Have questions or need more detail about Big Peach Spring Break, we have all your answers and even a brief background to how this idea all started.
It’s only one (1) week away! Big Peach Spring Break in beautiful Blue Ridge, that is…
On Friday morning, April 14th, my dogs and I set out on our final tune-up and trail maintenance session on the route we will use on Day #2 for the upcoming Big Peach Spring Break… The next couple times I will be on these trails will be with our team for final instructions and with our participants for the unbridled fun and sense of accomplishment that awaits! And, for sure, it was more spectacular than even I imagined, with countless miles covered on these trails over the last six (6) months. To say that Spring in the Chattahoochee National Forest is glorious may still be a massive understatement… For sure, I hope a couple of forthcoming pictures adequately convey some of the beauty and some of the fun my dogs and I had on this working jaunt! BUT more importantly, while covering our distance, I was reminded of a request that was made last week on which I wanted to make good: To put out a FAQ document together to further prepare, promote and provide history for this impending adventure.
In short, here you go!
What was the origin of this unique offering and itinerary?
For the last few years, colleagues and friends of mine have put a Summer adventure together that we’ve referred to as the “National Forest Folly.” My residence in Blue Ridge provides easy access to both the Chattahoochee and Cherokee National Forests that supply the routes for us… Along with the 20+ miles we cover on the trails contained therein, we spend the remaining time visiting Fannin Brewing Company, fishing in the pond, making bonfires and cooking or dining on fresh, local fare. Even with many terrific weekends from which to choose, this is always one of my favorites during the year! A couple BPRC teammates and I eventually concluded we shouldn’t keep this kind of fun to ourselves any longer… Also, “Adventure Travel” has been big in Europe for quite some time, with a growing appetite for such in the U.S. (especially in the West). We thought it was hardly fair that Europeans have all the fun – – and we feel personally responsible to put the South on the map for both fun and fitness in the great outdoors!
Why is it called “Spring Break?”
As we started investigating the best time of year to do this event in Blue Ridge, we quickly learned that lodging is far more available and affordable in the Winter and Spring. As most can imagine, kids being out-of-school and Fall colors make the rest of the year in north Georgia a hot and colorful commodity. Equally as important for outdoor enthusiasts, Spring in Appalachia is a terrific combination of moderate temperatures and terrific trail conditions. The “winter views” still exist at higher elevations, while new growth and temperatures that are ideal for hiking/running are wonderfully abundant! The stereotypical reference to a “Spring Break” perfectly acknowledges that it’s not just about the time on the trails… After all, the time we will spend at a working farm, successful microbrewery and beautiful winery fairly connote that there’s plenty of play involved!
Will Big Peach do this at other times of the year or in other locations?
Truthfully, it is too-early-to-tell. As you might imagine, we have a team that has already hiked, run, camped, paddled, fished and mountain biked more adventure within 200 miles of Atlanta than most organizations could ever dream… At the same time, our foremost responsibility remains to our organizational Mission: To grow, support and enhance a Pedestrian-Active Lifestyle in and around Atlanta. Further, if we do not have intimate knowledge of every detail associated with such an itinerary (as we do with this Big Peach Spring Break), we will not lower our standards of how to delight and thrill our Guests – – whether inside or outside of our stores. In short, stay tuned!
What are the absolute most compelling reasons to participate in BPSB?
Hmmm. I could list dozens. Really. It’s true. But I’ll list the first (3) that come-to-mind, so as to not make this answer unattractively lengthy…
1.It’s For EveryoneAlthough I am admittedly biased, I believe we’ve selected a roster of activities and hosts that truly provide plenty for everybody! Whether a casual hiker or seasoned trail runner, you’ll appreciate that we have easily identifiable trails and Guides along for every pace. We have challenging routes – – but no cut-offs or timing expectations. We also have aid stations, transportation and incredibly memorable finishing points and recovery destinations! Equally as important, our lodging options and various packages make no distinction as to how you like to travel – – or even whether you participate in our time on the trails. Fannin Brewing Company is certainly cool for beer enthusiasts… but is also a great venue with fun-n-games for the non-drinkers and kids alike. The same is true at Serenberry Winery, along with a spectacular mountain backdrop… And Charlie Creek Farm will engage animal and nature lovers of any age, as you interact with the friendly goats, pet the (recently sheared!) alpacas, taste the free-range eggs or peruse the Spring lettuce gardens. Friends, family members, group runners, business colleagues and seemingly every other classification will come together and make truly special, longstanding memories!
2. The LodgingIt was mentioned previously that April is not a particularly busy time in Blue Ridge… This becomes our good fortune, as the value of the pricing for first-class lodging matches the amazing inclusions on the itinerary! The truth is that legions of Floridians will pour into north Georgia when school is out (just like we did into their state last week…), putting Demand ahead of Supply (which is not the case right now). The video we have on our website shows the quality of accommodations – – even without doing all the amenities justice! Just as importantly to many, the $400.00 cost (yes, for the entire weekend) for a 2BR/2BA cabin is less than $35.00 per night for six (6) persons (which these cabins can easily AND comfortably accommodate) who travel together… With all due respect to Hotwire, Expedia and Hotels.com, nobody can touch those kinds of rates this time of year! Said differently, our lodging is first-class for low-cost!
3. The Little ThingsHere’s what we know… Even when we have our miles and our meals finished, it will be “the little things” that become so very memorable! It might be your child holding a baby duckling or the view you share with your friends from atop a hard-earned mountain ridge or the thoughtful items in your goody bag upon arrival or the champagne toast made on Sunday at our bRUNch with new friends nearby or… well, you get the point. It could be so many things! Details do, indeed, matter.
So there you have it! I hope to see you next weekend! In the meantime, Happy Easter – – and may your best miles continue to be those covered on foot! -Mike
P.S. – Here are some pictures from our effort on Friday morning!