Location This 2,100-acre gated community, an 18-mile drive from Cashiers, North Carolina, is built around a 500-acre reservoir that was created in the 1950s when the Tuckasegee River was dammed to generate hydroelectric power.
Price range Mountain view, lakefront, and lake view lots average two acres and cost $80,000 to $625,000. Two- to four-bedroom Craftsman-style homes are priced from the low $200,000s to $2.6 million. Two- to three-bedroom lodges with lake views and easy access to the Lake Club are $200,000 to $400,000.
Activities The resort revolves around the lake, located at an elevation of 2,600 feet and plunging up to 190 feet deep. Residents can fish for trout, bass, walleye, and sunfish. Private docks and boat rentals allow members and guests to use pontoon boats, Jet Skis, kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards.
The waterside Lake Club, which has a full-service restaurant and casual dining lounge, is the hub of activity. The Amphitheater at Golden Farm is also a popular gathering spot for concerts, family reunions, fireworks, and special events.
The Summit at Bear Lake Reserve, located on one of the highest peaks in the community and with an 80-mile panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a private nine-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
Bear Creek Park, a camping ground owned by the Reserve, sits along a stream and features treehouse-style tent platforms for sleeping up high—plus fire pits, grills, and picnic tables below. There are almost 17 miles of hiking and walking trails winding through the resort.
Nearby Other towns within easy driving distance are Asheville (62 miles), Cherokee (32 miles), Highlands (28 miles), and Sylva (16 miles).
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.