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Fall Fun in Georgia’s Lake Country

While summer may be drawing to a close, Georgia’s Lake Country remains a year-round destination. Explore the fall festivities in the four communities surrounding Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair. Whether you’re into craft breweries, live music, ghost tours, or chili cook-offs, there’s something special for everyone to enjoy. 

"Autumn foliage on the banks of Lake Sinclair."


Fall in Eatonton offers a captivating array of festivities that perfectly capture the essence of the season. One of the most spine-tingling experiences are the Haunted Eatonton Ghost Tours. As the temperature drops and the nights grow longer, ghost enthusiasts and history buffs gather to explore the eerie tales and haunted legends that have been passed down through generations. One of our generation’s great Southern [ghost] storytellers, Ann Hite will guide you through a 2-hour walk through the heart of historic and haunted Eatonton, while weaving together local hauntings and history.

For those seeking a more refined experience, The Georgia Writers Museum’s “Crime & Wine” events are a must-attend affair. These evenings combine the pleasures of fine wine with engaging discussions on true crime stories, mysteries, and detective work. Founder and Director of the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute, Sheryl McCollum, guides you through unsolved cold case files, allowing the attendees to produce leads for the cases. Sheryl then reports back on practical leads suggested during the evening’s event – making you an important piece of potentially solving the cold cases.

And what’s fall without a classic hayride through the picturesque countryside? Unity Grove Farm will be offering charming hayrides that allow visitors to take in the stunning fall foliage. It’s a family-friendly activity that brings joy to young and old alike, making it an essential part of the town’s fall festivities. There will also be a pumpkin patch on-site! Hayrides will take place every Saturday and Sunday in October from 10 am – 5 pm. You can also Join Unity Grove Farm on October 21st for banjo music and a petting zoo.


Spend your fall break in style at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. After a day filled with outdoor adventures, satisfy your appetite at Gaby’s by the Lake, a delightful restaurant overlooking Lake Oconee. With a menu featuring a variety of dishes, including fresh seafood and Southern-inspired cuisine, Gaby’s offers a perfect dining experience with breathtaking lake views.

And don’t forget the s’mores! Each night, guests can bask in the soothing glow of a lakeside bonfire, a cherished tradition at the resort. This nightly ritual includes the irresistible pleasure of toasting s’mores over the crackling fire, adding an extra layer of sweetness to the experience. Weather permitting, between 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., guests gather just outside Amore del Lago to partake in this timeless treat, all while enjoying the tranquil ambiance of the lakeside setting.

October 21 head over to Rhythm & Brews at the Sandy Creek Barn. This annual event features live music from Tonic and Better Than Ezra, craft breweries and wineries at a restored wood-beam barn dating to the 1820s. With food from the Reynolds culinary team, you are sure to have an unforgettable evening with their general admission or VIP experience. Must be 21+ to attend.

The weather is still perfect for getting out on Lake Oconee in the fall! Rent a pontoon from Young Harris Watersports and spend the day fishing, sunbathing and riding the waves.

"People listen to live music in Madison Town Park."


Renowned as the home of one of Georgia’s largest and best-preserved National Register historic districts, Madison has long attracted travelers excited to learn more about the history of this small town. Spooky season offers visitors a chance to dive even deeper into the strange history and mysteries of the historic district as North Georgia Tours offers Haunted History Tours most Thursday through Sunday evenings in October. These popular walking tours give visitors the chance to join a local expert as she uncovers sites of hauntings, local legends, and a heaping helping of local history.

Make plans to return for Madison’s 17th Annual Downtown Chili Cook-Off & CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) GA State Championship Open Cook-Off, on October 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With toe-tapping music, a marketplace with handcrafted wares, a beer pub, and a public chili sampling, there is no shortage of fun for the whole family. Sampling wristbands go on sale at noon, and sampling is from 12:30-2:30 p.m. or until the chili runs out. Got a great chili recipe? Enter the competition here!

A girl waves from a tractor in the Bostwick Cotton Gin Festival's parade

Or come back and embrace the spooky season with the family at a Haunted Village, on October 21, at Hard Labor Creek State Park, Georgia’s second-largest state park. This “slight-fright” event will have PG tours running every ten minutes from 1:30-4:30 p.m. and PG-13 tours from 6:30-9:30 p.m. lasting approximately 20 minutes. Groups as large as 12 may go through together. $10 admission and $5 parking fee. For more information, call (706) 557-3001. Even better, stay overnight in one of the park’s cozy cabins or pitch a tent in the campgrounds. At night, roast s’mores in your very own fire pit and scan the sky for shooting stars. In the morning, admire the autumn foliage along the hiking trails, tee off at The Creek Golf Course or paddle along the lake in a rented kayak – ADA kayak launch available.

Looking for something really unique? Come out to Georgia’s Lake Country on October 28 for the Cotton Gin Festival in Bostwick. An easy 15-minute drive from Madison, watch one of the southeast’s largest tractor parades, tour a working cotton gin, take part in the morning road race, shop arts and crafts at vendors’ booths and listen to live music, and take photos in front of the Susie Agnes Hotel. The Cotton Gin Festival originated to raise funds for the hotel’s restoration in the late 1980s. You may recognize the hotel from the cult classic film “My Cousin Vinny.”

Friends walk the trails at Lockerly Arboretum


As autumn sets in and many trees and plants begin their winter siesta, Lockerly Arboretum comes alive! Boasting 50 acres of gardens, walking trails and a pond, visitors can stroll along the one-mile nature trail, home to many mature hardwoods, ferns and tea olives, which are blooming and fragrant.

Get in the fall spirit with a ghost tour. Hear about Milledgeville’s spooky and sinister past during the Ghosts of Milledgeville Walking Tour. Join in on select Saturday mornings in October for a guided walking tour of some of Milledgeville’s hauntings throughout downtown.

Vendors line the streets in Milledgeville

Milledgeville’s favorite festival of the year, Deep Roots, is happening on October 21, beckoning travelers from all over with an antique car show, live entertainment ranging from magicians to rock-and-roll, an artist market and a “LittleRoots” KidZone. This festival blocks off downtown streets turning Milledgeville into a mecca for music, food and shopping. Whether you’re looking to show off your ribeye grilling skills at the Steak Cookoff Competition or looking to grab a plate from the food trucks, everyone can find their favorite festival activity.

Paired with local farmers around Lake Country, Comfort Farms offers fresh produce, poultry and more at their farmer’s market. Come out every other Saturday and pick up delicious fresh food! This hidden gem in Milledgeville is an agri-therapy farm that helps veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and we are all blessed by the farm as a result. See their Facebook page to learn more about their fall events!

With so many events in Georgia’s Lake Country this fall, find the perfect place to stay while you play.

Fall Fun Snapshot


6 – Eatonton – Crime & Wine

7 – Eatonton – Hay Rides & Pumpkin Patch at Unity Grove Farm

7 – Madison – Spooky Archery at Hard Labor Creek State Park

7 – Milledgeville – Comfy Funky Pumpkin Patch

7 – Milledgeville – Children’s Trolley Tour: Morning at the Museum

7 – Milledgeville – Central State Hospital Campus Trolley Tour

7 – Milledgeville – Ghosts of Milledgeville Walking Tour

8 – Eatonton – Hay Rides & Pumpkin Patch at Unity Grove Farm

8 – Madison – Spooky Archery at Hard Labor Creek State Park

13 – Eatonton – Crime and Wine

13 – Madison – The Fall Ramble

14 – Eatonton – Hay Rides & Pumpkin Patch at Unity Grove Farm

14 – Madison – The Fall Ramble

14 – Madison – Madison’s Chili Cook-Off & Fall Festival

14 – Milledgeville – Ghosts of Milledgeville Walking Tour

15 – Eatonton – Hay Rides & Pumpkin Patch at Unity Grove Farm

15 – Madison – The Fall Ramble

20 – Eatonton – Crime & Wine

20 – Milledgeville – Ghosts of Milledgeville Evening Walking Tour

21 – Eatonton – Banjo Music & Petting Zoo at Unity Grove Farm

21 – Greensboro – Rhythm & Brews

21 – Greensboro – Lake Oconee Showcase of Homes

21 – Madison – Bostwick Cotton Gin Festival

21 – Madison – Flavors of Fall Festival at Farmview Market

21 – Madison – Haunted Village at Hard Labor Creek State Park

21 – Milledgeville – Ghosts of Milledgeville Walking Tour

21 – Milledgeville – Deep Roots Festival

21 – Milledgeville – Hippie Fest

22 – Eatonton – Hay Rides & Pumpkin Patch at Unity Grove Farm

22 – Madison – Spooky Archery at Hard Labor Creek State Park

22 – Milledgeville – Hippie Fest

26 – Milledgeville – Wine in the Woods

27 – Eatonton – Haunted Eatonton Ghost Tours

27 – Milledgeville – Ghosts of Milledgeville Evening Walking Tour

27 – Milledgeville – Death: After Dark

28 – Eatonton – Haunted Eatonton Ghost Tours

29 – Madison – Spooky Archery at Hard Labor Creek State Park

30 – Eatonton – Haunted Eatonton Ghost Tours

31 – Madison – Spooktacular Costume Parade at Madison Town Park