When we first arrived we were surprised that this place even existed! Trail’s End Resort and Marina™ (http://www.teresort.com) is carved out of a 70-acre spread of land that borders a state wildlife refuge with a ranger station nearby. The entire landscape is dotted with private ponds and woods to explore. Not the dense saplings and low laying evergreens, but the tall older forest variety of soaring pines. The pine needle paths are easy to trace and make for a great exploring adventure.
We parked our van near our upscale cabin, located in the portion of the resort dedicated to the RV park with RV sites spanning the inner channel of the COVE waterway off the main Chattahoochee River. Whether we chose to go rustic and camp in a tent along the banks of the inland water, or park our RV we would have been just as happy with the location. Our cabin had a view of the water. Because we lived under that tall canopy it never got too hot or cold. Even in the heat of day we had dappled sunlight hitting our faces when we went out to play.
The air was crisp and the day was bright for a Saturday. We got up early and walked over to the General Store. The management was already on duty and had our pontoon boat rental ready to go. We wanted to pack and go explore the little islands off the main run of the river, and get in a little fishing before the morning mist burned off.
David Allen was especially helpful and even showed us where to stow our gear while we traveled. The boat was very easy to operate and inexpensive for a half day’s use. The General Store had everything we needed that we forgot to bring for a day of fishing, including the fishing licenses! We headed out in the channel following to markings to navigate into the main river. We were alone. Except for the occasional bass boat we had a good mile section of the river to ourselves. We put up the canopy on the boat and head out for some of the more interesting terrain. Looking back at the COVE luxury houseboat community we could see others in the distance prepping the boats docked at their front bows, or fishing right off their porches in the morning haze.
The river was swift and ran clear. We were very serene. That is one thing I will say about Trail’s End Resort. Being so far off the beaten path you feel like you are back with nature. Even though you are only a half hour from major shopping malls, a couple of cities, restaurants and other stores, when you look out on the river all you hear are a wide variety of birds, frogs, and the other sounds of nature.
We headed north to find just the perfect fishing spot and did. We nestled near the opposite shore as the sun started its climb for the day. We unpacked our picnic breakfast and nibbled on our fare while we settled in for a first day of total vacation relaxation. We caught our first fish within minutes – a beautiful bass and a couple of catfish. No wonder they call this area the bass fishing capital on Georgia.
After a couple of hours spent in the open air we were ready to head back and see what else was going on at Trail’s End. We found that the kids were settled in around the new pool and clubhouse in a couple of gazebos working on a craft, and that some people were hosting a small party in the main community room kitchen.
We were going to head back to grill our catch for lunch and add some of the beans, potato salad and other picnic items we brought with us. We decided to use one of the grills along the river bank. While the fish cooked and my husband dutifully got our lunch together I was able to lay back in a hammock and just soak up the sun for a few minutes. In the distance I could hear children laughing and the rustle of leaves. Every once in a while a small boat would cross the COVE and head up or down river. I don’t know but it felt like the air is different there. Just fresher.
We had our feast and packed up our picnic to head out along a nature trail for a much needed walk. We were surprised to learn how many unique bird species there are in the resort area. Some old growth trees still stand. We read about the history of this place before we came and felt like we blended right in somehow.
In the afternoon we become part of an amateur volleyball pickup game that some of the kids started with a few parents. It was an invigorating half hour to say the least. We went back to the clubhouse afterwards and doodled around the main room, making some new friends along the way. When we did head back to the cabin early evening was setting in. We heard there was going to be a tiki hut gathering that night so we picked up some snacks to bring along. Someone brought a boom box and put on music. Others stoked the fire pits and brought drinks to share. It was like an old-fashioned fish camp gathering but the amenities were a lot nicer. I don’t go anywhere there aren’t modern bathrooms.
We were so full from lunch and snacking all day we really didn’t bother with dinner. Or watching television or many of the other things we find to occupy our time at home. In fact, Trail’s End Resort brought out a different side in us we hadn’t experienced for years. We were playful again, just going with the flow and enjoying the moments as they happened. There were some planned activities we could have done while there but it was just as fun letting nature take its course.
We slept like babies that night tucked in our bed. As night set in we noticed how utterly quiet it was out there. You could really see a million stars and the silence was only broken by an occasional owl, or someone taking a late night stroll. We were very peaceful.
Sunday came and we spent part of the morning lounging around the cabin. We sat on the deck for a short while to watch boaters come and go. A lot of the traffic in the morning seems to center around launching from the public dock, although some new arrivals came in to use the covered boat slips. I did notice that they have electric and water available so cleaning up our catch and getting set was a snap. If it had rained we would have been dry loading and unloading which is very nice.
Around noon we headed over the Pop’s Dockside Grill and Raw Bar. We heard about the rotating weekly Sunday buffet so we wanted to give that a try. We were very pleased and our bellies showed it. They must have the world’s best fried chicken. Now I’m a good cook but the traditional Southern food there just knocked my socks off. From the green beans with ham, to the dessert cobbler you could tell everything was homemade. The place was hopping all morning into the afternoon since they serve the buffet until 6pm. It isn’t a line up of trays though. You just tell the server what you want from the buffet items and they bring you a fresh plate each time. I could have lived there for a few days they way we ate.
It was time for another stroll after that dinner. Now I understand why a lot of folks just have a big lunch and then a small supper. It felt like Thanksgiving with all the choices we had. And I have to say that the whole staff are friendly and relaxed. It isn’t one of those nose in the air restaurants, or a diner. It is Pop’s. It has its own flavor and that’s one of Lake Seminole’s hidden gems.
While we were there we looked into owning vacation weeks aboard a Harbor Homes™ luxury houseboat in the COVE. After our weekend we wanted to know how we could be co-owners and visit during the year. Once we found out they are affiliates of RCI the vacation exchange we knew we had found our spot.
Others interested can call 888-577-4562 to request a tour of the resort. Ask about the $99 cabin getaway special vacation. We only had to take a tour for a couple hours on Sunday and are we glad we did.
Anyone who just wants to rent a cabin, rent a houseboat, rent a pontoon boat, or rent an RV site should call 229-861-2000 direct and speak with the manager. Trail’s End Resort is located at 3371 at the west end of Highway 253 (Spring Creek Road), southwest of Bainbridge, GA. Hope to see you there!
The vacation special is highlighted at http://www.lakeseminolevacation.com/49cabin.html