Mountains High Enough

Usher in the fall season in north Georgia.
by K.K. Snyder

When most Georgians think of the fall season, we imagine college football, a need for a light jacket and the changing of the leaves. To truly capture the spirit of autumn, why not escape to Georgia's naturally breathtaking mountains for a relaxing getaway?

One prime destination is Brasstown Valley Resort, set in the tranquil beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There's no better time to visit than in fall, when the hills are ablaze with the vivid reds, burnt oranges and golden yellows as the leaves begin to turn.

Located in an area of the Young Harris foothills known in Native American lore as "The Enchanted Valley," Brasstown serves as a refuge for wildlife and travelers alike. Though it experiences four distinct seasons, this 503-acre property makes a grand statement each autumn.

Brasstown can accommodate gatherings of any scale. An on-site, 14,000-square-foot conference center offers space to host groups from six to 330.

Having recently undergone a $1.3 million renovation, Brasstown's accommodations are among the most elegant in the Blue Ridge Mountain region. The mountain lodge has 102 guest rooms and offers the convenience of being under the same roof as the restaurants, great room, health club, pro golf shop and conference center. Many guest rooms offer balconies, gas log fireplaces and either wooded mountain or valley views. Five exquisite one-bedroom suites are also located in the lodge. All rooms feature handcrafted twig furniture, cable televisions, coffee makers, hair dryers, desks and comfortable seating.

Just beyond the lodge are 32 quaint guest rooms located within eight private log cottages scattered throughout the woods. These secluded four-bedroom cottages all have large covered wooden decks, and many offer wood-burning fireplaces. A variety of layouts exist, but each cottage has one parlor offering a large, wood-burning fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, furnished living room, half-bath and dining room table. The guest rooms are similar in size, with comparable furnishings and amenities to those in the lodge.

At the lodge, the outdoorsy great room's 72-foot stacked-stone fireplace presents a grand entrance into the main area of the lodge, where guests report to check in, have a cocktail at the bar or curl up with a good book or good company in front of the fire. Floor-to-ceiling windows span the lodge, offering panoramic views of the nearby mountains.

The resort offers fine dining in the dining room, where the picturesque mountain views complement the popular weekend dinner buffets and Sunday brunches. On the menu, you'll find a variety of seasonal dishes prepared by Chef Sid Kurrimbukus. A more casual dining atmosphere can be found in McDivots Sports Pub, and the Fireside Lounge is a perfect spot for unwinding at the end of a fun-filled day.

Golf is an activity not to be missed at the Brasstown Valley. Both Golf Digest and Leading Golf Courses of America have ranked the Brasstown Valley Golf Club as one of the top courses to play in Georgia. Players will enjoy a Denis Griffiths-designed course and a professional driving and practice range. On-site PGA member Doug Fisher offers golf clinics, lessons and customized special tournaments, creating a complete package at this award-winning golf facility.

Interactive fun for kids abounds as well, with a variety of family activities. Designed for kids aged 5 through 12, the Mountaineer's Club offers supervised children's programs engaging kids with active, camp-like programming while giving parents some enjoyable free time.

Resort amenities beckon visitors to explore the beautiful surroundings. Sporting diversions exist throughout the property.

Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers will also enjoy venturing off-property to nearby rock climbing; more hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail; white water and tube rafting; kayaking; guided lake tours; canoeing; mountain biking; horseback trail riding; bird watching and botany excursions. nGP

Visit www.brasstownvalley.com for more information.

While you're there
  1. Championship Golf
    Brasstown Valley Resort features an 18-hole championship golf course named among Golf Digest magazine's top places to play.
  2. Lake Cruises
    Enjoy a scenic cruise on beautiful Lake Chatuge, two miles north of the resort. This breathtaking 9,000-acre lake provides fishing and recreational boating opportunities.
  3. Brasstown Bald
    At 4,784 feet, Georgia's highest mountain is only 20 minutes from Brasstown Valley Resort. On clear days, the spectacular 360-degree view from atop the vast mountain's observatory offers visitors glimpses of four states.
  4. Breathtaking Waterfalls
    Anna Ruby Falls, DeSoto Falls and Helton Creek Falls are among several notable waterfalls located within 40 minutes of the resort. Spend the day hiking or picnicking surrounded by nature's beauty.
  5. The John C. Campbell Folk School
    View displays and demonstrations of traditional Appalachian crafts from the area's finest artisans. Woodcarving, ironworks, jewelry making, weaving and pottery are among the attractions, and it's just 20 minutes from Brasstown Valley Resort.
  6. Wildlife and Lush Forest
    Literally surrounding the resort with more than 250 acres bordering the Chattahoochee National Forest, Trackrock Stables offers a horseback riding experience not to be missed. The forest is home to wild turkey, deer and many other types of wildlife and lush, colorful foliage. The forest is located 15 minutes from Brasstown Valley Resort.
  7. The Georgia Mountain Fair
    The fair holds three yearly festivals, including the Georgia Mountain Fall Festival in October. From May through October, the fair hosts several Super Star Concerts starring nationally known country music stars, and it's located 10 minutes from Brasstown Valley Resort.
  8. Helen, Ga.
    Enjoy mountain beauty with a touch of Bavaria. Visitors enjoy river tubing, canoeing, mountain biking, hiking or shopping in the more than 200 specialty shops. This beautiful scenic mountain drive is just 45 minutes from Brasstown Valley Resort.
  9. Crane Creek Vineyards
    Located just three miles north of Brasstown Valley Resort, the vineyards offer the perfect late-afternoon activity for resort visitors. Take advantage of the opportunity to taste and purchase a variety of fine wines.
  10. Whitewater Rafting
    Whether you seek the solitude of paddling the river on your own or the adrenaline rush of being close to the pulsing action, a perfect river is within reach. At this site of the Olympic river events, you can drive or arrange transportation to one of four nearby rivers. Drives range from 45 minutes to three hours from Brasstown Valley Resort.

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