With summer winding down, leaf season is fast approaching which means it’s a great time to plan a trip to the mountains. If you’re looking for top-notch lodging and amenities combined with breathtaking scenery, then Bear Lake Reserve is the perfect place to plan your autumn escape. I briefly had the chance to visit Bear Lake last December as we celebrated my girlfriend’s graduation from Western Carolina University, but here are five things that have me excited to stay longer than just one day this fall.
The Lake Club
Every community needs a place to gather, and the Lake Club at Bear Lake Reserve offers many reasons to do just that. Nestled right at the edge of Bear Creek Lake, this beautiful 14,000 square foot post-and-beam Adirondack style facility houses dining options, pools and hot tubs, a fitness center, a private theater, shopping, and much more. Whether you’d rather relax or play, the Lake Club has something for everyone. When I visited last winter, I had the opportunity to dine in the Chef’s Reserve room at Lakeside 54 and it was an outstanding experience. I loved the holiday-themed cocktails, the food was delicious, and the staff were very friendly. They went the extra mile to make my girlfriend’s graduation dinner memorable!
Bear Creek Lake
While the mountains are the most prominent feature in the area, Bear Creek Lake is what truly makes Bear Lake Reserve special. There are tons of activities to enjoy on the water, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, tubing, fishing, and more. If you don’t own your own watercraft or forgot it at home, Bear Lake Reserve makes it easy and convenient to rent craft of all kinds from pontoons to paddleboards. Contact the Marina in advance to register, and visit the Main Dock just steps away from the Lake Club to get geared up!
I’ll be honest, it was the name that got my attention. But what is Pickleball? The simplest way to describe it is a mixture of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Players match up either one on one or two on two from either side of a tennis-like net. They then use paddles to hit a ball, which looks very similar to a whiffle ball, back and forth over the net until one side commits a fault. As a result, the style of play is similar to tennis at a slower pace. This makes pickleball a fun and easy sport for all ages to enjoy, as the paddles seem lighter and easier to handle than a tennis racquet. Whether you want to learn pickleball or play traditional tennis, Bear Lake Reserve’s Director of Racquet Sports John Green has you covered.
A Nicklaus Design® Golf Course
I’m not an avid golfer (yet), but as a proud native of the Buckeye State, I know the name Jack Nicklaus well. The Nicklaus name is associated with excellence, and this 9-hole/par 29 course by Nicklaus Design® combines excellent hole design with amazing views. In addition to the course, the practice facility houses a driving range and putting green. If you’re still newer to the sport like me, you can even participate in clinics and private lessons. Whatever your needs are, Bear Lake Reserve’s On-Site Pro Courtney Gunter is here to help.
The Millpond Pavillion
If you’ve been out hiking and enjoying the sights, Mill Pond Pavilion is the perfect rest stop before you head back to your home. The quaint setting of the pond within the tall trees is charming and provides a quiet spot to relax, have a picnic, and even do some catch-and-release fishing. The Pavilion can even be used for private events like birthday parties and wedding receptions. It’s like a retreat within a retreat, waiting to be enjoyed in your own way.
It was difficult to pick just five things I’m excited to see and experience at Bear Lake Reserve, because there’s so much more to explore. The wealth of amenities, activities, and accommodation options as well as Bear Lake’s proximity to the town of Sylva make it an ideal destination for anyone looking to escape into the mountains this fall. I’m eager to go on an adventure of my own!