Friday, October 7, 2011

Best Autumn Drives #5 - Highway 190 in Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park, Georgia

Overlook at Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park
Highway 190, which passes along the crest of Pine Mountain through the full length of Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in Georgia, is one of the most beautiful fall drives in the South.
The park takes its name from the President that led the United States through the dark days of the Great Depression and World War II. In fact, President Roosevelt died at his Little White House near Warm Springs on the northern slopes of Pine Mountain. He frequented the beautiful scenery now included in the more than 9,000 acres of the state park.

Highway 190 enters the park at the Callaway Store and Overlook just north of Hamilton, Georgia. From there it winds its way along the top of the mountain, past overlooks, the park office, cabins, picnic areas, trail heads and other points of interest until it exits the park just outside Warm Springs. The total length is just under 12 miles.

Roosevelt Statue at Dowdell's Knob
Along the way, be sure to take Dowdell Knob Road out to Dowdell's Knob, a favorite picnic spot of President Roosevelt. The knob is a hilltop that projects from the side of the mountain and provides a spectacular, panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.  During the fall it overlooks an amazing natural canvas of color, especially reds and golds.

Highway 190 itself is simply a spectacular drive in years when the leaves are good.  Along much of the route, the trees form natural arches over the roadway. When these take on their full color, the scene as you pass through the trees is simply amazing.

The drive is also just minutes away from Pine Mountain's famed Callaway Gardens, which also offers spectacular fall scenery.  The grounds of the Little White House near the northern end of the highway are also beautiful in the fall.

If you want to enjoy a great lunch while visiting Pine Mountain, consider the Callaway Country Store located at the southern entrance to the state park. The dining room there has what may be the best fried chicken in Georgia and features spectacular views from your table.  You can also take a picnic and enjoy the mountain scenery itself as there are plenty of great picnic spots along the road and the weather is usually mild, but cool (be sure to take a sweater or jacket).

To learn more about Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park, please visit

You can also check out the views from Dowdell's Knob at

You can read about the Little White House and President Roosevelt at

And, last but not least, read about Callaway Gardens at

1 comment:

Dale said...

Here are some events at FDR State Park that might be of interest:

Hayrides leave the Campground Trading Post from 7-9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights through November 19th. $5 parking fee.

Halloween Festivities
October 29th & 30th
Starts at 6 p.m. at Campground Trading Post. $5 parking. Activities include ghost stories by the fire, hayrides, costume contest, cake walk and more.

Haunted Trail
Fridays and Saturdays
October 14 - October 30, 7-11 p.m.
Roosevelt Stables
Features the headless horseman, face painting, petting zoo, hayride, pony rides.