Big Canoe: An Autumnal Paradise

Guest Blogger: Adam Noll, That Outdoor Guy


“As the days grew closer to our second stay in Big Canoe, so did our level of excitement! The children and I had many lively dinner-time conversations recalling our fun-filled early summer 2016 visit, where we wondered aloud about the colorful differences awaiting us during our upcoming early fall visit. Considering that we took a 35-day, 5500-plus mile road trip between our Big Canoe visits, the strength of our memories from that June visit surprised me…and yet they didn’t.

While our road trip was a truly life-enhancing experience, there was a certain surrealism to it regarding the unlikelihood of ever returning to the myriad of adventure destinations we explored; whereas, our time in Big Canoe is all about real life—the past, present, and future. Since we are planning to relocate there during the summer of 2018, that reality is never far from our thoughts and dreams; and was surely present as we loaded up the Subaru and headed south from our current hometown of Signal Mountain, TN.

Rather than meander to Jasper, Georgia as we did on our first trip down, we headed straight for the North Georgia town—a suburb of the sprawling giant, Atlanta. I know enough about Jasper to be very comfortable with all that it offers in the way of goods and services, since it is the closest city to the Big Canoe Community, at less than 15 miles away. We decided to stop in for another yummy lunch at Forno Italian Restaurant, where we had enjoyed a meal during our first stay, and then popped in the Foothills IGA Market and picked up things for breakfast, lunch, and to snack on while at our mountaintop accommodations. Both the restaurant menu and the wide variety of items at the grocery provide me with peace of mind about moving nearby, as does the nearby Ace Hardware; all within about a mile from Big Canoe’s main entrance.

Since I have begun sharing my plans to move us to Big Canoe, with family, friends, and social media connections, the same question is usually the first to be asked: “How can you consider leaving your hometown, again, as well as your beloved Tennessee!?” One answer to that takes place as you drive up to Big Canoe’s private entrance gates: a huge sense of security. The public safety personnel manning the gatehouse greeted us the same way we were welcomed on our first visit, cordially and professionally. She checked my ID and the information I provided her against the information left on my behalf by Big Canoe Realty. She returned my ID, and handed me our 3-day gate pass and a highlighted map, marked with the route to our accommodations. Did you catch the answer? Security. Knowing that only those who are supposed to have access to Big Canoe are allowed into the community surely provides residents, and guests alike, a peace of mind that is invaluable in this day and age.

Driving through the covered bridge, again, was no less heartwarming than it was on our first visit. If anything, the yellow and red foliage surrounding us blended with the rustic, old-world charm of the bridge to provide a true sense of “coming home”. Being very diligent about my social media connections, we shot a short-but-sweet Slo-Mo video of driving to and through the covered bridge, which became one of my most-viewed clips ever on Instagram. It felt good to be back in Big Canoe!

Continue reading about Adam Noll’s experience here