Late Season Leaf Looking Drives
Normally, the peak times for leaf looking in Rabun County are the last week of October and the first week of November. The drought of 2016 resulted in a mixed bag of great fall colors, leaves hanging on late season, but wildfires and response cutting off some of the usual places to drive around and enjoy the mountain back roads.
The last leaves clinging often are some of the most spectacular colors, and here are a couple “off the radar” drives to take advantage if you have time.
Pool Creek Road
Take Highway 76 East toward Walhalla, SC, and cross the river to the public parking left on the South Carolina side. Park and walk past the restrooms down the paved trail to the Bulls Sluice trail on the right. Follow to the end and check out this Class IV rapid at extremely low water. This is a rare chance to see the really unique rock formations and potholes not visible at normal levels. Explore around and head back to the car. Make a right back into Georgia and look for Pool Creek Road on the right. Follow this along for great leaf looking until it ends at Sandy Ford Road where you will make a left. Cross Warwoman Creek at the old mill site (upstream), and make a right to Warwoman Road where you take a left and head west toward Clayton. If you packed a lunch, Warwoman Dell is a great place to stop and wander around some more after snacking at one of several pavilions available. This location is the intersection of quite a bit of Rabun County history. The first trout hatchery, the Black Diamond Railroad, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Bartram Trail are all worth looking into! Finish here and make a left back to Clayton where you started.
Bridge Creek to Lake Rabun
Just directions on this one, you’ll pass plenty of places to pull over and explore. From Clayton drive south on 4-lane Hwy 441 and turn right on Tiger Connector at Goats On The Roof. Stay straight to the 4-way stop (a right here takes you to Tiger Mtn Vineyards…). Stay straight west on Bridge Creek Road and follow to the end. Extend your trip on Glassy Mountain Road halfway there if you have time. At the end of Bridge Creek turn left on Seed Lake Road which turns into Lake Rabun Road. Twist and turn past million dollar properties and stop for lunch at Lake Rabun Hotel or Louie’s on the Lake. At the end of Lake Rabun Road make a left north on Old Hwy 441 through historic Lakemont, and follow the old highway all the way back to Clayton.