minutes and if you choose to do both mazes it could take up to 2 hours.) The mazes are meant to be a fun challenge but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can exit anytime you wish. Not only will you be searching for the end of the maze, but as you go you’ll be looking for different checkpoints as well. We recommend working as a team to find them all!

Do you enjoy a little thrill in your life? Then come back at night and try the Haunted Maze! This maze is completely separate from the main two mazes and is a spooky nighttime adventure through the twists & turns of the corn field. You may hear noises or catch sight of a ghastly ghoul; but flashlights are not allowed, so good luck escaping this haunted maze insert evil laugh here “whahahaha!” For family fun during the day or for a good scare Friday & Saturday nights in October, be sure to visit Uncle Shucks this fall!

FALL HIKING

Strap on your hiking boots and take to the trails on a fall afternoon for some leaf peeping and beautiful, mild weather! The trees that line the trails will be covered in beautiful fall colors of bright red, orange, and yellow. We love hiking along the Toccoa River during the fall and crossing the famous Swinging Bridge, (this is a great spot for a family photo-op). Waterfall hikes are always a treat too; some of our favorites include Long Creek FallsFall Branch Falls, and Amicalola Falls. And if you’re up for a challenge, hike to the top of Springer Mountain or Fort Mountain, where you’ll find some amazing scenic overlooks. Discover more great hiking trails perfect for the fall here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-blue-ridge-hiking-trails/

SCENIC DRIVES

Hwy 180 courtesy of Scott Michael Anna

Hiking not your thing? No problem! You can still take in all the sights with a scenic drive through North Georgia. The leaves will soon be popping with color, the air will be crisp and fresh, and the views will be extra stunning. Drive through some of the most beautiful mountain roads in North Georgia with these fall scenic drives. One of our favorite drives, especially this time of year, is the Russell-Brasstown Scenic Drive along Highway 180. This will take you through the Chattahoochee National Forest and past Brasstown Bald (the highest peak in Georgia). We also recommend checking out Highway 5, which passes through the beautiful Cohutta Wilderness. Some of our favorite pit stops along this route include Mercier Orchards and Prater’s Mill. Discover more fall scenic drives here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/5-scenic-fall-drives/

SIP SIP HOORAY!

Photo Courtesy of Serenberry Vineyards

It’s Oktoberfest season, so grab a brew or a glass of wine at one of these great local spots! When it comes to beer Blue Ridge is home to four amazing local breweries: Grumpy Old Men BrewingFannin BrewingAngry Hops Brewing, and Tipping Point Brewing Co. They’re all located in Downtown Blue Ridge so it’s easy to bounce from brewery to brewery! If you’re looking for some real Oktoberfest brews check out Black Bear Bier Company. They offer dozens of German & local beers, along with tasty Bavarian Pretzels and 9 varieties of wild game sausages.

Take in the views and enjoy the cool fall breeze on the patio at one of our wonderful local wineries! Check out Bear Claw Vineyards or Serenberry Vineyards for a ‘wine’dful time in Blue Ridge. Or go on a road trip to visit Cartecay Vineyards or Chateau Meichtry, which both have incredible views of the mountains in all their fall glory! The North Georgia area is even home to a distillery that makes amazing moonshine…enter Grandaddy Mimm’s Distillery in Blairsville. Sample some of their moonshine and enjoy some live music from Tommy Townend and friends. Wherever you choose to go the drinks are cold and the fun is always on!

FALL SWEET TREATS

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Fall means it’s time to bring back all your favorite pumpkin and apple treats! Of course, Mercier Orchards offers their famous apple fried pies and apple cider donuts year round, but they are especially delicious during the fall. You can also pick up a full apple pie and a jug of apple cider to bring home with you. At Das Kaffee Haus in Downtown Blue Ridge you can warm up with all your favorite fall drinks like Pumpkin Pie Latte, Butter Pecan Latte, and Campfire S’mores Latte; and stay tuned to Mountain Mamma’s Coffee Lounge page for their upcoming fall menu as well. Craving something sweet? The local bakeries are rolling out all their pumpkin spice goodies! At The Sweet Shoppe of the South you can try all their festive fall flavored cupcakes like pumpkin cheesecake swirl and pumpkin spice. And The Little Bakery has delicious cakes and pastries available like their apple pie cheesecake, Pumpkin spice Rice Krispie treats, Pumpkin loaf and pumpkin cake with spiced buttercream. Even the Rum Cake Lady is offering special pumpkin spice rum cake bites for the fall! Yum!

You can even enjoy a cozy night in and make your own fall favorites at the cabin by roasting marshmallows by the fire and making the ultimate s’more! There’s nothing quite like a bonfire on a crisp fall night and a hot, gooey, s’more to warm you up. See our s’mores blog here for ideas: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/smores-elevated/

FIRESIDE CUDDLING

Anita Nikelli

We know fall is a busy time of year. Between the festivals, sporting events, and family time it can be hard to find a moment to sit back and relax. But when you Escape to Blue Ridge that’s just what you’ll have plenty of time to do! Cuddle up by the fire with a warm beverage and your favorite book. Or head to the campfire outside and roast hot dogs & s’mores, swap stories, and take in the beautiful night sky. There’s nothing quite like ending a busy day of exploring with a relaxing sit by the fire.

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