Secret Atlanta area resort offers great adventures, experiences

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. — Looking for a new adventure? A new getaway that isn’t too far away?

If flying through the woods on an ATV, clay target shooting, fishing and relaxing by the pool, while making memories with the family sound like great ingredients for a weekend away, check out Foxhall Resort. It’s Georgia’s off-the-grid getaway.

“You’ve got this 1,100 acres that was built as an equestrian facility and we’ve kind of built around those elements and built the resort around that to make it a place when people come out, where they have a sense of decompression and they can come out and be as active as they want with all the activities, but it’s also a place to relax,” Foxhall President Harrison Merrill Jr. told WSBTV.com’s Nelson Hicks.

Foxhall sits 20 minutes south of the Atlanta airport off South Fulton Parkway. Don’t let the location fool you. While it’s only 20 minutes from the country’s busiest airport, it feels a world away.

No. 1 Sporting clays, ATVs and more

What’s there to do at Foxhall? Sporting clays ranks as one of the most popular pastimes. For the beginner, let the resort instructors teach you the ins and outs of shooting a shotgun. With a little instruction, you’ll be shooting targets out of the sky in no time.

For the more advanced shooter, there’s a Beretta Trident Course and a 15-station sporting clays course.

Looking for some heart-pounding excitement? Jump in an ATV and explore the resort’s 1,100 acres at more than 50 miles per hour. It’s a ride and experience you won’t soon forget. That’s just a couple of the more than 40 on-site activities and amenities to experience.

“We have everything from (the) pool, we have tennis courts, canoeing, paddle boarding,” Foxhall general manager Robert Holsten said. “We have ATV trails, we have sports clays (and) sports lawns.”

No. 2 Fishing

Foxhall offers plenty of fishing opportunities, too.

“Lunker Lake is one for trophy bass,” Merrill Jr. said. “For those who have caught a lot of bass and want to go after the big one, we’ve had fish caught all the way up to 15 pounds. So we’ve had some monsters in there.”

Lunker Lake was a multi-year renovation and stocking project that now produces plenty of trophy-sized bass.

Less experienced anglers can fish for catfish, blue gill and striper.

No. 3 Watch the wildlife

Looking for other wildlife? Hundreds of turtles live in and around the 16 lakes on the property. Visitors will spot dozens of geese soaking up the sun. A variety of birds pass through the area on a daily basis, too.

No. 4 “Foxhalling”

This time of year, with the kids in school, it’s hard to get away for more than a day or two. And with all the craziness of work, school and running the kids from event to event, sometimes the most important part of a quick getaway is to take a deep breath and relax. You can do that at Foxhall. In fact, they’ve even coined the term “Foxhalling.”

“Foxhalling is the state between meditation and complete relaxation, not quite meditation, not quite complete relaxation, but it’s just being able to be at Foxhall,” Harrison Merrill Sr. said. “You can sit down and read a book. You can rock in a rocking chair. You can see beautiful sunsets. You can see all of the lakes. You can walk along the Chattahoochee River.”

No. 5 Make memories

But no matter if you choose taking hairpin turns on an ATV or a peaceful day by the pool and lake, one thing you’ll leave with is memories.

“I’ve got young kids,” Merrill Jr. said. “I’ve got a five, three and one-year-old and it’s hard to find a day to get away, let alone a weekend, let alone a week. And what our goal is to create is something for those families in Atlanta where if they have a day they can come down, if they have a weekend they can come down, something close where they can come and get the experiences they can get all around world very close to home.”

The resort recently completed a 22,000 square-foot clubhouse which includes a chef-driven restaurant along with a bar and meeting space. The resort has hosted hundreds of weddings and corporate retreats the last few years, but is now open to regular guests. There are 92 villas for families to visit now, real estate options and plenty on tap.

“We’re about 10 to 15% into our vision for what Foxhall Resort can be. Because at the end of the day, we see multiple hotels, you have one here and we’ll continue to enlarge hotel that which will be the basic villa-cottage concept” Merrill Sr. said. “And then we plan on building a couple of branded hotels and some boutique hotels and increase the food offerings.”

A Westin hotel with a world-class spa is the next project on the agenda.

“This area is a beautiful part of Atlanta that most people north of Atlanta didn’t know existed,” Merrill Sr. said.