Deer Lake log cabin is located on Fontana Lake, in a large private "Upscale" subdivision about a 20 minute trip to the back from the gated entrance. The subdivision's entrance is hidden from The Great Smoky Mountains Expressway (HW 74) which connects it to all the main attractions of the region. The restaurants, shops and Deep Creek entrance to the GSMNP are about a 20 minute trip along HW 74 to Bryson city. The Cherokee Indian reservation and its' many cultural exhibits, shops, Harrah’s Casino and Visitors Center main entrance of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park are another 15 to 20 minutes past Bryson City. If spending a day or two fishing or just cruising Fontana Lake itself appeals to you; you can rent a pontoon boat or launch your own fishing boat about 10 minutes away ( by Water) at the Almond Boat Dock and dock your boat at Deer Lake’s private floating dock. If you are in the need of a little more exciting time on the water; try white water rafting down the Nantahala River about 25 minutes down HW 74. The cabin is about seven miles from the entrance along a well paved yet very winding scenic mountain road. Since the last mile or so is a gravel road, we don't recommend motorcycles. The about 20 minute scenic drive to the cabin helps to separate you from the noise and stresses of a busy world; preparing you for the quiet seclusion that makes for a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation that few others get to experience. Along this quiet forested and curvy two way road you will occasional pass driveways of other partially visible cabins that wind off into the forest, a few deer that will dash across the road and disappear into the mountain forest and many flocks of wild turkeys foraging along and in the road. Even a fox or two have been seen dashing under the cover of the trees along the road. The max speed along this road is 20 mph. Though the winding curves may inspire that road rally spirit we strongly suggest that you don't test the speed limit. Some of the full time residents of this community enjoy biking and jogging this same road and there are many sharp blind curves that can appear quickly. Also it is not uncommon for there to be a wild animal or two on the road, mostly flocks of wild turkeys which are slow to move out of a cars way, they almost seem annoyed by the car’s interruption of their dinner. We do suggest that you stop by the grocery store in town before heading out to this cabin since most guest find it hard to leave once they have arrived at the cabin.
Deer Lake is a three level log cabin with a private floating dock and lots of deck space to enjoy its location on the forested mountain side a short distance up from the shoreline of Fontana Lake. As no hunting of any type is permitted within the large minimally developed subdivision that this cabin is located in, the area has become a sort of an unfenced refuge for the native smoky mountain animals. When vacationing here the cabin owner kept seeing deer making their way down the mountain side through the trees to the lake shore for a drink. So, to offer the vacationing guest at their cabin a better chance to see these beautiful lords of the forest; a stocked deer feeding station is now located just off the bend in the drive way. The paved driveway begins at the gravel road above the cabin. As you turn down the driveway headed for the cabin, the shimmering waters of the lake below reflect through the trees. As you pull up to the side of the cabin to park and step out of your vehicle, the mountain lake side environment fills the air with a peaceful and inviting atmosphere. Guest have stated that they found this lake side setting so inviting that they were compelled to climb down the stairs to visit the lake before they even took their luggage into the cabin. We have also been told that sitting on the edge of the floating dock with your toes in the cool water and just taking in the scenic mountain lake view for a few minutes, is incredibly relaxing after a long but worth it drive.
Back up at the parking area where you probably left your car are two sets of steps. The stairs down to the lake, as you probably have already seen, are on the left and the steps to the front door are straight ahead. A top of the steps is a gate that matches the railing of the covered front porch. This gate allows you to close off the exit point of the deck so your four legged companion can spend time in the fresh air with you. Please note the width of the space between the rails and its height when considering if your pet could escape through or over the railings. The front entrance to this cabin has a screen door like all true log cabins should have. Past the front door a hanging swing at the rear of the porch is a quiet and relaxing spot to enjoy the fresh mountain air while listening to the birds singing in the forest.
The stairs on the left side of the parking area not only lead down to the dock on the lake but also offers access the upper and lower decks facing the lake. At the first landing you can climb up another set of stairs to the upper deck or enter the gate on the right to the lower covered deck. The open sunny upper deck sets high overlooking the lake. The breeze scented by the surrounding mountain forest and carrying the sounds of birds playing amongst the trees with an occasional passing boat splashing wave against the shore of the lake below is strongest here of the two decks. Like the deck on the mountain side of the cabin, a gate with a latch is at the top of the stairs to allow you to close off the exit point of the deck to accommodate pets or smaller family members. (Always keep pets and or small children under supervision when outside on any of the decks or stairs.) A dinette set with seating for 6 guest is a great spot to dine outside or just relax and enjoy a drink and a card game with family or friends. At the side of the deck opposite the stairs is a gas fire pit. Where sitting in a chair in front of an easily lit fire with your favorite beverage in hand, surrounded by friends, is a pretty relaxing way to watch the sun set over a scenic mountain lake. A self-standing porch swing is also on the upper deck. The upper deck is also accessed from either the door next to the stone fireplace in the living room or the sliding glass door of the dining room.
Back at the first landing down from the parking area stairs is a set of French doors that lead into the lower level mud room. The gate on the right opens into the covered lower deck. The only other access to the lower deck is from another door in the lower level mud room. The whole lower deck is covered by vinyl roofing to create a completely shaded refuge from the sun and on rainy days the lower deck is dry enough to still enjoy the fresh air. The first feature to great you on the lower deck is the gas grill. To the left of the gate is the large hot tub. After spending a long day exploring the trails of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park the hot tub’s warm messaging waters feel pretty soothing on sore muscles. Even if you haven’t been hiking for miles, sitting in a hot tub overlooking a scenic mountain lake at a secluded log cabin is a great way to spend a vacation. If you’re not in the mood for a dip in the hot tub; to the right is a row of rocking chairs that spending some time in will help to slow down the pace of life and restore a sense of peace. Another dinette set also set at the far end of the deck, so you can still eat out even on rainy days. The lower deck is well lighted so the fresh air and hot tub can be enjoyed as late into the night as you want.
From the entrance to the lower deck a series of stairs and landings wind down through the forested yard to the private floating dock on Fontana Lake. The last section of walk way that connects to the aluminum gangplank has a long bench shaded by the trees for sitting and enjoying the view or waiting for your boat to arrive. The floating dock has a canapé to shade your boat when it is docked. Don’t own a boat or have time to spend out on a boat; you can still fish from the dock or shore line if you bring your fishing poles. Bait, fishing licenses, boat rentals and a few tips are available at Almond Boat Dock. This dock is only about 5 to 10 minutes away by water and 15 minutes down the road from the entrance of this gated community. Even if fishing and boating is not you’re your thing, sitting on the edge of a dock on a beautiful mountain lake watching an eagle hunting for its next sushi dinner is an experience not easily forgotten. Fontana Lake is a managed and dam controlled mountain lake that forms the boarder of GSMNP. The level of this lake varies throughout the year and it is possible for the dock to be resting on the beach and the lake to be very deep a few feet from the end of the dock at certain time of the year. To the right of the dock the water level is shallow enough to create an almost beach access area for swimming. Keep in mind that the lake bed drops steeply off near the end of the deck. (See winter picture of dock and lake level for example.) Guest must swim at their own risk. Please bring life vest if you plan to swim.
The front door is on the mountain side (right side from the parking area) of the cabin. As you step through the front door, you enter into a hallway with a set of stairs to the upper level on the right. The true log cabin feel continues into the interior of the cabin. The floors, walls and beamed ceilings are all built of real wood that imparts a warmth and natural spirit to the interior. As you pass the stairs and continue moving straight ahead you will reach the living room. Right before you reach the living room a set of stairs down to the lower level will be on the left forming the back wall of the living room. When you enter the living room the first thing you will notice is the large stone gas log fireplace reaching up to the cathedral ceiling with a flat screen satellite TV mounted above the mantel. To relax and enjoy your favorite show or just watch the warm glow of the fireplace, the living room has a leather reclining sofa, love seat and recliner. To the right side of the fireplace is a glass door and outer screen door that lead out to the upper deck. Opening this screen door in combination with the front screen door will allow you to create a flow of fresh mountain forest scented air through the cabin creating the feeling the outdoor throughout the inside. When the quiet evening in front of the fireplace ends, you can go in the door to the right of the living room to enter the master bedroom suite. The master bedroom has a king size bed, satellite TV and private bathroom. To the left the of the living room is a large dark wood dining table that seats six guest across from a view of the mountain forest through sliding glass doors. A newly remodeled kitchen with new stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and all the cooking and dining utensils need to cook a great meal is next to the dining room. A set of folding doors along one side of the kitchen hides the washer and dryer. At the back of the kitchen is a hallway on the left with a pantry that ends back at the front door.
The stair next to the front door lead to the upper level. The first bedroom on the upper level is to the right of the top of the stairs. This bedroom has a queen size bed, satellite TV and warm tongue and groove natural wood walls and ceiling. A rocking chair is positioned in the dormer bump out where the window lets in lots of natural light make a great spot to read a few chapters of that book you have been meaning to finish. The next door along the walk way is the upper level full bath. The door at the end of the walk way is the second bedroom of the upper level. This bedroom also has natural wood tongue and groove walls and ceiling. The bed in this room is a King size bed. A satellite TV sits on the Dresser opposite the bed. This bedroom also has a dormer bump out with a rocking chair in front of the window making a great spot to read a few early morning emails; but only if you want to think about work.
The stairs from the living room end in the mudroom of the lower level. This room has two sets of doors. The one straight ahead leads to the parking area and the one on the right opens to the lower level deck and hot tub. The main and largest room of the lower level also has tongue and grove natural wood walls and ceiling. A bunk bed set is on the left side of the room. It has a twin upper bunk over a full size lower bed. Opposite the bunk bed is the second largest flat screen TV at the cabin. The kids can watch their favorite shows before bed. That is if you can get them to go to bed. Just pass the bunk bed is a non-regulation size pool table. The door at the back of the room is the full bath for the lower level.