Nestled in the mountains of north Georgia, Helen is a quaint, Bavarian-style town, designed to resemble an alpine village. In northern Georgia, fall leaf color is best in October, which is an excellent time to visit Helen for its Oktoberfest or nearby scenic attractions.
By late September in north Georgia, you will see a few early yellows or reds but most trees are still green. By mid-October, more colors are visible, including deeper reds and russets. Peak color typically occurs around the last week in October. Leaf color varies from year to year so it’s a good idea to check ahead before traveling.
According to the Georgia Forestry Commission, bright sunlight and cool temperatures produce the most vivid fall leaf colors. Lower temperatures enhance deep reds, but freezing temperatures weaken the display. Adequate rainfall helps trees retain leaves longer; heavy rain and wind can quickly ruin fall foliage.
Why the Change
During spring and summer, leaves act as food factories for the tree. According to the State University of New York, the shorter days and cooler temperatures of autumn signal an end to food production. Chlorophyll breaks down and chemical changes occur, resulting in the emergence of yellow, orange and red leaf colors.
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