We are tucked away in the midst of Chattahoochee National Forest in northwest Georgia, the states' designated “Mountain Bike Capital”.
This multi-level wooded property was beautifully designed by George Mitchell of Dalton, Georgia. Previously a mountain retreat for his family and friends, George brought in three sleeping cabins, a camp kitchen and rustic dining hall. He cleared spacious camping areas and added enormous hand built picnic tables. He provided a small bathhouse on the hill leading to the camp area. Two small ponds, fed by natural springs trickle into a brook which runs behind the cabins and camping area. Small bridges, viewing areas and paths were constructed as well. Trout were stocked in the ponds for his grand kids. Wildflowers, wild mushrooms, butterflies, moths, salamanders and turtles were plentiful as were rhododendron bushes, hardwood and hemlock trees. An outdoor paradise!
The upper portion of the property was eventually equipped with a home, barn, pasture, shed and large workshop. His hobby was mules and horses. Hitching posts as well as large chains concreted into the ground remain on the property which formerly secured the livestock. All utilities were installed underground before adding a large circular, paved driveway. Nothing interferes with the natural beauty of this property!
Meanwhile, we Floridians were getting antsy from back to back hurricanes, sweltering heat and skyrocketing land prices. We were tipped off to the beauty of north Georgia and began making occasional trips in search of an acre or two for camping purposes. While scouting the area, we learned of the property at Mulberry Gap. Purely out of curiosity, we requested to see what was behind the closed gates. We took the tour with the owner, learned it’s history and fell in love at first sight. The wheels began turning!
We began to imagine building a business on the 15 acres based on home-away-from-home comforts for outdoor enthusiasts that love the outdoors but not the hassle that often goes with packing and unpacking endless gear. After a few months, the arrangements were made and we jumped in on a wing and a prayer! Leaving established and routine lives in Vero Beach was scary, but new hopes, dreams, and challenges are exciting.
Little by little we began upgrading the amenities. The first priority was to build a larger, more comfortable bathhouse, close to the center of activities in the camp area. With that in progress, we tackled the dining hall; we scrubbed it down, replaced the ceiling, stained and decorated the walls and accumulated tables and chairs. We doubled the size of the deck and added koi to the existing trout in the ponds. We fixed up the sleeping cabins – new blinds, spreads, sheets, pillows and porch railings. We put a little elbow grease into the camp kitchen and began stocking it with cooking and serving supplies. There were lots of windows to wash, leaves to rake and rocks to move. We had a blast!
Since the fall of 2006, we have continually adapted the property to add to the enjoyment of our guests. We brought in hot tubs, prepared a bike wash area and planted wildflowers around the property. An additional 2 unit couple/family cabin has been added, the old camp kitchen and dining hall now serve as cabins, and we expanded two of the original cabins during the winter of 2018. The original horse and mule barn was converted to a rustic event facility and full-time dining hall in 2013. Since it's enclosure, we've hosted a number of mountain bike and adventure races, corporate retreats, bike-industry media & product launches, yoga retreats, music events, and weddings. The screened in porch on the main residence was enclosed and now serves as the registration office and our old living room, where we gathered for Christmas and holidays, is now our new retail show. It just goes to show that with a clear vision, a lot of hard work, and a whole lot of faith - dreams really can come true!
We have enjoyed sharing Mulberry Gap with our guests and do our best to make it a comfortable, casual home away from home. It is the ultimate honor for us to have many guests who return regularly and become our friends. We appreciate the support and encouragement we have received to continue the mission of Mulberry Gap as a unique mountain bike destination!