March 27, 2007

Big Canoe

When we moved to Georgia we kept hearing about this mythical place called “Big Canoe”. It seemed the destination of all destinations in the north Georgia mountains.

Based solely on the name, I pictured a quaint, small mountain town on a large lazy river, good for canoeing and probably some Indian mounds/paths in the nearby woods. When some friends of ours reserved a “cabin” in Big Canoe for the week I was excited to see how it lived up to my imagined town.

In preparation I did some on-line research (of course). I typed “Big Canoe, GA” into google maps only to be pointed to a town called Jasper. However, the directions to the rental showed it well outside Jasper.

A little more research showed that Big Canoe is actually a huge, gated, private development. A planned community in the mountains. The houses, perched on cliffs, propped up by stilts, easily fell into my mansion classification, far from quaint.

The mountains are beautiful and there was a central water system, complete with canoes, ready for rental. I can see the appeal of the easy vacation destination, but it was nothing like the Big Canoe of my imagination.

Just outside the development, a little deeper into the mountains is Amicalola State Park and the start of the Appalachian Trail. At the ranger station, nonchalant hikers announced that they were starting their six month trek on the trail. We watched them weigh their packs and prepare to head out.

We too walked the trail, for about a mile, up to the top of the Amicalola Falls. That’s about all of the Appalachian trail that I need to do. Whew! The falls are beautiful and spring was just beginning in the cool mountainside.

This time my camera was charged and ready. See my spring photos.

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