The following is Enota most recent rating letter from Woodall's - the nation's leading campground rating agency.
Congratulations! Your park is one of only 247
listed in Woodall's North American Campground Directory to attain
Woodall's highest 5 Star rating in both Facilities and Recreation. This
select group represents less than 3% of the privately owned parks that
The following article originally appeared in Atlanta Life Magazine
Eco-friendly escapes close to home - Enota Mountain Retreat
You want to
escape from the gray pavement and shiny skyscrapers. You want to frolic
in the hills, wade in free-flowing streams and breathe in cleaner air.
In other words, you’re looking to commune with nature. But how cozy
can you get when your sheets are washed with chemical-laden detergent,
you’re eating pesticide-sprayed food, and you’re plowing through
your vacation wasting water and other resources–all with the TV
blaring in the background?
The nonprofit organization also hosts retreats and can accommodate groups of up to 250 people. Deb and Mike Gerace, a Kennesaw couple who, with their two small poodles, park their camper van by one of Enota’s streams on a regular basis, have found the grounds to be a special place. “We’ve camped all over the United States,” Deb says. “We’ve seen some really beautiful places. But there’s nothing quite like this place.” Maybe it’s the magic of the land itself, but it’s also a result of the people who choose to stay here. “I’ve noticed a lot of the people I strike up conversation with have done something unique, have given in some way or another,” she says. And every visitor is connected in at least one way: When they check in, they’re asked to contribute a $10 conservation membership fee–an impact fee on Enota’s land–which is deposited in a trust. Essentially, everyone who pays a visit to the land is a part owner.
Because the property is surrounded by national forest land, you won’t want to stay at Enota without planning on taking at least one stunning hike to the 400-foot or 200-foot waterfalls nearby. After you work out your muscles on the land, you may want to book a therapeutic massage or aromatherapy session.
Many of the center’s “staff members” are actually volunteers who stay on the grounds as payment for their work. If you’re a paying guest, however, the retreat has different levels of comfort, depending on how much of city or suburb life you want to shed. Aside from camping and comfortable cabins, the nonprofit organization also hosts retreats and can accommodate groups of up to 250 people.
No matter what route guests take, Freed hopes visitors take the opportunity to quiet themselves and bond with the scenery, which for many can be a truly life-changing adventure.
By Cindy Klinger
The following article originally appeared in Southern Travelers January/February Magazine
Enota Mountain Retreat
the Cherokee language, the word enota means "the land that
nourishes and nurtures." Long ago, when Native Americans planned a
customary gathering, one of their designated meeting places was called
enota. It is unlikely that any other name could accurately reflect the
natural beauty and serenity of Enota Mountain Retreat, a gem imbedded in
North Georgia's mountains.
between Helen, Hiawassee, Blairsville and Young Harris at an elevation of
3,200 feet. Enota is the
highest privately held land in the state. The retreat, encircled by 750,000
acres of pristine Chattahoochee National Forest, is just
1.5 miles from the legendary
Appalachian Trail. Georgia's tallest peak, at Brasstown Bald, is a nearby
previous times, the land's 60 wooded acres, four waterfalls, and have
streams nourished the lives and ceremonial traditions of many people,
including Cherokee Indians, early homesteaders, and YMCA campers.
Enota is a nonprofit conservation facility and volunteer organization with a
mission of land preservation for the benefit of present and future
to Dr. Suan Freed, primary steward and trustee of Enota Mountain Retreat,
all activities and policies at the facility are "based on the principle
of not taking more from the earth than one gives back."
years ago, Freed, a chiropractic physician, met with local
conservationists and visited the land at Enota. She committed herself to its
preservation, and never lost her focus.
"I’ve always been an environmentalist, and I believe it's
important to give back. We've made many improvements and it's been a huge
challenge," recalls Freed, who accomplished most of the retreat's
remodeling through her own and others' voluntary service.
to these group's efforts, Enota's present-day lodging options are varied and
comfortable. Totally renovated and opened to the public four years ago,
full-hookup RV campsites are equipped with concrete pads, wooden decks, fire
pit grills and picnic tables. Most have 50-amp electrical service and are
located on one of five streams, shaded by leafy trees.
Primitive and full-service tent and pop-up sites are also available.
Couples and families with children have privacy and solitude with
separate camping areas.
overnight options include 10 furnished one- and two-bedroom cabins (some with Jacuzzis), private rooms on a stream and retreat
facilities for up to 250 people.
remodeled, fully accessible bathhouse, designed with visual appeal and
quality construction in mind, is outfitted with handcrafted wooden counters
and cabinetry plus plenty of attractive tiled hot-water showers and laundry
a camp store, a girt shop featuring fair trade selections and a restored
vintage lodge complete with fireplace. Assorted indoor and open-air group
meeting areas and a fully equipped outdoor kitchen with grills make Enota
the perfect destination for reunions, rallies and retreats.
Mountain Retreat is great for outdoorsy fun. Try angling for trout in the
stocked pond, where you catch and keep the fish for a nominal tee. No
license is required. You can also test the waters in brisk mountain streams
and rushing waterfalls, or take a hike to the Appalachian Trail or a bear's
you camping with children? Help them explore the playground or watch them
bounce contentedly on in-ground trampolines. You can also introduce them to
300 animals, including rabbits, ducks, chickens, goats, llamas, cows, and a
miniature horse at Enota's working farm.
can join in the creative, conserving efforts and partake in the productive
activities at Enota Mountain Retreat - feeding the farm animals,
gathering eggs, or tending the organic vegetable garden.
invites RV campers to Enota Mountain Retreat, which is her favorite
four-season paradise. Summertime temperatures seldom exceed 82 degrees, a
cool bonus that she attributes to the air-conditioning effects of the
retreat's five sparkling streams. But
there's so much more to an Enota visit than agreeable weather. "You'll
get the total nature experience," says Freed.
By Paula Loehr
Recent Reviews from Tripadvisor
"Great Place, Beautiful Views and
Just got back from a getaway trip to the GA Mountains. We stayed at Enota Mountain Resort. The place was just fantastic. Beautiful, and well cared for with breathtaking vistas of the mountains and waterfalls. The cabin that we stayed in was tastefully equipped. Nice amenities in the kitchenette, great bath and shower. The staff were friendly and very helpful, and even Spirit the dog, was great company. I'm already planning my return trip.
"Land of Enchantment"
My stay at
Enota was quite possibly the most magical experience I have ever had. the staff was kind and extremely helpful and went out of their way to make sure
I was happy, taken care of, and comfortable. the owner made a point to keep me and my love happy and satisfied...even at her own cost.
Enota mountain retreat is truly a heartwarming, down home, honestly sincere place to relax and unwind.
The entire facility was clean, fresh, and very home like. the lodge has everything you could need. (even their own brand of canned garden veggies!)
- and that's just the business part of it.
"What a wonderful place to get in touch with the North Georgia Mountains”
"Wonderful Stay for Large Families"
We came to Enota with a large extended family
group, including a family member with cancer. We had originally booked the
house at the front of the property, but when we explained that we had a
wheelchair (that he had not had when we booked the trip), they switched
gears and put us in two cabins - one with a wheel chair ramp. The owner and
staff were very flexible and committed to making our vacation one that was
filled with happy memories. Our cabin with all of the kids was perfect, with
bunk beds, queen beds, and a fantastic fireplace.
"An amazing haven in the forest."
I visited Enota in the summer and wanted to share my experience. This is a great place to come and get away from it all. I spent a very relaxing week in the summer, where, even though it was rather busy, it was so much fun. Everyone around seemed to be having a blast, from the kids running around exploring and playing at the playground, to some guys playing horseshoes. There is a big organic garden back off to the side that looked like it had some serious food growing! Of course I did have to go check it out and I got to pick some tomatoes and peppers, which were delicious, especially since I knew where my food was actually coming from. I did the "farm tour" that they offer every day. They have some typical farm animals further back behind the garden area. There were two cows, and several goats, three small horses and lots of chickens, but no pigs! Ha Ha. I could tell the kids that were there seemed to be in awe over the animals. No doubt that was probably the first time some of them have seen a farm animal up close! Almost makes me want to start my own farm! I spent a lot of time walking around soaking up the sun and clean, cool air, and did a couple of hikes on some of the trails that are on the grounds. I liked that! Overall, coming here was worth the trip, especially if you are looking to get away from it all and want the connect nature, and maybe even make a new friend. I definitely will come back again, probably in the spring.
"Fantastic vacation-beautiful facility"
This is our second year to visit, and we make an 8-hour drive from Florida! It's a different world up here in the mountains. Our RV site (as all RV sites here) is beside a creek that resounds a peaceful rushing water sound 24 hours a day. In October the leaves are turning beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow. The RV sites here have generous wood decks and railings with picnic tables, a fire pit and Hibachi grills. You're near the Appalachian Trail for hiking, as well as hiking the beautiful grounds and waterfalls right here. We'll be back year after year, for sure! We love being close to Helen and Hiawassee too. The staff here is so friendly and helpful and the lodge is warm and inviting. Our family is in a cozy cabin across the drive, but they'll need to review that one for you :)
"Step into Enota and immerse yourself in an enchanted forest."
I have a few special places I will visit
repeatedly...to refresh my psyche and to share them with special
people...Enota is at the top of my list. I have traveled to Enota from
Florida three times in four months. From the time I arrive I am surrounded
by green trees and rushing water and peace... The best part is I can share
this beautiful natural retreat with my doggies...they are welcome here as
well. I have had a hard time leaving each time...but I know I will return.
"Nature at its best"
My wife and I spent the last week of August in the Enota situated in the mountains of northern Georgia. Our stay there turned into a wonderful vacation. Enota is actually a 60 acres property hidden in the hills and forest. It is very well maintained, clean, and staffed with people ready to help and make your stay even more enjoyable. There are four streams running through the property and two waterfalls!!! If you are escaping from the noise of big city you will enjoy the quiet interrupted only by quacking of ducks and murmur of flowing streams. When we were there leaves were still green and they looked beautiful. We cannot imagine how nice the trees will be in October when the leaves start changing colors. Important to mention is that NATURE is the operative word. If you want close encounter with nature you will get it. Cell phones do not work, TVs in the cabins/rooms have no antennas so you can relax completely and absorb the beauty of surrounding nature. We came from Florida where there is a lot of sunshine, heat, and no shade (palms do not really give a good shade). Being in Enota under all those 30-40 ft tall trees that give heavy shade and keep temperature lower for 5-10 F than in the city was amazing. Worth mentioning is also a small organic garden where you can pick veggies yourself and eat them fresh-they taste DELICIOUS. All together a great place to be!!! Thanks to Swan and everybody on her staff for keeping the place as it is. Spirit was great, too!
"Enota is truly magical. I have finally found the place we will return to year after year. Don't miss it."
Enota is Five Star Rustic. The Ritz for the camper/naturalist. The owners and staff are warm and gracious and the camping facilities are exceptional. All surrounded by the abundance of nature - winding creek beds to play in, hiking trails, the organic farm, the ponds and waterfalls - all a stone's throw from our campsite (not to mention tiled bathrooms, washer/dryer etc). You can feel that this place has been tended and loved for many many generations.
"Great place to bring a 3rd or 4th grade class for a camping trip!"
The good folks at Enota were wonderful to my class. They provided wonderful service. The farmers were so lovely with the children - to the point that my students fell in love with them. I can not imagine a better place to take a class or a camping trip. The camp sites were wonderfully situated with the beautiful creek near by. The shower house was clean and well appointed. The trails were wonderful and challenging. Make sure to hike up to the 200 foot waterfall and then back climb into the swimming hole.
We camped in an RV site and it was one of the best RV camp locations we have visited. Our site (# 31) was next to a bridge, a shallow creek and an awesome LARGE rock. for young kids they can play and we can see them at all times while enjoying the beautiful forest surrounding. Kids played for hours. Strangely no mosquitoes. This is a great place for kids. Nice playground and 3 trampolines near the tent areas. Such a beautiful area. Creeks for kids to play safely, rope swing, playground, trampolines, organic farm where they can pet the goats, chickens, and Shetland ponies. Super for families in campers.
We have stayed at Enota four times now. We
will be back each coming year if possible. The value you receive for your
investment, is the privilege of staying in some of the most awesome natural
beauty on God's earth. What a bargain!!
"Jewel of nature to treasure!"
I was reminded of the delightful natural sanctuary that is Enota Mountain Retreat having just returned from two months traveling in a motor home from Florida through New Brunswick and back through various eastern mountains and staying in 22 campgrounds, none of them more special than Enota. In writing a review for one of them, I realized I had failed to keep my promise to my fiancé to write one about Enota after our stay there in August 2008. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and hated to leave. In the past several years we have camped in our motor home in most of our great country with many years of tent camping before that. We returned with our kids and grandchildren in November 2008 and stayed in a cabin, rustic, but the kids didn’t want to leave. We have stayed in many nice campgrounds, but Enota is truly unique in our experience. It is a natural jewel that we treasure. We wish the trust that owns Enota every success in keeping it out of the hands of mercenary destructive developers. We know of no other place quite like it and plan on returning many more times.
It was the most greatest place we have been. We loved the log cabin, Bear Den. We were there for a week and loved every minute of it. We loved it so much that we didn't want to leave. The staff there were just great too. It was a place that we will go back again. There are many places around that you can go see that is just breath taking and is not far to drive too. You will just love it as much as we did. You will also fall in love with the little Spirit. The best little hostess that you will ever come across!!!!!! We will let everyone of our friends know about this little hide away.
"Peaceful and Beautiful"
Enota is beautiful and peaceful. The streams give a soothing sound and the waterfalls are beautiful. The staff is also warm, friendly and giving. Overall I was glad I went and would recommend Enota to anyone wanting a peaceful getaway.
This is the place if you love nature. it has it all. Streams, waterfalls, hiking trails. It is so beautiful. You don't usually get this all in one place. I was surprised at the many types of accommodations. they have cabins, RV sites, tent sites and rooms. We stayed in a cabin. Its not the Ritz - the cabins are rustic, but are clean. There were several groups there all having meetings and good times. This place is one of those green places where they pay a lot of attention to the environment. If you have a family or just want a place to get away take a look at this one. I talked to several people who have come multiple times and love it there. Enota has a farm where you can visit the animals and they grow their own vegetables and food. We had a delicious breakfast there.
"Thanks for giving, Enota"
This is where you'll find "the good old
The people were wonderful, the grounds were immaculate and the hiking was sublime. I was able to get a massage on property, and every morning the lodge had coffee, tea and camaraderie. It's a magical place, especially if you're a nature lover or just looking for a place to unwind.
"A bit like heaven, God's country!"
It is with the highest recommendation that I
would encourage Trip Advisor to list ''Enota Mountain Retreat" as the
number one place to visit in northern Georgia.
|Your contributions help Enota protect over 60 acres held in Trust for conservation. Enota is a service-based, charitable, educational, non-profit 501(c)3, volunteer organization. It is Enota’s mission to conserve this sacred land for generations to come.|