Although sweltering temperature and intense humidity suggest that summer is still in full swing, the occasional evening breeze reminds us that our fall trip back to Big Canoe is just around the corner. This is, perhaps, a collective favorite annual tradition of mine as well as my husband and two children. There is an invigorating feeling, brought on by the cooler temperatures, after the lethargic “dog days” of summer.
Unlike our sojourns at Thanksgiving, Christmas or even Spring Break, our Fall odyssey permits flexibility in planning, as we are not hemmed in by specific dates. Any weekend we choose will promise festivals, music celebrations and any number of activities in and around Big Canoe.
One activity we know we can’t miss: apple picking! Our favorite orchard to visit is nearby R and A Orchards in Ellijay, GA. Their website has the dates of harvest for all of their apples (by name and specifics), and any other fruit that is ripe for picking. For a city girl like me, such information is tremendously helpful, especially as we plan for baking! Another outing we always take in is to Cagle’s Family Farm, located a short drive south in Canton. A working farm, with lots to do, but the highlight is undoubtedly the impressive corn maze, which, for the not-so-faint-of-heart, is also open at night! For a trip into the city, Zoo Atlanta is high on our to-do list at this time of year, the moderate temperatures making it a pleasant outing for us and we also know that the animals will be more active than they are during the heat of summer. Before we head home, a stop at the Burt’s Farm, open only during the fall months, to choose the family’s future jack-o’-lantern never disappoints – their motto sums it up: “a one-day Fall vacation!” Lastly, we never pass up a drive through the mountains to see the beautiful fall foliage. I recently learned that there is a term for those of us who take a drive specifically for this purpose: “leaf- peepers!” Whether it’s hiking at nearby Amicalola Falls State Park, or driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are ample “leaf-peeping” opportunities!
So, unplug, lace up the hiking boots, and head for the mountains of North Georgia to celebrate one of the most dramatic seasonal transitions.