State park's cabins fill quickly

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Although higher gas prices and lower lake levels have caused some cancellations at state parks, Mistletoe State Park officials said their bookings remain high for their lake-front cottages.

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Jennifer and Kip Spence sit on the porch of their cabin at Mistletoe State Park. Mrs. Spence reserved the cabin 11 months ago, the notice recommended by park officials if you want to guarantee a visit during Masters Week, Thanksgiving or the summer.  Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jennifer and Kip Spence sit on the porch of their cabin at Mistletoe State Park. Mrs. Spence reserved the cabin 11 months ago, the notice recommended by park officials if you want to guarantee a visit during Masters Week, Thanksgiving or the summer.

In fact, without a cancellation, officials said you can almost forget booking a cottage during the summer or Masters Week unless you call well in advance.

"That's not all the time, but during our peak season, the summer months, Masters Week, Thanksgiving, those are the highest demanded, and I would say 11 months for them," said Brenda Bettross, a program assistant at Mistletoe, located along Thurmond Lake in northern Columbia County.

The popularity of the lake has been cited by county officials as proof there is a demand for more overnight-stay facilities. The idea recently gained momentum when a master plan that included a lodge and cabins at Wildwood Park was approved. Wildwood is east of Mistletoe along Thurmond Lake and also is in northern Columbia County.

The plan sets out a preliminary vision of a lodge hotel with a restaurant, meeting rooms and 100 overnight-stay rooms at Wildwood. It also calls for 26 cabins with lake views.

Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said the county wants a feasibility study started before the fall and completed in two to three months.

"We would like to have a lodge and or cabins as soon as possible (at Wildwood)," the commission chairman said. "... I don't have any doubt. I think there's a need there, and it's a long, overdue need because the lake is so popular and there's just so much usage all around."

Ms. Bettross said more cottages would be helpful at Mistletoe, too.

"We would like to have 10 more cottages here to be honest with you," she said.

At Mistletoe, she said, there's a seven-night minimum stay for cottages in the summer.

The cost is $110 per night Sundays through Thursdays and $120 a night Fridays and Saturdays.

Cancellations, she said, are allowed 30 days out from the reserved date.

"Actually, this year, we've had quite a few of them (reservation cancellations) with gas prices and the lake water being low," Ms. Bettross said. "... But I would not count on it."

To reserve a stay in a Mistletoe cottage, call (800) 864-7275.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.

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fd1962
26
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fd1962 07/25/07 - 07:48 am
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Georgia state parks have been
Unpublished

Georgia state parks have been among the finest in the country for decades. Yes, Mistletoe's cabins are nice, but many other Georgia state parks provide equal facilities and beauty at even lower cost. They are kind of an underused hidden treasure.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 07/25/07 - 10:03 am
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Nothing personal, Black
Unpublished

Nothing personal, Black Sambo, but did we read the same article?

SugarFoot
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SugarFoot 07/25/07 - 03:05 pm
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One of my favorite state

One of my favorite state parks is Cloudland Canyon in Northwest GA.. just south of Chattanooga. The cabins are a great bargain and it is really a beautiful place. It would be nice if more cabins could be added to state parks because this could provide a nice revenue stream for the state park system. I know it is almost impossible to get a cabin at the popular Red Top Mountain State Park on Lake Allatoona. It appears there is high demand for these cabins. I say build more of them.

iletuknow
8
Points
iletuknow 07/26/07 - 04:05 pm
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Dang: ain't cheap! Other than

Dang: ain't cheap! Other than looking at your empty wallet,what is their to do?

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