The scenic drive from Chateau Elan to the Richard B Russell State Park on the Georgia Golf Trail was a cinch even though we looked at one another questionably when GPS led us in on an optional dirt road. Hey, you want a remote experience in nature at a state park, right? We blinked past the park office which we later realized has a plethora of helpful info and required car passes. We pulled up directly instead to the Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course around noon on a bright sunny day wondering if we might be able to play then, rather than wait until the morning. Make hay or play while the sun shines. A friendly young ranger in uniform checked us in and a volunteer starter gave us the go ahead.
The Buffalo chicken wrap with sweet potato tots and a burger to go paired well on the natural woodsy course with the Terrapin Passionfruit Mango brewed in Athens. Entering the isolated forest that surrounds the course was actually transcendent. The only sounds heard is that of nature, the striking of the ball or the sound of silence. Cicadas serenaded as grasshoppers tried to camouflage on the greens. A pine scent waffled in the light breeze. Number 6 teases with a lake view then more wooded wonders until 13 which carries over an inlet with such gorgeous, expansive views of the Savannah River that we forgot to hit our tee shots on that hole. Then 14 delivers a magnificent 360-degree view. It is the signature hole out on the namesake Arrowhead Pointe where Savannah River merges with Russell Lake before flowing on to Augusta and ultimately Savannah Harbor. Lake views in the forested routing are beautiful and challenging all the way through 18.
20 cottages or cabins on the lake rent for $175/night. The quaint mountain town of Elberton, known as the granite capital of the world is 15 minutes away with a few restaurants or grocery stores for stocking the cabin kitchen so you never have to leave. Ask for cabin number 3 or higher for the best open lake views. Boat ramps and docks are included with 2-bedroom accommodations, two full size beds in each, 2 bathrooms and a full kitchen with counter seating, plus a dining table, living room with fireplace and a screened in porch. This is an awesome setting for a couple, family or any type of group to settle in before golf or lake activities. Alternatively, campsites are available.
Next door to our cabin on the inlet a couple of fishermen were preparing their boat for a derby on the lake. Visitors can rent a kayak, canoe, pontoon or bike at the Park Office. The 26,500-acre lake also has a beach for swimming at no charge, picnic areas and campground. A Lakeside Pavilion with commercial kitchen has seating capacity for 150.
We took a walk through the woods down the road to view the pretty sunset at the same time as deer strolled down for a drink across the lake. Soft moss, little wildflowers and colorful fallen leaves carpeted the forest floor. Oh, to have one more day to kayak on the lake, hike or golf Arrowhead Pointe again. It’s a very special place on the Georgia Golf Trail.
By Alice & Danny Scott