LetterToEditor

There’s much to be thankful for at Big Canoe

To the Editor:

Those who are spreading bad and often erroneous information are ignoring all we have to be thankful for here at Big Canoe.

The vast majority of our residents in Big Canoe, including my wife and I, are fed up with the negative postings by some of our disgruntled and ill-informed neighbors and what they have been distributing to property owners in violation of Big Canoe protocol.  

My wife Carolyn and I have lived in Big Canoe for almost 20 years and it infuriates us, and those like us, who have seen the many positive things that have been done over the years to make the community better for everyone. It’s terrible for someone to denigrate where we are now and how we’ve gotten there.

We’re certainly not perfect and mistakes admittedly have been made over time, but ask anyone who, before buying here, has visited communities around the region and around the country, and you will hear time and time again that this is the best bargain anywhere they have seen for what we have to offer, and by a long shot.

We first came to visit Big Canoe in 1981; fell in love with it, but weren’t in a position to buy and move from our home in Atlanta until 2000. So, we just kept coming up and renting until we finally bought a lot and then built. Over these 19+ years, we’ve seen the following additions and improvements which current property owners now enjoy:

Outside the gates:

  • Opening of Ace Hardware with the friendliest staff anywhere, and the IGA with better grocery, wine, and beer offerings with comparable and often better prices than the big box grocery stores.
  • Opening of the Huddle House for those artery-clogging but so tempting all-day breakfasts.
  • Addition of two Buckhead-quality restaurants between Home and Sourwood.
  • Potts Market, now getting more and more popular every Saturday including our good friend and resident, Tom Craton, Tom’s Awesome Seafood.
  • Easy access to Costco either in Cumming or now in Woodstock.
  • Widening of both S.R. 400 all the way to 369, and of I-575 for easier access to Atlanta.
  • World famous Gibbs Gardens less than 10 minutes from our gates.

Within the gates:

  • Incredible improvement over the old clubhouse (dark and relatively few great lake views). We can thank a bolt of lightning for helping us afford the new building and some resident insurance experts who were able to help negotiate and get about $2MM more in the insurance settlement due to their volunteered expertise.
  • The addition of the outside deck area which for a long time was only a concrete slab with a big tent put up over it in the summer and fall.
  • Back in 2006, the developer relinquished voting control and his veto power, putting we the property owners in control of our own destiny.
  • The POA has ownership and control over all the amenities. There have been communities in our area where that lack of ownership contributed to their downfall.
  • Expansion of the trails from about 16 miles to 22 miles today with more to come and with a very active volunteer trails committee who work to keep the trails kept up and safe.
  • Ever-improving fire and safety protection allowing us to have a very favorable ISO rating of 3 (as of June 2016 – improved from 4) which lowers property insurance costs for most people.
  • Creation of two additional dog parks – Wildcat and the new Diamond Dog Park.
  • The addition of the Fitness Center (Wellness Center) and expansion and continued improvement of the equipment and the offerings.
  • Creation of the Wellness Collaborative to provide a variety of services to residents in need of help—both non-emergency and non-medical—transportation provided, meals and just companionship.
  • The improvements of the swim club area with many additional kid’s entertainment features on Lake Disharoon as well as the addition of the Wildcat Pavilion and pool.
  • The wonderful improvements and additions in the marina including the upgrade of the pontoon boats for rent at an unbelievably affordable cost. Stocking of trout in Lake Petit—now 500 lbs. two times each month except for July and August.
  • The introduction of both bocce ball courts (currently being expanded) and pickle ball courts.
  • Creation of the propane consortium that provides propane to us at a very competitive price.
  • The creation of numerous special interest clubs and organizations that make “lifelong learning” one of the strongest attractions of Big Canoe.
  • An incredible ever-expanding variety of planned events including Acoustic Showcase featuring our own performers, as well as several bands composed of many of our talented residents.
  • And if all these great additions weren’t enough, we’re very proud that an eagle family has chosen our community in which to live and raise a family. That’s got to mean something.



Those who are relatively new or brand new here are benefiting from all the ways that past residents have pitched in to make this community what it is today.

Those who are belittling how far we have come are ignoring what a fantastic deal Big Canoe is and are not giving credit to those past leaders and volunteers who have helped make it the premier mountain community in Georgia, perhaps in the entire country.

Bob Littell

57 Red Trillium Ridge

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