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Fall fun: Events and destinations for leaf lookers abound in north Georgia
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Fausett Farms celebrated the first day of fall by opening its sunflower fields Sept. 22. Over the next month visitors will be able to stop by the farm located off Hwy. 136 West from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week to enjoy the 30 acres of sunflowers the farm has to offer. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Dawsonville welcomed the first day of fall Sept. 22 and there are plenty of activities in Dawson County to keep visitors and residents alike in the fall spirit.

Sunflowers at Fausett Farms

A family farm since 1858, Fausett Farms has been offering fall enthusiasts beautiful mountain scenery and over 30 acres of golden sunflowers since 2011. The farm also offers miles and miles of horse riding trails, mule drawn wagon rides, barbecue sandwiches and local honey. Pets are welcome to enjoy the farm but must be on a leash.

Parking is $10 per car. The farm will be open for the next month from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Fausett Farms is at 11336 Hwy. 136 West in Dawsonville.

Burt’s Pumpkin Farm

Nestled off Hwy 52 down the road from Fausett Farms is the family-owned farm that offers visitors a wide assortment of fun. From the colorful orange pumpkins of all sizes to daily hayrides across the farm to the country store filled with fresh baked treats, Burt’s Pumpkin Farm offers something for everyone. The pumpkin patch and general store are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in September and October and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in November. Admission and parking are free.  Burt’s Farm is located at 5 Burts Pumpkin Farm Road in Dawsonville.

Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze

Just off Hwy. 53, Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze has fun for the whole family. There are approximately four miles of trails in the 12-acre corn field sure to keep even the most seasoned corn maze experts entertained but easy enough for beginners to enjoy. Every Friday and Saturday night in October Uncle Shuck’s will present The Dark Rows, a haunted corn maze nighttime adventure for those brave enough to enter the corn maze lit only by the moon.

For something less spooky than a nighttime trek in the corn, Uncle Shuck’s also has a pumpkin patch, fan favorite festival foods, tower walking goats, hayrides and bonfires. Admission is free. Rates for each activity can be found at uncleshucks.com. 

Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze is currently open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays but will be open every day during October from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge

For the adventurous fall explorers, Amicalola Falls State Park draws thousands of leaf lookers each year and offers hiking trails and a spectacular view of the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast. For even more adventure, visitors can fly through the trees on a series of zip lines, partake in a GPS scavenger hunt, complete a survivalist camp and share stories around the fire pit.

Park hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and admission is $5 per car.  

Food Truck Fridays

The city of Dawsonville has been hosting Food Truck Fridays since May 2018 and the family-friendly event has continued to grow each month. Food trucks offering an assortment of cuisine line Bill Elliott Street and Tucker Avenue in downtown Dawsonville from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. one Friday each month through December. The next food truck nights will be Oct. 5 and Nov. 2.

Mountain Moonshine Festival

The 51st annual Mountain Moonshine Festival is not to be missed. The weekend festival will bring an assortment of visitors and vendors from all over north Georgia to celebrate Dawson County’s racing and moonshine history. Activities include a vintage car show, parade, moonshine tasting, over 300 vendors, live music, arts and crafts, kids activities and much more.

The festival will be held in downtown Dawsonville from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 27 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 28.

Trunk or Treat

On Halloween day, Dawson County will celebrate with the annual Trunk-or-Treat at Rock Creek Park. From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., children in the community will have a safe place to trick-or-treat at the local park that offers plenty of parking and restrooms. Candy, treats and toys will be handed out to trick-or-treaters. Carnival games, bounce houses, hayrides, face painting, miniature horses and an obstacle course will also be there to keep the Halloween fun going.

Admission is free.  The park is located at 445 Martin Road in Dawsonville.

Regional events:

48th Annual Oktoberfest

Helen’s main attraction of the fall will be back once again throughout September and October. The 48th annual Oktoberfest will highlight the city’s bavarian atmosphere, offering attendees traditional German music, dancing, beer and food.

When:  Sept. 27 through Oct. 28

Where: Helen Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen

How much: $8 Monday through Friday; $10 Saturdays; free Sundays

More info: www.helenchamber.com  

Flowery Branch Fall Festival

Arts and crafts, entertainment and bouncy houses will fill the streets in historic downtown Flowery Branch for the city’s fall festival. There will also be food, shopping, games and prizes and music.

When: 10 a.m. Oct. 6

Where: Historic downtown Flowery Branch

How much: Free

More info: www.flowerybranchga.org/community/page/fall-festival

Mule Camp Market

A Gainesville favorite, Mule Camp Market will take place the second weekend of October and offer fun for the whole family. Various vendors from arts and crafts to local stores will line the streets along with activities for children such as mule rides and a petting zoo. The event will also have live music and food for sale.

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 12-13 and noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 14

Where: Gainesville square

More info: www.gainesvillejaycees.org/about/projects/mule-camp/

Lula Fall Festival

Lula’s annual Fall Festival will feature a variety of folk art and pottery. Vendors with hand-crafted decor, honey products, jewelry, crafts, candy, canned goods and more will be at the event. There will also be live music and a talent show.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 13

Where: Lula Train Depot, 5959 Athens St., Lula

More info: www.facebook.com/events/168776620517135/

Gold Rush Days

Celebrate Dahlonega’s discovery of gold at the city’s annual Gold Rush Days. The fall festival will feature art and craft exhibitors, food vendors, live music, contests and activities for the whole family.

When: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 20-21

Where: Historic Dahlonega Square

More info: goldrushdaysfestival.com/

Braselton Antique & Artisan Festival

Over 300 vendors will pile into Braselton to sell antiques, from farmhouse to rustic to vintage. There will also be home decor, jewelry, candles and soaps for sale. Food trucks will be on site as well as live music.

When: Noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 26, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 27 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 28

Where: 115 Harrison St., Braselton

How much: Free

More info: 706-824-7204, www.facebook.com/BraseltonAntiqueFestival/

Harvest Balloon Festival

The Harvest Balloon Festival in Flowery Branch is back with its tethered balloon rides. The festival will also have carnival rides and kids’ games, including bumper cars, a zip line, face painting, sand art, a rock wall and a petting zoo. There will be pet adoptions on site and food, too.

When: 3 p.m. Oct. 27

Where: Sterling On the Lake, 7004 Lake Sterling Blvd., Flowery Branch

How much: $10 for adults and children over 5; $5 for children 3-5; free for children 2 and younger

More info: www.harvestballoonfestival.com/