Along with the fabulous leaf show, area state parks also offer special events throughout the year. Here are some top picks. Go to and click on the Activities tab to get a complete list with details.

Stars of Red Top & Iced Lemonade at Red Top Mountain State Park
Friday, Oct. 7 & 21, 9-10:30 p.m., weather permitting. Star-gazers are encouraged to bring their equipment; binoculars will be available. Meet at the Visitors Center by 8:45 p.m. $5 parking. 770-975-0055.

Fall Foliage Hike at Cloudland Canyon State Park
Saturday, Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29 & Nov. 5, 2-3 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30 & Nov. 6, 2-3 p.m. During the one-mile walk, hikers will learn about tree species in the park. $5 parking. 706-657-4050.

Second Saturday Guided Hike at Smithgall Woods State Park
Saturday, Oct. 8, Nov. 12 & Dec. 10, 9-11 a.m. Hiking trails will be explored during the monthly guided hikes, weather permitting. $5 parking. 706-878-3087.

Fall Festival at Vogel State Park
Saturday, Oct. 15, 12-7 p.m. Celebrate the arrival of autumn with storytelling, square dancing and hayrides. $5 parking. 706-745-2628.

A Walk Through the Mining Industry at James H. Floyd State Park
Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 22, 1-3 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 5, 1-3 p.m. Discover the history of northwest Georgia mining operations during a 2-mile hike over moderate terrain. 706-857-0826.

Full Moon Lake Paddle at Tallulah Gorge State Park
Saturday, Oct. 15, 7-9 p.m. Rangers lead paddlers over a moonlit lake. $15, $5 parking. Limited space, register in advance, 706-754-7981.

Geologist Walk: Great Valley, Boulder Field & Puzzle of the Wall at Fort Mountain State Park
Friday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m. Dr. Bill Witherspoon leads the discovery walk that includes a mysterious 900-ft. long wall. $5 parking. 706-422-1932.

Haunted Hills Hayride at Victoria Bryant State Park
Friday, Oct. 21 & 28, 8-10 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 22 & 29, 8-10 p.m. Spooky hayrides include a movie and bonfire. Tickets available 7:30-10 p.m. each evening. $5, $5 parking. 706-245-6270.

Campfires, Marshmallows & Ghosts at Black Rock Mountain State Park
Sunday, Oct. 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Bring marshmallows, hot dogs and a favorite ghost story to share around the old fashioned campfire. $5 parking. 706-746-2141.

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is a freelance writer and editor based in metro Atlanta.