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Be at Peace with the World in Big Canoe
By Caitlin Moore

Located just one hour north of Atlanta at the bottom of the Appalachians, Big Canoe is a haven for harried city dwellers and a vacation wonderland for anyone with a mind to enjoy the great outdoors in a beautiful, comfortable setting. Vibrant green forests and imposing mountain peaks provide a stunning backdrop like none other, and ample activities and cozy accommodations are the finishing touches to what will surely be a pleasant retreat from the hubbub of daily life.

Big Canoe began its existence as a home for a number of different Native American tribes, including the Paleo and Cherokee. Evidence remains of their influence on the area in the form of mysterious rock mounds near Lake Petit, and visitors are invited to tour the Indian Rocks Park to witness and wonder at these interesting formations. In the more recent past, an early gold rush took place in nearby Dahlonega and then the hills of Big Canoe were found to be rich with marble. The deposits have been used in the building of several monuments, cementing Big Canoeís reputation as small place with a big impact.

The terrain of Big Canoe is lush, lovely, and lends itself to breathing in the fresh air and leaving your cares behind. Over 20 miles of hiking trails weave in and out of the towering trees that are allowed to grow untouched and untrammeled. Much of the land is preserved for pure enjoyment, so be sure to pack a snack and head out for a satisfying journey through the wilderness during your visit here.

From March through November, you can get your wildflower fix at McDaniel Meadows. This expansive park is home to all sorts of indigenous plants and animals, and the colorful floral accents will certainly catch your eye. Paved biking and hiking trails can be found throughout this area as well as Wildcat, also known for its trout streams, and Disharoon Valley, the site of postcard-worthy waterfalls. If youíre in the mood to play the role of happy wanderer, you wonít be at a loss for opportunities here.

Other area attractions include the Kangaroo Conservation Center, Burtís Pumpkin Farm, Mayfield Dairy, several art galleries, and an outlet shopping center. Big Canoe is proud of its heritage and unique charm, and youíll find plenty of ways that they express their unique qualities as you make your tour of the area. For a truly authentic taste of south Appalachian life, schedule your stay to coincide with one of the festivals that occur every year, like the Bear on the Square Mountain Folk Festival, the Mountain Moonshine Celebration, or Gold Rush Days.

Three lakes make for all the fishing, swimming, and boating time that youíd like. Lakes Petit, Sconti, and Disharoon each have their own personalities and specialties, so do a little investigating before you head out. From canoeing to fishing to taking a leisurely float, you and your traveling companions will love the look of the lakes.

In addition to nature-themed pursuits, youíll also find ample time and resources for golfing, playing tennis, working out at the fitness center, and visiting a day spa to be primped and pampered. Big Canoe is big on staying healthy and feeling good, so plan to avoid feeling sluggish or inactive while youíre here. Thereís no need to work yourself to death by sticking to your normal, disciplined, routine, but getting your heart pumping will feel like fun if you do it the right way.

As for where youíll be staying while in Big Canoe, there are many options available. A great choice would be one of the dozens of vacation rental properties that are located in the region. In a place thatís virtually made for inviting people out for a holiday, itís no surprise that there are lots of properties filled with fabulous amenities and outfitted to contain families and groups in comfort.

Trundle beds, game rooms, entertainment centers, and complete kitchens will make you feel at home, and hot tubs, fireplaces, and woodland views will ensure that the proper getaway-from-it-all vibe is achieved. Your surroundings have an important effect on your overall vacation, so be sure to make the right choice when it comes to picking out a place to stay that will make you and your companions buoyant and at ease.

HomeAway.com is a vast marketplace for vacation properties in locations all around the world.

Go online to research your Big Canoe Vacation Rental options, and start designing the perfect itinerary for what is sure to be a fun-filled and rejuvenating trip to this peaceful destination.



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