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ULTIMATE Moving to Big Canoe GA Guide | 🌄 Top Tips for Living in the Big Canoe Community

Last Updated on: 22nd December 2022, 07:32 am

Does luxury resort-style living, privacy, and stunning views in the Atlanta area sound perfect? That’s exactly what you’ll find in Big Canoe, Georgia, a private mountain community about an hour north of Atlanta. Big Canoe is known for its refined atmosphere and outdoor recreation including fishing, boating, golf, and trails – all within the gates of the private community.

Big Canoe GA is an award-winning development perfect for families, retirees, and couples who love to stay active and enjoy the outdoors. It’s been awarded the Hiking Community of the Year, Mountain Community of the Year, Georgia Community of the Year, and the “The Nationals” Silver Award for Master Planned Community of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders.

Is your interest piqued? Here’s exactly what you can look forward to ahead of living in Big Canoe!

Where Is Big Canoe GA?

Big Canoe is located in Pickens and Dawson counties at the foothills of the North Georgia Appalachian Mountains. This common interest development covers 8,000 acres over seven mountains and includes three lakes. The community is 68 miles north of Atlanta and halfway between the small cities of Jasper and Dawsonville, both about 15 miles away. Big Canoe GA is just off Steve Tate Highway and minutes from SR 53.

Big Canoe Population & Overview

Big Canoe is a private, gated community home to three lakes, three waterfalls, meadows, woodlands, and streams. This prestigious mountain community, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, is a dream come true for nature lovers. About one-third of the 8,000 acres is park land or designated wildlife area! Residents enjoy resort-style amenities in this fantastic outdoor-oriented development including three golf courses, water sports, hiking, and more with convenient access to Atlanta.

Living in Big Canoe is exactly the type of life you want in the Georgia mountains: upscale yet laid back and comfortable, relaxed and close-knit yet with endless opportunities to stay active and busy. The entire development was designed to keep you close to nature but with all the comforts of modern life. You’ll find all types of people enjoying Big Canoe living thanks to homes that range from modest and very affordable to sprawling multi-million-dollar estates. The Big Canoe Jasper GA area is home to young families, couples, and retirees, all enjoying Canoe Life all its finest.

The Big Canoe GA population is about 3,000. This gated community is a year-round resort-style community with about 60% full-time residents and 40% weekenders and part-time residents. There is a large population of vacationers in the master planned community with a high demand for Big Canoe rentals.

Big Canoe is in the 30143 ZIP code shared by the neighboring city of Jasper. While the Big Canoe community is more affluent than Jasper, here are demographics for the larger 30143 area:

  • Median household income: $71,000
  • Median age: 49
  • Homeownership rate: 79%
  • Educational attainment: 27%
  • Foreign-born population: 2.6%
  • Racial and ethnic composition: 88% white non-Hispanic, 4% Hispanic, 1% Black or African American, and 6% two or more races

Cost of Living in Big Canoe

Is Big Canoe affordable? To help you understand the Big Canoe GA cost of living, here are some important things to know.

Big Canoe amenity fees are available for many classes (individual, family, couple, senior, etc) on a monthly or annual basis. You only pay for amenities you use with categories like Swim, Fishing, Wellness, Golf, and Tennis. There is a 12-month obligation when you join amenities. You can see 2022 amenity fees here.

Monthly housing assessments are about $280/month which equate to the Big Canoe POA dues. The monthly lot assessment is about $180/month for undeveloped housing lots only.

You can find homes in Big Canoe starting in the $200s-$300s with a median price of $545,000. By comparison, the median home price in the neighboring city of Jasper is $324,000 and $418,000 in Dawsonville.

Big Canoe, Georgia is surprisingly affordable considering the lifestyle and amenities you enjoy in a private, gated community in the mountains. Just be prepared to pay potentially significant monthly assessments and amenity fees, depending on your lifestyle, on top of the premium on homes in the development.

Big Canoe Homes for Sale

As you explore Big Canoe real estate, you’ll find several distinctive styles of homes depending on the neighborhood. Many Big Canoe GA homes for sale are built by The Big Canoe Building Group, a division of the Big Canoe Company LLC, but there are several other approved builders. The group builds new homes in the private community with the option for a custom home built to your specifications.

The median price of homes for sale in Big Canoe is $545,000 and $240/square foot. The price depends on the neighborhood and lot size with prices ranging from the $200s to more than $3 million for new and resale homes.

Ahead of moving to Big Canoe, keep in mind there are additional fees on top of your purchase price. There is a one-time $3,000 capital improvement fee (CCF) charged to new property owners at the time of purchase of an existing home or when a new home is built on an unimproved lot. You will also pay annual POA fees.

A good place to start your search for homes for sale in Big Canoe GA is Big Canoe Realty.

Big Canoe Neighborhoods

There are four main neighborhoods in Big Canoe with about 2,600 out of 4,750 planned homes built. Each neighborhood offers something unique with a different lifestyle from hiking or golfing to stunning views and its own entrance to the Big Canoe community.

High Gap

If you value privacy, space, and a quiet setting, you’ll love High Gap. This serene neighborhood features northern views of the Amicalola Falls and National Forest with lots of up to 3 acres. Existing homes in the neighborhood start in the high $500s.


Love hiking and spending time outdoors? You’ll love living in the Wildcat neighborhood! This 700-acre area of the development features sprawling nature preserves with 12 miles of trails throughout the neighborhood. Spend afternoons taking in the mountain views and strolling through flowering meadows right in your own backyard. Homes in Wildcat start in the $450s and top $2 million with home sites ranging from under $100,000 to the $300s.

Choctaw Village

This neighborhood is very close to the development’s main gate and adjacent to the Big Canoe golf club. The best place to live for golf enthusiasts, Choctaw Village has the feel of a small town with cobblestone paths, nature trails, and early 20th century inspired architecture. Cottages start in the low $400s with larger homes priced in the mid-$500s and up.

The Bluffs at Ridgeview

Homes in The Bluffs feature amazing mountain views and even views of the Atlanta skyline! It’s one of the newest Big Canoe neighborhoods and sits at an elevation of 2,200 feet for the best views. You’ll find a range of home styles including Craftsman, Western Log homes, Appalachian, and Adirondack style homes. Home sites start in the mid-$100s with custom estates starting in the low $550s.

Things to Do in Big Canoe GA

Staying active and enjoying the outdoors is at the heart of Big Canoe living, but that’s not all you’ll enjoy. Here are best Big Canoe GA attractions and what will keep you busy after moving to Big Canoe, Georgia’s best mountain community!

Parks, Forests, Trails & More Awaiting You

Big Canoe, Georgia has been named the Best Hiking Community of the Year for good reason! The development itself features 22 miles of dedicated, well-maintained hiking trails – not multi-purpose community paths. These trails take you past cabins from early 1800s and moonshine stills, meadows, and waterfalls.

The community features three dog parks and community parks as well as Indian Rocks Park, one of the oldest parks in Big Canoe with Native American stone mounds and hiking trails.

There are even more things to do near Big Canoe GA if you love nature. The development is surrounded to the north and east by the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area with fishing, hunting, camping, kayaking, and hiking. To the north is the 4,500-acre Wildcat Tract with six waterfalls up to 80’ high and miles of trails. The magnificent Amicalola Falls State Park is just ten miles away with the tallest cascading waterfall in the eastern U.S. and an approach trail for the Appalachian Trail.

You’ll also be minutes from the Chattahoochee National Forest of the North Georgia Mountains at the start of the 2,135-mile Appalachian Trail.

In total, there are 12 historic sites and state parks within 60 miles of Big Canoe!

The Big Canoe Golf Life

There are three Big Canoe golf courses. The 27-hole championship course designed by Joe Lee is the crown jewel with no initiation fee. There are three 9-hole golf courses in Big Canoe:

Creek Course along Lake Sconti
Choctaw Course with waterfalls and babbling creeks
Cherokee Course with dramatic changes in elevation

Big Canoe Lakes – Fishing, Boating & Swimming!

One of the highlights of life in Big Canoe GA is water sports and the development’s three private lakes:

  • Lake Petit (111 acres) stocked for fishing, boat rentals, marina
  • Lake Sconti (45 acres) no swimming, fishing allowed
  • Lake Disharoon (30 acres) swimming but no fishing

Lake Petit is stocked and boasts many native species including crappie, bluegill, bream, bass, and trout. Enjoy paddle boating, swimming, boating, or a relaxing day of fishing with boat rentals available at the Big Canoe Marina on Lake Petit. The Shack offers all the gear you need for sale with fishing permits available at the Marina.

Electric pontoon boats, jon boats, kayaks, and even fishing poles are available for rent at the Marina.

Lake Disharoon is home to the Big Canoe Beach Club and reserved for recreation and swimming with a long, sandy beach. You’ll spend a lot of time at the fabulous Big Canoe Swim Club which features:

  • Zero entry saline swimming pool
  • Roped off swimming area in the lake
  • 300-yard sandy beach
  • Inflatable water park for kids on the lake
  • The 200-foot Rock Slide at Big Canoe
  • Changing areas with restrooms
  • Certified lifeguards
  • Access to hiking trails

The new Beach Club and Pool at Lake Disharoon just had its grand opening in May 2022.

Other Great Big Canoe Amenities for All Ages

The Big Canoe Clubhouse is the heart of the development. This lodge-style golf clubhouse overlooks Lake Sconti and boasts a resort-style outdoor pool along the beach with an indoor heated saline pool. Residents enjoy a 16,000 SQ FT fitness center to stay in shape.

The Wildcat Recreation Center near the North Gate entrance is located in the Wildcat neighborhood. It’s popular with families and features a kids’ pool; large outdoor pool; 10 lighted tennis courts; baseball, basketball, bocce ball, and soccer fields; and access to trails.

Convenient Shopping Nearby

While living in Big Canoe, you can forget all about the modern world – but it’s always close by! There’s shopping within the gates at the Golf and Tennis Pro Shops and you’re minutes away from shopping centers in neighboring towns. The North Georgia Premium Outlets is just up the road with over 140 major retailers. The closest shopping is in Jasper’s Foothills Village with the Foothills IGA Market.

Big Canoe Restaurants

There are a few places to grab a bite or enjoy date night in Big Canoe, but many more options just beyond the gates.

Big Canoe Schools

While living in Big Canoe GA, you will be served by either the Pickens County School District or the Dawson County School District. K-12 students are picked up by buses at the North Gate.

Families can also choose from several private schools nearby, most of which are nonsecular Christian schools:

  • Mountain Laurel Academy (Jasper)
  • TLE Christian Academy at Gospel Outreach (Ball Ground)
  • Promise Preparatory Academy (Cumming)
  • North Georgia Christian Academy (Ellijay)
  • War Hill Christian Academy (Dawsonville)
  • Horizon Christian Academy (Cumming)
  • The King’s Academy (Woodstock)
  • Montessori School of Cumming (Cumming)
  • The Anvil Academy (Cumming)

It’s easy to pursue higher education after moving to Big Canoe, too! The closest college is Chattahoochee Technical College, the largest technical college in Georgia with more than 14,000 enrolled students. Just 25 miles away is Reinhardt College, a private university affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The development is an hour away from the University of North Georgia – Gainesville Campus in Oakwood and 25 miles from the Dahlonega Campus, one of only six senior military colleges in the United States.

Big Canoe Statistics & Info

  • Counties: Pickens and Dawson
  • Area: 12.5 square miles
  • Big Canoe GA ZIP code: 30143
  • Area code: 706 and 762
  • Elevation: 1,549 feet
  • Time zone: EST (UTC-05:00)
  • Closest airports: Pickens County Airport (JZP), 17 miles and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), 76
  • miles

Big Canoe GA Map

Does Big Canoe Georgia sound like a dream come true? If you’re ready for laidback living in the North Georgia Mountains, the 5-star movers at Wirks Moving & Storage are ready to get you there without the stress and hard work. Give us a call to discuss your upcoming move and get a free, no-obligation estimate!

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