Geza Csuros came to Blue Ridge ten years ago, and never left. That seems to happen a lot up here. Originally from Hungary, he was on vacation from his home in Naples, Florida and the natural beauty of this area, coupled with the desire for a less stressful lifestyle, made the move a no-brainer. He purchased property on Aska Road, just beyond the famous sluice where the tubers exit the mighty Toccoa, and opened a coffee shop. The success of the coffee shop led to live music on a beautiful deck he built himself, with guests able to bring their own refreshments (this was well before pouring licenses were available in our area) and linger to enjoy the great bands.
Over time, mini-golf, fishing and gem mining replaced the coffee shop & live music, and they constitute the Lilly Pad Village as it exists today.
The covered gem mining is a favorite for young and old, and the goal is an activity that provides both fun and education. Purchase a bucket of gemstone dirt and use the flumes to wash away the dirt and reveal your finds! One of the staff gem experts is with you during your visit to answer any questions and assist in not only identifying your treasures, but providing interesting information on each piece.
The mini-golf is built into the mountainside, and your ticket entitles you to unlimited rounds. Geza built the course originally, and is in the process of designing some upgrades and improvements. Stay tuned!
The pond at the Lilly Pad houses catfish, brim and bass. There is a lovely dock with seating, but I saw a nice little patch of grass between two trees that looked like the perfect place to drown a worm or two. It’s all catch and release, and the staff are always delighted to see kids having their ‘first catch’ experience. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but let’s just say the odds are pretty darn good that you’ll catch something, so bring the kids out and let them land a big one!
It would be a shame to visit our area and not enjoy one of the hiking trails that crisscross Fannin and surrounding counties. If you’re not comfortable venturing out on your own, you may book a guided hike through Lilly Pad Village. Small group sizes and detailed knowledge of the area ensures that whatever your fitness level or desired length of hike, you will have an experienced guide leading you on an adventure through some of the most beautiful scenery/waterfalls. Or, if you are an experienced hiker and just seek information and tips, they’re happy to assist with that as well. Just stop by the office at your convenience.
Kids birthday parties are all the more fun when held at the Lilly Pad. You may bring your own food and drinks and use the large deck at no charge. (Catering can be arranged as well; just call them to discuss your needs.) The staff is happy to put together package pricing on whatever activities your group desires!
Looking for a pretty place to hold a small wedding ceremony? Staff member and licensed officiant, Bonnie Cather, can assist you with your nuptials. Whether you are eloping or want a pretty, outdoor ceremony, she has worked with many couples of various faiths. Give her a call at 706.669.8140 and let her make your mountain marriage special. (She will travel to your cabin or other location as well.) During peak season the Lilly Pad is open daily from 10-5 (11-4 in early Spring.) Off season they operate on weekends. Give them a call at 706.534.1317 for information, or visit them at www.lillypadvillage.com Mention that you’re staying with Above the Rest and get 10% off of your visit. Pop in and say hello to Geza, his wonderful staff, and “Cat,” the tabby who oversees all! Whatever activities you choose to participate in, you’ll be welcomed warmly, treated well and make great memories. Enjoy!