(You can also select to view this in high res from YouTube)

Today I think it barely rose above freezing. It was a rare Saturday where I had no customers so I scooped up my family, including Dan and took them for a brief hike to the Falls to see if there were any interesting ice formations. I’m a North Jersey Girl and don’t mind the cold one bit so it’s in my blood to run to the creeks when things get icy for great pictures. I was loaded up with the camera and Dan has the new digital camcorder. We had the kids with us and let the good times roll on our journey through the Big Canoe Jeep Trail.

Along the way the kids giggled, ran, and threatened to jump in the water. The Falls, both Upper and Lower were running faster and harder than I have seen in years. I feel so truly fortunate to practically call this place my back yard. Though we have been given permission by all our neighbors to access the Jeep Trail and walk literally steps to the falls, we choose to drive to the top of Mountain Mint and park and walk Down hill to the striking falls and prepare to walk uphill in return.

Dan broke in the camera with a mesmerizing and brief video of the Lower Falls. This is something I wish to put on a repeat loop and listen to as I drift of to sleep. The lucky owners of the home on the end of Bluebell Drive are able to do this by opening the windows every night!

Big Canoe is such a unique community! My final words on this short blog is that you can find a community any where in the US with great amenities, but can you find a community with even better amenities and this much natural beauty? Big Canoe homes are world class and even more attractive is this established gated resort community in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.

Attached is a link to my “back yard” AKA the Jeep Trail which meanders through several waterfalls and babbling creeks.


~Karin Elliott

January 18th, 2009

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It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. I sure doesn’t feel like it tonight! My kids had a blast going to the pools, hiking, playing with friends, and riding bikes. However, like all good things, summer must come to an end. Pickens County Schools started today with a welcome back to school celebration. Parents attended half of the first day back and joined their children in a rotation schedule that keept everyone moving. It was a whole lot of fun and the children have enjoyed meeting their new teachers and classmates.

I have been very happy with Pickens County schools and can’t say enough good things about them. My favorites with Tate Elementary are the small classes and friendly atmosphere. My children feel comfortable there and that’s what keeps them inspired. However all children are different and one mold doesn’t necessarily fit everyone. Big Canoe residents have many options

As most of you know, Big Canoe is made up 2 counties (Pickens and Dawson). Big Canoe residents that live in Pickens County may only go to Pickens schools. Big Canoe residents in Dawson County have a choice between Pickens and Dawson schools. If the public school systems are not for you then there are some private schools in the surrounding areas that may suit your needs. Wildwood Christian Academy is right outside the gates of Big Canoe but there are other secular, and non-secular private schools located within reasonable driving distance from Big Canoe. One last note while you are pondering all the academic possibilities, there are a lot of home-schooled children in Big Canoe also. Many of them coordinate activities and home curriculum.

I know from experience that transitioning from one school to another can be challenging but I feel confident that at least one the options above will be agreeable to you and your children.

Take care and be sure to head over to Jasper Drugs for a 9 cent pack of pencils!!


August 5th, 2008

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Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer for many Big Canoe families and visitors. While diving around this weekend I noticed a lot of people from out of town – either visiting family or just enjoying a weekend in the North Georgia mountains. There’s something to be said for living where people want to vacation! I know that several of our current clients are interested in activities here in Big Canoe, so I figured what better opportunity than a holiday weekend to give a sampling of things to do in Big Canoe. Here are a few highlights of our Memorial Day weekend:

Big Canoe Soccer

Soccer at the Wildcat Recreation Area in Big Canoe Saturday morning started out with Big Canoe’s youth soccer games. You might think that there are not enough children here in Big Canoe to create an entire soccer league, but there are enough kids that we fill up an entire soccer field with children from age 3+ having a blast kicking and running. If you’re considering moving to Big Canoe, and you do have children, this is definitely an activity you will want to check out.

Wildcat Pool

Wildcat Kids PoolAfter soccer, many Big Canoe families headed for one of the three pools. Our choice (really our kid’s choice) is the Wildcat Recreation Area pool. The Wildcat pool is really 2 pools – a pool for adults and a pool for the kids. The kid’s pool is best described as a water playground with all sorts of gizmos that spray and dump water on the kids.

While the pools in the Wildcat area are one of the main attractions, there are other activities as well. There is a huge soccer field (this is where the aforementioned games take place), baseball diamond, and basketball court. The Wildcat Pavilion is situated adjacent to the pool, and it is a fantastic spot to hold large outdoor parties. The pavilion has a huge outdoor fireplace to take the chill out of the air, Big Canoe Bocce Ball Courtsand this is put to good use during Trunk or Treat. Trunk or Treat is a big outdoor Halloween party in Big Canoe, but I’ll have to wait for fall before I blog about it! One last popular activity I want to mention is bocce ball. The Wildcat Area has two bocce ball courts that are heavily used. Read more about bocce ball here at Wikipedia instead of having my attempt to explain the game.

BBQ and Cooking Out

Cooking BBQ Roast Pork Butt on the Green EggThe weekend weather has been absolutely perfect. Blue skies with puffy white clouds, and a nice breeze to keep the warm afternoons a pleasant temperature. There is no better weather for cooking out and making some tasty BBQ. Grills and BBQ pits are available for community use throughout Big Canoe. Grills can be found at the Scout Cabin off the Jeep Trail, Indian Rocks Park, Playfield Park, and the Wildcat Pavilion. There are probably others I am forgetting to mention. All of these locations are a great spot to have a picnic.

Speaking of BBQ, last night we cooked up a delicious BBQ Boston Butt on our Green Egg. When we first started this blog, we wrote a short article about cooking BBQ on our Green Egg. To this day, we still have people that end up visiting our site because of that article! While I’d love to believe it’s because of our incredible anecdotal abilities, I think it is more likely due to the interest in cooking BBQ pork here in the North Georgia mountains. Actually, the next blog we do is going to be a follow-up to that old blog. I hope you all have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend – enjoy being with your family, go for a swim, eat some BBQ pork butt – and if you do all that, I know you will!

~Karin Elliott is a resident of the North Georgia mountain Community of Big Canoe. See all Karin’s Big Canoe Real Estate Listings here. Read more about living in Big Canoe in her blog Life in Big Canoe, Real Estate in the Mountains.

May 25th, 2008

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Mountain Zen - A Big Canoe Community Home for Sale

You searched for months, spent endless hours on the Internet looking for Big Canoe homes, and have finally found the home of your dreams. It’s perfect in every way! The furnishings, paint, and atmosphere reflect your inner soul, and yet you have the toughest hill ahead of you…now it’s time to NAME your home!!!

One of the best parts about a drive through Big Canoe is the cute and clever home names that dangle happily where our mailboxes should be. Perhaps it’s the equivalent to the American flag on the Moon. Your quest is over and you get to do a victory dance to tell the whole world (or whomever drives by your home in Big Canoe) who you are in a short phrase carved in wood at the end of your doorstep. Some of my favorites are: Bada Bing, More Cowbell, Incommunicado, Viewtopia, Mountain Zen, I Love View, No Guts-No Glory, Almost Heaven, High Cotton, Changes in Altitude (they were from Florida ;D) and the Luv Shak.

There are common themes up here regarding bears, mountains, views, and various wildlife. Each sign, once hung becomes a part of the character of Big Canoe. A perfect example is at the corner of Wake Robin and Petit Ridge there is a home named “R House”. This simple sign has been a staple on whether or not people find my home on Trout Lily Trail. True Story; my daughter was having a birthday party and I actually included the “R House” in the directions as a landmark. The party started at 3 and by 3:30 the calls started pouring in from lost guests who couldn’t find Wake Robin because they never saw the R House sign. I thought they were just giving me an excuse so I drove out to the house and low and behold, the R House sign was MISSING! Turns out the owners were having it redone. Luckily it wasn’t too hard to round up my guests who were circling Sanderlin Mountain. I finally met the owners of the R House and they thought it was hilarious when I told them the story and promised me that they would notify me of any future changes.

There are many residents who simply prefer to hang their names up on their posts. This is probably the best and easiest way for your friends to find you. But the folks that name their homes whether you like the name or not have put some time and effort into these little banners. So I hope this has helped to stir up your imagination and choose the perfect name for your house.

Karin-of the ‘Trout Lily Nut House’

PS – Once you do find your house name give Arliss Brigman a call at his home in Big Canoe. He hand makes signs and posts.

~Karin Elliott is resident of the North Georgia mountain Community of Big Canoe. See all Karin’s Big Canoe Real Estate Listings here. Read more about living in Big Canoe in her blog Life in Big Canoe, Real Estate in the Mountains.

May 18th, 2008

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Well, there were about 125 disappointed young soccer players this Saturday morning with the heavy rains on Friday night. However, ALL the plants in Big Canoe were waving their leaves with joy because not only did they avoid the predicted hard freeze, but they also got some rain to boot!.

Many of you already know that most of us do not have grass in our yards, and we try to rely on native gardening, which is far more beautiful to the trained eye. This is the time of year that the native azaleas start to bloom and they are truly a show stopper. Pink and orange blooms meshed with the dogwoods look like nature’s fireworks in the forest. The mountain laurels are another favorite with their happy pink and white flowers.

Along with the blooms come the birds, frogs, and butterfies. LIke nature’s orchestra the artistic blend begins when all creatures co-habitate colorfully under a sunny sky and end with a full moon seranato of lonely frogs, and happy crickets.

As hokey as this may sound I truly believe that this is the reward I get for opening my windows and allowing the outside to come in and fill the house with something other than pollen!!! Spring in Big Canoe is an experience that truly tickles your soul.


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April 20th, 2008

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As a realtor and also owning a rental referral company, I feel there has been a hunk of Big Canoe real estate that has been overlooked for the newer sections. This neighborhood is Laurel Ridge, and it’s as adorable as it is convenient! Laurel Ridge is made up of about 150 free standing condos with the Craftsman / Cottage theme. These tidy homes are much larger than meets the eye. Many of them have 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths with 2 or 3 fireplaces, very well equipped kitchens, and luxurious master baths.

Who lives in Laurel Ridge? The units are privately owned and many are rented to help supplement the luxury of owning a second home. The Florida crowd will arrive for a month at a time and reside back to Naples or Boca Raton. For rentals they are wonderful for full or long term. There are a few full time residents in Laurel Ridge that enjoy the activity of the weekend excitement in the summers. Many weddings are held in Big Canoe, and often times the wedding party will rent one or 2 homes together while preparing for the big day.

The units by the lake are out of this world while the units above boast a longer view and a glimpse of the new clubhouse. Sitting on your deck at Laurel Ridge, you may be able to hear the Dekalb Symphony playing theur annual June concert, or you might sip a margarita while catching a glimpse of the fireworks over the dam. There is a brisk but brief walk to the fitness center, lake and Jeep Trail. The renters enjoy being in the center of it all while surrounded by the majestic mountains of Big Canoe.

We have a lovely and luxurious unit listed right now that has never been rented. The owners have improved the home with hidden conveniences for long term Laurel Ridge living. This unit has 5 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, screened porch with fireplace, and enormous decks with back yard privacy. Meticulously maintained and reasonably priced at $449K, 353 Laurel Ridge is  a high end example of Big Canoe’s cottage style section of Laurel Ridge.

Life in Big Canoe, Real Estate in the Mountains

February 17th, 2008

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1218 Quail CoveWhile last night’s post was about lots on Cox Mountain in Big Canoe, I wanted to also point out that IBA has some incredible deals on truly value priced lots.  While these lots are definitely lower priced, they are also good buildable lots.  I have two lots in particular that would be fantastic lots for a Big Canoe home.  Call us to to take a look at these two lots, bring your builder out, and start laying out the foundation of your dream home.

  • 1218 Quail Cove – This lot is nearly an acre and features a good, buildable site.  It is also located minutes from the North Gate of Big Canoe as well as beautiful Lake Petit.  This lot is listed at $49,000, and it is one of the lowest priced lots available in Big Canoe.
  • 8038 Wilderness Parkway – This Big Canoe lot is approximately 4 acres and is located in one of Big Canoe’s most scenic areas.  This lot is listed at $59,900 and offers a huge estate lot to build your dream home in the North Georgia mountains!

Currently, there are over 100 Big Canoe resale lots to choose from , so there is a tremendous variety as well as a wide price margin.  For more information on Big Canoe lots, please call us at (770) 655-4303 or contact us via email.


January 5th, 2008

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8247 Cox Mountain DriveI want to start writing some blogs regarding the many unique sections of Big Canoe. So many people come here and get overwhelmed at the size of this community. It helps them to categorize and get a better feel for this multifaceted area. Tonight’s blog is about Cox Mountain.

Cox Mountain is a very high end section of Big Canoe with extremely tasteful homes averaging well over a million dollars. Most of the homes are set up for full time living though many of the owners have homes elsewhere. There are several sections in Big Canoe which feature prestigious homes, but what makes Cox Mountain stand out like the North Star is that it has everything that the selective buyer wants. First and foremost it is close to the main gate at an average of 6 minutes, and it is even closer (about 3 minutes) from the center of “town”, post office, 8247 Cox Mountain Drivefitness center, golf, tennis, chapel, restaurants, and the IGA Express. My key comments about the center of town is how far away you are from that much needed item like a cup of milk for that recipe or an extra bottle of red wine for your party! Three minutes isn’t bad! Cox Mountain also features amazing views and many homes have ridgeline views, meaning you have a view from both the front and rear of the lot. There are currently about 6 occupied homes on Cox Mountain, and a few others on the market.

I recently picked up two EXCELLENT lots which could happily host any dream home. Currently I have lots 8240 and 8247 (Check the site for the listings OR call me, and I’ll put on my walking shoes to personally give you a tour). Both have dramatic views and buildable downslope lots (meaning you see the front of the house and the terrace is private in the back yard). There are some exquisite spec homes up here, but so many buyers show up with plans and want to find a lot to fit their homes. Cox Mountain is the perfect neighborhood for the buyer with big dreams and distinguished taste. Contact Karin Elliott for more information at (770) 655-4303 or email.

You can view these two fantastic Big Canoe lots for sale here:






January 3rd, 2008

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