Leaf Watch kicks off Oct. 1

It's almost time for Georgia's forests to launch their fall color extravaganza.

North Georgia's colorful leaf display usually peaks in late October. But color can be seen as early as late September and as late as mid-November.

Georgia State Parks will feature Leaf Watch 2007 beginning Oct. 1 to let people know when and where the leaves are changing into colorful reds, yellows, oranges and golds as they prepare to fall.

"The mountains are where most people go to see the changing leaves," said State Parks Director Becky Kelley in a news release. "But people shouldn't overlook middle and south Georgia. The cypress and tupelo swamps found at Georgia Veterans, George L. Smith and Stephen C. Foster state parks can turn brilliant orange toward the end of the season."

Of Georgia's 48 state parks, six of the most popular for leaf watching are Amicalola Falls, Black Rock Mountain, Cloudland Canyon, Tallulah Gorge, Unicoi and Vogel. Providence Canyon State Park west of Lumpkin, known as "Georgia's Little Grand Canyon," has hiking trails and unusual scenery.

To follow Leaf Watch reports starting Oct. 1, go to www.GeorgiaStateParks.org.