Experience natural beauty at Enota Mountain Retreat in Hiawassee, GA.

 

Don’t miss the chance to camp at this unique spot; $30 a night is pretty cheap to renew your soul. Seriously.. Enota has an uplifting presence and beauty that cannot be denied. It is one of my favorite spots in the US and here is why…

  • Location, location, location- You can stay for a night alongside of the stream and small waterfall in either the ‘adult camping’ section for a quieter experience, or camp along side picnic tables and grills in the ‘family camping’ area for some community fun. The scenic location is extremely rejuvenating. (Available for an additional cost: RV sites, cabins, and motel rooms.)

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  • Activities- A small farm/petting zoo is located on the property not far from the camp sites. You can play with little animals or milk the cows. There is also a small pond located in front of the lodge for fishing.
  • Fun facts- Enota is known for having the freshest water supply around. In fact, the staff informed us that the water is so clean you can actually drink straight from the stream (how neat is that?!) The land is also full of Native American history; there are ceremonial sites within hiking distance, a sweat-lodge, and they offer cleansing ceremonies in the waterfalls on occasion. Staff member, Michael, also tells us there are fairies out wandering.. let me know if you find ’em.
  • Exploring- There are four waterfalls within the camp ground as well as a trail leading to the famous Appalachian Trail’s “Chattahoochee Gap”. 

Speaking of those trails… make sure to have plenty of daylight left before you head out on an adventure. My friend Ben and I weren’t so smart and decided to start a hike with just two hours to spare. Michael told us we had plenty of time to hike up to the Appalachian Trail and over to the 400ft waterfall; he was mistaken.

About an hour into our hike it started becoming dark. At some point, we hit a fork in the road that was not on the map. Luckily, we were with the camp’s dog, Spirit, and we let her choose the way to alleviate some tension. After about ten minutes of climbing up this steep hill we came to the top and there was a campsite. Immediately, we could tell we weren’t on the right trail according to the map but decide that it would probably be quicker to keep going than to turn back at that point. Long story short.. after about another hour and a half of wandering in the mountains we finally get enough signal to call the DNR. They can’t tell us what trail we are on, or how far we’ve traveled, so they call the police department and search and rescue to locate us (how embarrassing). Eventually, after much panic, we find the road and a police officer picks us up. We had traveled way off of the map and weren’t even on a trail marked by the DNR.

Anyways, we finally made it back to our campsite at around 1AM and decided to cook a nice meal around the fire and share it with our doggy companion, Spirit. No doubts, that was one of the best meals I have ever had in my life (and much needed after having just a bag of boiled peanuts for lunch earlier that day.)

Really, Enota Mountain Retreat is a special place- and not a bad place to get lost. The staff is so warm and inviting, there is enough exploring for two full days, and it’s a great place to bring the family or enjoy a night alone.

*On your way in or out of the mountains, stop in Helen, GA. It’s a quirky little German themed town, located about 30 minutes from the retreat, that offers unique shops (glass blowing, souvenirs, minerals, etc.) and great food (I suggest Troll Tavern for lunch/dinner.) 

 

 

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