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Mountain Springs Cabins
Mountain Springs Cabins in Asheville, N.C., offers 13 cabins, including this one, which is named Duck Tavern.
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Mountain Springs Cabins
Bedroom view of The Mockingbird.
The Korst family comes from locations in Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin and other places for their family reunion at Mountain Springs Cabins. Buzz and Betty Ann get The Mockingbird, and other family members spread out among some of the other dozen cabins at the property near Asheville, N.C.
Kate King, general manager of Mountain Springs Cabins on the outskirts of Asheville, N.C., loves introducing guests to land that her female ancestors owned since before the Civil War. King eventually became the owner of the property, which is surrounded by cattle pastures, chicken coops and a peaceful creek that ambles its way along the landscape.
King’s dad was a career Navy man and as a result the family moved around a lot. Every two years, she was reintroduced to her family’s land in N.C. “It’s the only home I ever came back to,” she says. “I moved here 18 years ago.”
Two years ago, King sold Mountain Springs to RVC Outdoor Destinations. She remains close to the land she loves, serving as general manager to Mountain Springs Cabins. She sees many repeat visitors and enjoys getting reacquainted and finding out what’s been happening in their lives.
Betty Ann Korst says it’s this level of dedication that makes Mountain Springs Cabins such a special place.
“When you have a heart for the place, as Kate does, it makes all the difference,” she explains. “Kate always makes us feel so welcome and has so many things for the kids to enjoy.”
Betty Ann and her husband Buzz, their children, grandchildren and families of first cousins of Buzz head to the cabins every couple of years for a weeklong family reunion. The Korsts make the journey from their home in Tallahassee, Fla. Others come in from Tampa, Savannah and Wisconsin, among other locations.
The tradition of traveling to North Carolina for a family reunion began in Buzz’s childhood when his grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins would spend time enjoying each other’s company along with cool mountain nights and a mix of outdoor pursuits.
“My grandparents lived in St. Augustine and they are the ones that got this started in the mid-1940s,” says Buzz. “We went to the Well House in Altamonte, N.C., which is not too far from Crossnore. They started it and it’s a tradition we have all continued. We don’t do it every year, but we do try to schedule a reunion every other year. We love North Carolina.”
Through the years, some family members have passed on, while others have grown up, married and had children. Buzz says they are all looking forward to returning in July 2012, with between 30 and 35 family members expected to attend.
An Internet search introduced Buzz and Betty Ann to Mountain Springs Cabins. They launched their investigation after the place they had been staying at in Cashiers, N.C. changed hands. Initially impressed, they booked a stay at Mountain Springs Cabins in October 2006 to see first-hand if it met their qualifications for a reunion getaway locale.
“When I saw those cabins, I said, ‘This is it!’” says Buzz. Betty Ann adds: “We stayed in The Cricket cabin and just fell in love with the place.”
The tastefully appointed cabins on the property all have interesting nature names – The Potting Shed, The Firefly, The Hummingbird and Willow Creek, to name a few. Two small cabins, The Chickadee and The Mockingbird, sleep two, perfect for couples. Buzz and Betty Ann always stay in The Mockingbird during the reunions. The other cabins sleep between four and 10. The Maple is the largest cabin offered.
The Korst family keeps a busy agenda during their family reunion week – they enjoy exploring places around Western North Carolina as well as basking in the lazy summer days at the cabins where hammocks beckon and inner tubes offer creek fun for the kids. There’s also a big field behind the cabins where they can play tag football, volleyball, soccer, swing, dig in the sandbox or compete in a round of horseshoes.
“There are some things we try to plan as a group, such as hikes or an outing to the Pisgah Fish Hatchery or the Cradle of Forestry. We’ve hiked Mount Pisgah, Shining Rock and climbed up on Looking Glass Mountain,” says Buzz.
“We also have free time where some may want to go to Biltmore Estate in Asheville while others may head to downtown Waynesville for shopping. The cabin location is so convenient for all of that. We’re close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and close to downtown Asheville. It’s easy to plan a whitewater rafting trip or go horseback riding.”
The cabin setting makes it convenient and comfortable to spend a week with a large crowd. Each family has its own cabin and can retreat to private quarters whenever some space or rest is needed. While some families like to stay up late and share stories around the campfire, others head to bed earlier after a packed day of adventures.
The relatives all stock their cabin kitchens for breakfast and lunch, but they divide up the dinner responsibility and dine together as a group. Each family takes care of providing a dinner and may choose to grill out, prepare the dishes in their kitchen or even run to a nearby grocery store to pick up chicken and containers of potato salad, coleslaw and other offerings.
Guests can check out DVDs, books, board games, sporting equipment and fishing poles from the main office. The cabins are also equipped with wi-fi and expanded cable – perfect for families who want down time, yet still want to stay connected to email, websites and TV shows.
“From our experience, it is a gem for families who want to go to a reunion,” says Buzz. “You are far enough away that you feel that you are in the mountains, yet you’re close to everything you like to do. Everyone in our family loves it there so much.”
Want To Go?
Mountain Springs Cabins
Offering 13 rental cabins plus one cottage.
27 Emma’s Cove Road
Asheville, NC 28715