Adherence to CDC guidelines in reference to social distancing is encouraged. Due to the rapidly evolving situation surrounding COVID-19, we encourage visitors to directly contact the tourism businesses and attractions promoted here when planning their trips for the latest information on these business’ guidelines, hours of operation, etc.
The crisp air and changing leaves can only mean one thing: fall is finally here. And there’s no better time to visit Henry County, Georgia.
It’s the perfect season to explore the four cities’ outdoor scene and fall festivities, from beautiful hiking trails and unique signature experiences, to local farm fun and seasonal events loved by residents and visitors alike.
Plan a fun-filled weekend with a few of the attractions that follow, or fit them all in a multi-day fall getaway.
Hit the Trails
Henry County is home to an array of exciting and scenic trails. They vary in distance and terrain, so there’s something for everyone.
For a shorter, more casual stroll, a few local parks have just what you’re looking for.
Take in the fresh fall air and beautiful scenery along the 1.1-mile paved walking/jogging trail in Village Park at North Henry.
Clark Community Park, situated on 12 acres, offers visitors plenty of space for outdoor fun, including a 0.75-mile paved trail through the park’s beautiful woodlands.
Want to bring Fido along for the hiking fun? The three-mile paved Reeves Creek Trail in Memorial Park is just the ticket. The out-and-back trail is not only pet-friendly, but also suitable for all age and skill levels, winding visitors through the scenic, wildflower-filled park to the cool waters at Reeves Creek.
Cubihatcha Outdoor Center
For a more challenging hike, check out Locust Grove’s Cubihatcha Outdoor Center, which spans almost 1,000 acres of bottomland, hardwood and forested wetlands and uplands, and features two main trail paths for walking and hiking:
- The Red and Blue Trails, a 2-mile trail that take visitors around the outdoor center
- The Loop Trail, an 8-mile trek offering scenic views of the Towaglia River
The outdoor center is only open weekdays, so make plans to visit the trails Monday through Friday.
Panola Mountain State Park
Visitors wanting a lighter hike will enjoy the two self-guided trails located at the base of the mountain:
- The Outcrop Trail, a short, 0.75-mile that guides you through a majestic pine-oak forest before bringing you to a beautiful overlook where you can take in stunning views of Panola Mountain and the natural landscape that forged the grand mountain so many years ago.
- The Watershed Trail, a longer, 1.25-mile path that runs parallel to a small creek where the Piedmont uplands empty out.
Hoping for a more immersive experience to further explore the mountain? Sign up for a ranger-led guided hike, which is required to access the mountain itself, available for ages 10 and up.
The park ranger will lead you along a moderately strenuous, 3-mile hike that features significant elevation changes and uneven terrain, so be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water. There are two special upcoming hikes that are perfect for soaking up the beauty and magic of the fall season:
- A sunset hike on Saturday, November 7
- A moonlight hike on Saturday, November 28
For a more adventurous expedition, take on the 33-plus-mile Arabia Mountain PATH recreational trail that connects the historical, ecological and cultural landmarks of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, and features breathtaking views of the mountains, ancient granite ruins and a lunar-like landscape of monadnocks.
NOTE: Panola Mountain State Park will be closed November 9-11 for the annual quota hunt.
Immerse Yourself in Signature Outdoor Experiences
In addition to great hiking and walking trails, Henry County also offers a number of unique and exciting outdoor recreation options.
Sharpen Your Outdoor Skills at Panola Mountain State Park
Tap into your inner archer and hone your skills with a Basic Archery lesson at Panola Mountain State Park. The class will be offered on Saturday, October 24, and Sunday, October 25. The State Park will also be offering a Cosmic Archery class on Friday, November 20 for adults, giving visitors an opportunity to take their archery skills to the next level in the dark with the assistance of black lights, glow in the dark targets, and glow sticks.
The fall fun at Panola Mountain doesn’t stop there! If you’re not afraid of heights, take part in the Intro to Tree Climbing course to learn how to expertly use rope and harness to climb, swing, and scramble a tree canopy. The class will be offered on Saturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22.
Walk on the Wild Side at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary
Keep the outdoor fun going with a tour at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, home to more than 1,000 rescued, surrendered and rehabilitated animals, from bears, exotic cats and primates to wolves, reptiles, birds and more.
Embark on a free self-guided tour and walk the mile-long trail that winds visitors to the different exhibits where they can read and learn more about the animals. Self-guided tours are available from 12 pm–3 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays.
If you’re looking for a more involved, engaging experience, Noah’s Ark also offers a professionally guided tour: the WOW (Walk On the Wild Side) Tour—as well as a Big Cat Feeding Tour during the summer months, so be sure to add this popular tour to your itinerary for your next visit to Henry County!
The WOW tour is an educational, behind-the-scenes experience that gives visitors an opportunity to see Baloo the bear, the last remaining member of the famous BLT trio, up close and personal and to also learn about the sanctuary’s many animals and how they came to live at the sanctuary. The tour covers a three-mile trail and is available Tuesday through Saturday at 10:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 2:00 pm by reservation only.
Can’t get enough “wild” fun? Join Doc, a 500-pound tiger, for a once-in-a-lifetime painting experience! Doc’s keeper will take you between the fences for you to enjoy a close-up with Doc as he paints you his next masterpiece.
Watch Stellar Performances at Atlanta Motor Speedway
The outdoor fun wouldn’t be complete without catching a live show at the Atlanta Motor Speedway drive-in! Choose from high-energy concerts and an engaging comedy show.
Upcoming shows include:
- Canadian electronic music producer, DJ, and musician Deadmau5 on Thursday, October 29
- Jamaican-American electronic dance music trio Major Lazer on Friday, October 30
- American comedian Iliza Vie Shlesinger on Halloween (Saturday, October 31)
- Rock band The Revivalists on Thursday, November 12
- DJs Steve Aoki and Riot Ten on Friday, November 13
- Dubstep DJs and producers Subtronics, Boogie T, Level Up and Ace Aura on Saturday, November 14
Join the Locals for Festive Fall Fun
There are so many fun and exciting things to do this fall in Henry County, it can be difficult to narrow down your must-dos. But don’t let your fall getaway end without checking out some of the fun-filled local events going on.
You’re sure to have an unforgettable experience at Southern Belle Farm no matter the season, but fall is an especially magical time to visit. Locals and visitors alike flock to the farm—which has been run by the Carter family for five generations—for good old-fashioned family fun on the farm. Search the expansive pumpkin patch for the perfect pick. Get lost navigating the four-acre corn maze. Make memories participating in the farm’s other 20+ fun-filled attractions, from hayrides and pig races to an animated chicken show and a pumpkin ring toss. You can purchase tickets here.
If you love a good chili cook-off, you’re in for a treat! Rutabaga’s Market & Café, a Georgia Grown Market, is hosting the first annual Hampton Tailgate Chili Cook Off on November 7 from 12:00 pm to 6 pm. Bring the whole crew for a day filled with entertainment and great chili. There will also be live music from local artists Brittany Wyatt, Mark Ware and Shiloh! Admission will be $10.00 per person; children under 12 are free.
And finally, for some more autumn fun while social distancing, be sure to check out Locust Grove’s Scarecrow Village, taking place every day through Monday, November 2. You’re sure to get in the festive spirit while exploring Locust Grove restaurants, shops and businesses and voting on your favorite scarecrow designs!
Book your fall getaway in Henry County—browse the wide array of lodging options, from full-service hotels and economical motels to rustic campsites.