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Begin Again at The Parker Ranch

Article and Photography Pat Culpepper

Don’t you love Autumn?  The cooler temperatures, the crisp evenings, and colorful fall foliage always get me thinking about a fresh start and learning something new. It’s a hopeful time of year, a time to get away and enjoy nature, to reunite with old friends, or make some new ones. It’s the perfect time to begin again. The Parker Ranch in Clayton, Georgia, provides an ideal setting to spend a weekend expanding your knowledge on a variety of topics. Recent workshops included fly-fishing, photography, fiction writing, and meditation. For a complete list of upcoming events for the fall and winter, visit The Parker Ranch online at ParkersRanch.com. Don’t see your favorite subject or preferred next hobby on the list? No problem. You can plan your own workshop to share your passion with others. Or find a new passion at The Parker Ranch. Imagine a weekend devoted to knitting, poetry, quilting, story-telling, bird watching, organic gardening or banjo playing. The possibilities are endless.

The Parker Ranch can also be reserved for private events. Invite your book club and spend the weekend contemplating your latest read, relaxing and exploring the local antique shops and flea markets. Schedule a reunion with your long lost college roommates. Or celebrate your next big birthday here at this rambling inn. Part grandma’s house, part rustic lodge, The Parker Ranch is the perfect place for casual gatherings.

Nestled between Lake Burton and Clayton, The Parker Ranch is less than two hours north of Atlanta and sits on six wooded acres. The main building has seven large bedrooms, six bathrooms, a huge great-room with a large stone fireplace, and expansive porches on the front and the back of the house. The inn easily accommodates 12. A separate kitchen and dining hall adjoins the house via the back porch. The LeCraw family built this historic gem in 1907 to serve as their summer home. It has been upgraded to include modern conveniences like central heat, air and Wi-Fi.

Your hosts during your stay will be owners Becky Hoover and Paula Jones who are masters at laid-back hospitality. You’ll feel like family from the moment you set foot on the sprawling front porch. The two women have a gift for creating a home and making guests feel welcome. Becky and Paula acquired the inn earlier this year and spent the spring furnishing it with high quality mattresses and linens for the bedrooms and comfy leather sofas and chairs for the great-room. Much of the décor is fun flea market finds lovingly selected by these two. They have poured their hearts into The Parker Ranch, taking care to retain its original architecture and charm.

While there is not an ounce of pretense at The Parker Ranch, you will find a kind of easy perfection there. You’ll find perfection in the cool breeze that slips across the back porch, in the church bells that waft through the trees, and in the big starry night-sky that you may have forgotten exists. You’ll find it in the whippoorwill’s evening song, in the slam of a screened door, and in relaxing by a roaring fire in the great room. Experience this perfection for yourself by taking a weekend class there this fall or winter. Or plan your next private event there. You, too, can begin again at The Parker Ranch.

For more information, visit The Parker Ranch online at ParkersRanch.com.