There’s something about exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains that always takes me back to my childhood, growing up in North Georgia.
When I was 5 my grandparents bought a trailer on Lake Hartwell, where I first fell in love with nature. When I was 12, we helped build their wood house near Winder. When I was 15, my parents bought 32 acres of undeveloped land on Big Haynes Creek in Conyers.
So as we drove through breathtaking landscapes en route to our Blue Ridge cabin rental, memories of my early days exploring similar mountains, lakes, and forests came rushing back, filling me with nostalgia.
But as we typed in the security code and entered our cabin in Blue Ridge, GA, Wood Haven Retreat, I realized I was a world away from the rustic simplicity of my youth. Compared to our tiny trailer, this 3-level wonder felt like a mansion!
So here’s an in-depth review of our 4-day home-away-from-home, which is available for booking via Georgia Mountain Cabin Rentals.
BLUE RIDGE CABIN RENTAL INFO
FOR WOOD HAVEN RETREAT
RENTAL COMPANY: Georgia Mountain Cabin Rentals
OFFICE ADDRESS: 3608 East First St, Suite 101, Blue Ridge, GA 30513
OFFICE HOURS: Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm; Sat 10am to 2pm; Closed Sunday
ACCOMMODATIONS: 2 King Bedrooms, 1 Queen Bedroom, 3.5 Bathrooms, Full Kitchen, Washer/Dryer, Indoor Gas Fireplace, Rec Room, Hot Tub, Pets Allowed.
DIRECTIONS TO OFFICE: From Atlanta, head north on I-75 (towards Marietta/Chattanooga), then keep right onto GA-5 N/I-575 N and follow signs for Canton.
Follow I-575 for 30.7 miles, then it turns into GA-5 N/GA-515 E/State Rte 515. Continue for 39.1 miles, then turn right onto E 1st St/Old Hwy 76/Old U.S. 76 in Blue Ridge.
The Georgia Mountain Cabin Rentals office will be on the right.
Wood Haven Retreat is located in the Windy Valley area, approximately four miles from the heart of downtown Blue Ridge, GA.
It’s worth noting that the road the cabin is on is gravel and very bumpy. Drive slowly and watch for potholes unless you’re in a truck or SUV. Going slow will also give you time to check out the Alpaca farm and scenic vistas along the way.
Wood Haven is fairly new as North Georgia cabin rentals go, with the first reviews appearing in 2015. From the outside the 3-level cabin looks pristine, with front and back porches on the main level and a private balcony on the top level Master Suite.
The interior is best described as upscale mountain style, with overstuffed leather couches, hardwood floors/walls/cathedral ceiling, and hearth stone fireplace. The gas log fire has a timer, and there is central heating and air.
The fully stocked kitchen features stainless steel appliances, coffee maker, toaster, blender, microwave, pots and pans, etc. There’s also a Weber gas grill on the main level porch for your BBQ pleasure.
The decor has loads of personality, from the Black Bear ottoman and a Rooster wall-hanging fashioned from old painted license plates to country-style quilts and humorous signs such as “No Peeing From the Porch.”
Overall the cabin strikes a great balance between classy and comfy that’s perfect for lounging when cold/rainy weather makes outdoor exploration unpleasant.
WOOD HAVEN RETREAT BEDROOMS
Wood Haven Retreat is very large as Blue Ridge cabins go, with 3 big bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms spread across three levels.
Though it’s supposed to sleep 6 people, you could comfortably sleep at least 8-9 if there are kids crashing on the ultra-cushy couches.
Each of the cabin’s spacious bedrooms offers charming Appalachian decor (see: lovely quilts, lots of bears, and woodsy accents), flat screen TVs, Wifi access and picturesque mountain views.
The cabin feels fairly remote, but do be aware that you can see the neighbors (and vice versa) in the winter, when there are no leaves on the trees that surround the place.
Here’s a look at the features each of Wood Haven’s bedrooms has to offer:
MASTER SUITE- UPPER LEVEL
The only room on the Blue Ridge cabin’s top level, the massive master suite includes a King-sized bed, large flat screen TV with cable, walk-in closet, ceiling fan, tile shower, and a jacuzzi tub.
But our favorite feature by far was the glass doors that lead to a private covered porch. This balcony offers stunning views of the mountains through the trees in winter.
We spent every morning out here, cuddled up under blankets on the rocking chairs, sipping our coffee and sharing a bite of breakfast before beginning the day’s activities.
MASTER SUITE- MAIN LEVEL
Located just off the kitchen area on the cabin’s main level, the second Master Suite is just slightly smaller.
This room offers a King-sized bed, 27-inch flat screen TV with cable, small closet, ceiling fan, and en suite bathroom with a full-size shower.
It also has double doors leading to the covered back porch. This one has more rocking chairs, runs the full length of the house and offers great scenic views.
LOWER LEVEL BEDROOM
The cabin’s basement level is all about fun.
This is where you’ll find the game room (which we’ll talk about in the next section) and a den area with a leather sofa and recliner, 50-inch flat screen TV, and BluRay player.
The bedroom on this level is a bit smaller than the others, with a full bathroom (including tub/shower) just outside.
But it’s perfect for families with multiple children. You can easily fit two kids in the Queen-sized bed, plus another one on the large, comfy couch in the den.
Blue Ridge, Georgia is at the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest, which encompasses some 750,145 acres and covers 18 counties in North Georgia. There are over 106,000 acres of forest in Fannin County, of which Blue Ridge is a part.
Because of the high elevation and the expansive forests (which give the mountains their distinctive hue), the area tends to create unpredictable weather patterns.
So when perusing Blue Ridge Mountain cabins to rent, it’s a good idea to consider amenities that might make staying indoors during inclement weather more enjoyable.
Wood Haven Retreat offers plenty of options: The most important one for us was the covered hot tub on the basement level. It was heated up when we arrived, soothed our muscles after going horseback riding, and was hidden from view of any neighbors.
The basement rec room was also a lot of fun. There’s a pool table, including cues, chalk, and a rule book for various games. There’s an electronic dart board, with plastic tips so you don’t have to worry about putting holes in the walls when you miss.
There are quite a few board games for family fun, as well as a BluRay player connected to the 50-inch flat screen TV in the downstairs den.
And though the weather was too wet during our visit to make use of it, the cabin also offered an outdoor fire pit with chairs that would be perfect for roasting marshmallows and campfire sing-alongs.
READ MORE: Introduction to the Blue Ridge Mountains
BLUE RIDGE ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS NEARBY
For a town of less than 1,500 full-time residents and a land area of just 2.4 square miles, Blue Ridge boasts an impressive array of things to do.
If shopping is your thing, Downtown Blue Ridge offers dozens of cool shops ranging from swanky boutiques and art/antique stores to outdoor recreation outfiiters and oddities such as the Expedition: Bigfoot Adventure Outpost.
Foodies will find every sort of cuisine under the sun. The best restaurants we visited includes Harvest on Main and Black Sheep (Southern), Masseria (Italian), Hansen’s Grill (Danish/American), Las 2 Huastecas (Mexican), and Mona Lisa’s (Dessert/Wine).
There are also several breweries and wineries in the area, and the Mercier Orchards Tasting Room offers numerous excellent varieties hard apple cider.
If history is your thing, take a self-guided historic Blue Ridge Walking Tour, which hits highlights such as the Baugh House and Historic Fannin County Courthouse. The latter is home to an impressive Arts Center, which– along with the Blue Ridge Community Theatre– is the heart of the town’s cultural pulse.
And of course the area is bursting with natural beauty to be explored. From Lake Blue Ridge and the Toccoa Swinging Bridge to the Appalachian Trail and countless streams and waterfalls, a visit to this area means never being bored. –by Bret Love; photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett
Our visit to Blue Ridge was facilitated with assistance from the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce & CVB.