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Vacation Rental Properties and Mountain Retreat, Ellijay, Georgia

Dave and Bobbie Cherry and I first met on a warm August morning in Ellijay, Georgia. When the conversation leisurely drifted to Whispering Winds, their mountain lodge I asked them what was special about their offering.

"Randy, you have got to see it."

Their simple response intrigued me. An avid hiker and outdoors enthusiast, I have seen many of the lodgings in the southern Appalachian Mountains, from modest to luxurious. Whispering Winds was different. Located west of Ellijay, in north Georgia, the Mountain Lodge is an impressive estate that has a dramatic view of the Cohutta and Blue Ridge Mountains.

A wide porch with beautiful natural wood furniture warmly greets Dave and Bobbie's guests. From the porch a valley extends to the east and a ridge of mountains form the perfect backdrop for a sunrise. My wife and I would brew a pot of coffee and enjoy a couple of cups on the porch each morning.

Whispering Winds great room
The cacophony of nature that resounds in the evening offers a retreat after a busy day hiking, shopping or sightseeing. A cool, gentle breeze would accompany us as we ate dinner on a large picnic table The Cherrys provide on the screened-in porch.

The main building is beautifully appointed, with a large great room, also done in natural wood. When my wife and I first saw this it was literally breathtaking. The expansive room includes a dining area with 2 tables. Now I was beginning to understand Dave's response. The Cherrys have included a large screen TV and VCR with SurroundSound for those so inclined. A woodburning stove keeps this slice of heaven warm at night.

Kitchen in the mountain lodge
Food preparation is easy for 2 or 20. The commercial kitchen invites the expert chef to create without intimidating the novice cook. This kitchen is stocked with all the necessities including silverware, plates, cups, a 12-cup coffeemaker, cooking utensils, herbs and spices. A microwave stands ready for a quick snack. The master bedroom, also in the main building, has a comfortable queen size bed with a large bathroom across the hall. Near the lodge are two comfortable bunkhouses, each with 8 separate beds, making Whispering Winds Mountain Lodge expandable for large groups.

64 acres of land are part of this retreat, and within their boundary lies many additional features. A 6-person hot tub is the perfect end to a long day or the relaxing start of a romantic evening. Below the lodge is a large fenced field with a stocked fishing pond. Behind the lodge is a private hiking trail to the top of the mountain.

In addition to the Mountain Lodge, the Cherrys have a log cabin that sits on the banks of a trout stream. The Appalachian, as it is appropriately named, features an open floorplan and a TigerRiverĀ® Spa. Another recent addition to the Whispering Winds family is White Cliffs, so named for their view of the White Cliffs of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Both the Appalachian and White Cliffs are designed for families. For larger groups (up to 28 in all) you can combine all three properties at Whispering Winds.

In the area is something for every member of the group no matter what your interest. My wife and I love to hike and the Cohutta Wilderness offers some of the best hiking east of the Mississippi. Also nearby are the Appalachian Trail and Benton MacKaye Trail as well as Rich Mountain for a shorter hike. The town of Ellijay is loaded with antique shops, which we also visited. Besides hiking, there is fishing, hunting, canoeing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting, mountain biking, golf and 2 lakes, Carter's Lake and Lake Blue Ridge for those who enjoy water sports and activities. Adventure Trail Rides, artist studio tours, and a number of excellent scenic drives round out the activities in the immediate vicinity.

Visit the Whispering Winds Vacation Rental properties and Mountain Retreat website

County: Gilmer County

Great lodging in North Georgia
Unique places to stay in the mountains of North Georgia

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