Surrounded by Fall Colors Map
1. Labor Day BBQ, Monday September 3 - Celebrate the beginning of nature's most colorful season at Blue Ridge's old fashioned Labor Day Barbeque on Monday, September 3, in downtown Blue Ridge City Park from 11 a.m. until the food runs out. Bring a folding chair or quilt, listen to live gospel and blue grass music and enjoy the simple pleasure of good food and fellowship in a beautiful setting. You can't beat the barbequed chicken and pulled pork; it's cooked all night in the park by members of local churches.
2. Railroad Festival, September 15 and 16 - Bring the kids and take a lively excursion on a railroad motor car, departing from the historic Mineral Bluff Depot, traveling over the Iron Bridge over the Toccoa River and back again. This annual festival is sponsored by the Tri-State Model Railroad Club; be sure to see their model railroad inside the depot. Motor Car Rides, $10 for Adults, $5 for Children 2-12. Hand Pump Car Rides, $1 per person per round trip. Food and entertainment, Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 423-496-5006 or visit www.brscenic.com/modelrr or go to http://www.tsmri.org/
3. "Vincent", September 20 – October 7 - A much loved play by Leonard Nimoy about brotherly love and the art of Vincent's Van Gogh's passions In life. "Vincent" is the richly woven and touching story of Vincent Van Gogh's and his brother Theo and is presented by Blue Ridge Community Theater. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Purchase tickets online at www.blueridgecommunitytheater.com or call 706-632-9223.
4. Blues & BBQ, September 21-22 - Downtown Blue Ridge will set the stage as a fantastic back drop and venue location for a perfect early fall music and food event. The leaves start to change with cooler days and crisp evenings that invite outdoor activities! The sounds of Blues and the sweet smell of BBQ from local and regional cookers will fill the air as families and groups of friends enjoy this unique setting and event. New this year is a Downtown Blue Ridge Blues Crawl on Friday Night, September 21st! Select blues bands will perform at Blue Orleans Bistro, Blue Ridge Brewery, Christy Lee's Courtyard Grille, The Vine Wine Bar & Bistro and The Whistle Stop Grill with food specials for the true food and music lovers who come to enjoy Blue Ridge early and make it a weekend getaway. Blues and Barbeque will feature five outstanding and well known Blues Bands at the Festival on Saturday to include EG Kight – Georgia's Songbird who just returned from a World Tour with BB King – Roger "Hurricane" Wilson, Rollin' Bones, Frankie's Blues Mission and Revenge. $ 5 entrance fee on Saturday. For more information, visit www.blueridgelodgingassociation.com.
5. Railway Leaf Tours on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway - Designated by Southern Living Magazine as one of the Southeast's Five Top Destinations for Fall Color, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway's journey along the Toccoa River is a wonderful way to experience the vibrant colors of fall brilliantly reflected in the clear surface of the Toccoa. The railway runs from Friday through Monday during September and daily in October. Special trips include the annual Rotary Dinner Train on September 21 and the Pumpkin Pickin' Special on Saturday, October 28. Board in Downtown Blue Ridge. Call 877-413-TRAIN (8724) or 706-632-TRAIN (8724) or visit www.brscenic.com.
6. Marching Bands, October 13 - Relive your high school fall football days at the Blue Ridge Mountain Marching Festival on October 13 at the Fannin County High School football stadium. More than 2,000 marching band members from 22 high school bands will compete. The first performance is at 1 p.m., with performances continuing throughout the afternoon and evening until 9:30 p.m. $5 admission for everyone seven years old or older (kids 1-6 free); for information, call 706-632-7445 ext.1.
7. Fall Arts in the Park, October 13 - 14 - Vibrant colors on the trees and on the canvases of 100+ artists at this annual fall festival produced by the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association in downtown Blue Ridge City Park on Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14. Activities for kids, food vendors and live entertainment both days. Also take a look at the National Juried Photography Exhibit at the Art Center. For more information, visit www.blueridgearts.net.
8. Apples & Tractor Tours - U-pick apples and tractor tours at Mercier Orchards are tons of fun for kids and adults alike, adding even more pleasure and excitement to your annual fall apple excursion to the mountains! Mercier's produces more apples, cider and delicious fried pies than any other orchard, now offering hard apple cider tasting as their newest farm-to-table treat. Pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch and take a spooky "Haunted Tractor Tour" on the last three weekends of October if you dare! For an old-fashioned "apple house" experience and some great Southern food, visit Mountain View Orchards on Mobile Road, McCaysville.
9. Fall Leaf Drives - One of the most spectacular leaf drives in the mountains is described in our Scenic Driving Tour #3, from Blue Ridge following Highway 60 to Dahlonega, then Highway 52 from Dahlonega through Ellijay's "Apple Alley." Equally vibrant colors can be spotted at the top of Brasstown Bald in Hiawassee, or on our Scenic Driving Tour #2 into the Cohutta Wilderness.
10. Paws in the Park. October 27 - Have tons of fun in downtown Blue Ridge City Park with your favorite pet. Paws in the Park is one of Blue Ridge's favorite events. It includes a parade, pet education and demonstrations, contests, prizes, photos with your pet and much more. For more information call 706-632-5224 or visit www.humanesocietyofblueridge.org
12. Mountain Cabins - What are the best things about the mountains in the fall? The cool mountain air and stunning views from the deck of a cozy cabin or luxury mountain home rented for the week or the weekend; a brisk hike to a local waterfall, where you are surrounded by red, orange and golden leaves; dinner in one of our wonderful local restaurants; then relaxing by the fire with a good book – or a football game! There are more cabins and luxury mountain homes to choose from in Georgia's Blue Ridge than any other mountain town, and finding one is super easy on our website, www.blueridgemountains.com, click Where to Stay.
Please do not exceed your level of experience and fitness when undertaking any activity, especially in wilderness areas.
A Word to the Wise … Low clearance cars are a bad idea on gravel Forest Service and rural roads because these roads can be sparsely maintained and wash out frequently. The law of the forest is "leave no trace." Please pack in all you will need and pack out all your trash. If you build a fire, never leave it unattended. Use good judgment when hiking, particularly around waterfalls where rocks are often wet, moss covered and slippery. If hiking during hunting season, wear a brightly colored vest. Unexpected encounters with animals can be pleasurable or problematic. A hawk or owl soaring silently above is a pleasure. Watch for woodpeckers, turkeys and mountain grouse near the forest edges. The flash of a white-tail deer is an every day occurrence. More rare is sighting a black bear or bobcat. Most animals will flee the presence of humans, but be on the lookout for copperheads, wasps, yellow jackets and other biting, stinging critters. For more info on proper behavior in the wild, please go to www.LNT.org (Leave No Trace). And as a suggestion, if you are going out for a scenic drive, try to do it in a high mileage/per person vehicle. Visit the Fannin County Chamber & Welcome Center, 152 Orvin Lance Drive, Blue Ridge, GA. 30513. Call us at 1-800-899-mtns or collect loads of information about our area on the web at www.blueridgemountains.com