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 and milking 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
The following is Enota most recent rating letter dated January 2010 from Woodall's - the nation's leading campground rating agency.
Congratulations! Your park is one of only 251
listed in the 2009 Woodall's North American Campground Directory to attain
Woodall's highest 5W rating in both Facilities and Recreation. This
select group represents less than 3% of the privately owned parks that
|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.|