Flat Creek Lodge – A Luxurious Hunting, Fishing & Spa Getaway
by Carrie Whitney
Nestled among the pines near Swainsboro, Georgia, Flat Creek Lodge welcomes visitors seeking a rustic getaway that never skimps on luxury. Begun as a hunting and fishing resort suitable for the most discerning sportsman or sportswoman, Flat Creek Lodge has grown over a little more than a decade to include a fine dining restaurant, a spa, a Japanese bathhouse and even an artisanal cheese dairy.This beautiful rustic but luxurious resort is only about 200 miles from West Cobb. Just go to Google or Mapquest for directions.
Upon arrival at Flat Creek Lodge, one watches the locally crafted metal wildlife gate swing open onto a gravel parking area. The first stop is Stumpknockers, a combination check-in, gift shop and cocktail area. The scent of the natural pine used to build Flat Creek Lodge fills the air, and the main lake’s ducks and swans are already audible.
With the receipt of the room key, which instead of a number touts something like Bass or Bear, the short trip to either the main Lodge or one of the Cottages begins. Each room is named for the décor found inside – décor created by local artists and taxidermists. But don’t let the roughing-it nature of the room titles and architecture fool you – inside the rooms are filled with soft beds, comfy robes and high-end bath products. There might even be a plate of cheese waiting from the award-winning Flat Creek Lodge Dairy.
The rooms in the Lodge connect via a back verandah overlooking the lake, and the Cottages have individual porches also situated on a lake. Take a moment to relax in one of the rough-hewn rocking chairs, but don’t stay too long. Too many activities lie ahead. The Spa might be a good place to start with something like a relaxing massage followed by a dip in the whirlpool. Spa aficionados can head to the Japanese Bathhouse for a private milk bath (with fresh cream from the Dairy) or a soak in the large mineral bath.
Getting around the 2,000-acre property either on foot, with a Flat Creek golf cart or with their bicycles provides the best view of the beautiful scenery. The property features a variety of ponds, wildlife, birds like white peacocks and plenty of photographable flora. Just don’t forget what Flat Creek Lodge was made for, and that is outdoor sporting. With hunting options available during all seasons – pheasant, quail, white tail deer, turkeys and wild boar; fishing for bass, bream and crappie in the many lakes and ponds; sporting clay shooting and even paintball, Flat Creek Lodge can be as energizing as it is relaxing. In keeping with the property’s mission of being environmentally gentle, only biodegradable sporting clays and non-toxic ammunition can be used onsite. Novice hunters and fishers can enjoy these activities too, because Flat Creek has outfitters and guides to make any trip a success.
A long and exciting day at Flat Creek Lodge ends with a chef-prepared dinner in the Dining Room. Best paired with excellent wines, the four- or five-course meal will have been created from produce, fish, game and of course cheese, right from the property. The rustic theme is carried into the Dining Room, which features handmade chairs, taxidermy scenes and rough wood tables. The chairs are wide and comfortable, the fare is fresh and delicious and the view of the main lake at sunset is unbeatable.
Before heading out, be sure to arrange a visit to the Dairy and see the beautiful all-Jersey herd and the delightful Lacaune-East Friesian mix sheep. If you can, spend a few minutes with Head Cheesemaker Dane Huebner who will fill you with his passion for cheese. On the way to the Dairy, you’ll pass the berry orchards where Flat Creek grows blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, which are harvested in the summer months and sold at farmer’s markets like the one at St. Philip’s Cathedral in Buckhead. Recently, Flat Creek Lodge has started growing mushrooms too. The first crop of “Pink Flamingo” Oyster mushrooms made their way to the Flat Creek Dining Room and restaurants and farmers markets too.
When you check out at Stumpknockers, you can bring some of Flat Creek Lodge with you by purchasing cheeses like the Blue Farmhouse, cumin-flavored Dutch Leiden, cow and sheep’s milk blended feta called Agrippina or the famous Aztec Cheddar. Depending on how the hunting and fishing went, you might have something else to bring home too.
Flat Creek Lodge is open year-round and offers a variety of special packages like Romantic Weekend Getaway, Fall Hunting and Girls’ Weekend. Flat Creek Lodge can also customize packages to fit individuals, couples and groups. More information is available at www.flatcreeklodge.com or by calling 478.237.FISH.