leaves map-

Come fall, communities in the Georgia mountains justly are celebrated for their seasonal shows of colorful leaves. But you don’t have to drive very far to find places where Georgia hardwoods are putting on autumn airs.

Here are a half dozen spots in Reporter Newspapers communities where we’ve found you can take in fall’s colorful displays much closer to home.

Morgan Falls Overlook Park

This small park built by the city of Sandy Springs offers a leaf-lover’s delight from its vantage point above a broad, tree-lined bend in the Chattahoochee River. The park provides picnic pavilions, a children’s playground, a hiking trail, a fire pit and restrooms, but for fans of fall color, the real draw may be porch swings set up to provide comfy places to view the scenery.

Location: 200 Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs, 30350

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Cost: Free

For more information: www.sandyspringsga.org/City-Departments/Recreation-and-Parks/Parks-and-Facilities/Morgan-Falls-Overlook-Park

Powers Island and Cochran Shoals units of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

These cross-river units near the southern end of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area offer some of its best places to check out leaves. Trails through the Powers Island unit in Sandy Springs take hikers through the woods and along the river just upstream of I-285. On the other side of the river, the Cochran Shoals unit provides biking trails as well as hiking trails.

Location: 1650 Riveredge Parkway, Sandy Springs, 30328

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Cost: $3 for a one-day pass; $25 for a season pass

For more information: www.nps.gov/chat

Note: These parks closed Oct. 1 for an indeterminent period as part of the shutdown of the federal government.

Island Ford unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, operated by the National Park Service, is composed of 15 land units scattered along 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River as it winds through north metro Atlanta. The park headquarters and visitors’ center is located at Island Ford, a 319-acre unit that provides both access to the river and about 5.5 miles of trails along the water and through the woods.

Location: 1978 Island Ford Parkway, Sandy Springs, 30350

Hours: Dawn to dusk; visitors’ center: 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. daily, except Dec. 25

Cost: $3 for a one-day pass; $25 for a season pass

For more information: www.nps.gov/chat

Note: This park closed Oct. 1 for an indeterminent period as part of the shutdown of the federal government.

Dunwoody Nature Center

The non-profit nature center offers a mile-and-a-half walk through an old hardwood forest. During the day, the center offers some of the best leaf-peeping in Dunwoody, executive director Alan Mothner says. Trails around the center take walkers through wetlands, meadow and forest. On Oct. 11 and 25, the center plans free nighttime hikes so hikers can experience the forest after dark.

Location: 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody, 30338

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Cost: Free

For more information: www.dunwoodynature.org

Murphey Candler Park

The trail through Murphey Candler Park takes visitors for a walk along tree-lined Murphey Candler Lake. A seat in a picnic shelter or a bench alongside the lake should provide hikers a place to relax while admiring the fall leaves, their reflection in the lake, and the odd duck or goose that drifts past.

Location: 1551 W. Nancy Creek Drive, Brookhaven, 30319

Hours: 7 a.m. to sunset

Cost: Free

For more information: www.murpheycandlerpark.org

Tanyard Creek Park

Tanyard Creek Park should appeal to both nature and history buffs as its tree-lined trails cross Civil War battlegrounds. The park features markers describing the Battle of Peachtree Creek, fought July 20, 1864, at this spot, now in the center of a Buckhead neighborhood. Visitors can walk along the creek on the city’s new BeltLine trail and relax on a large, grassy lawn surrounded by trees.

Location: Collier Road at Walthall Drive, 30309, Atlanta

Hours: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

For more information: www.buckhead.net/parks/tanyard-creek