“Pull!” Then the crack, crack, crack of a shotgun. A trip to the Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, Ga., just an hour north of Atlanta, must include an adventure with clay and wingshooting at the Beretta Shooting Grounds by High Adventure Company.
Most people don’t have a lot of experience with clay shooting but it is a blast (literally and figuratively).
Barnsley offers a unique getaway – perfect for romantic weekends, girlfriend trips and huge corporate events! The property is set on a historical site with the ruins of an 1840s-era mansion, a spa, a fitness center, a 10-acre lake for fishing and canoeing, a golf course, horseback riding stables, miles of hiking trails, and event space. The 55-room Inn just opened last March, bringing the room and suite count up to 150, but highly recommended is a stay in one of their 36 spacious cottages set in an English-inspired, pedestrian village. The cottages are all different but feature fireplaces (with complimentary firewood and staff-assisted lighting), porches, and a variety of architectural details, all nestled in 3,000 acres under the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is spectacular.
- Historic Civil War-era ruins on site -
The property features an 18-hole, Jim Fazio-designed golf course that players find has very fast greens and is a true challenge. Try out the new golf school, offering drop-in clinics and private instruction from PGA professionals and retired players, and utilizing top-of-the-line Trackman technology. Guests can enjoy custom club fitting, with brands including TaylorMade, Titleist, Callaway, Ping and PXG – making Barnsley Resort one of the only green-grass facilities in north Georgia to offer this.
What else is there to do? You will see many playing the nine-hole disc golf course and the Wolf Cave Mountain paintball fields are available for a little friendly competition. Firepits and groups of low-slung chairs are scattered throughout the resort with complimentary s’more-making goodies available. Also available are lawn games, playfully seen here and there in the village. And don’t miss the Barnsley Barnyard, where animals are available for petting. Say hello to Henry and Aaron, the Barnsley calves, to Blueberry, the rabbit, and to Patches, the goat.
Perhaps try some fly fishing or borrow one of the Barnsley’s bicycles or kayaks. If it’s warm, take a dip in the saltwater swimming pool or shop in Addie’s Boutique or the Outpost General Store, where the clothing and jewelry are surprisingly affordable.
Beretta Shooting Grounds by High Adventure Company
Perhaps the most interesting way to spend an afternoon is to test your sharpshooter ability at the nearby Beretta Shooting Grounds by High Adventure Company. High Adventure CEO John Burrell has created an empire of shooting adventures the world over, including in Texas (HighAdventureCompany.com). Barnsley offers two 14-station courses and a covered five-stand for sporting clays, all with new Promatic machines and wireless card-counting systems. Trappers and lessons are available. Seasonally, Burrell offers quail wing shooting in the 1,800-area hunting preserve, with guides and hunting dogs on site. The hunting grounds were recently renovated to double the huntable acreage, the clubhouse was completely renovated, and new pointing, flushing and retrieving dogs have been added for an unparalleled hunt. With the new Beretta partnership, guests can now sample the precision and craftsmanship of Beretta shotguns under the guidance of an expert team.
The resort prides itself on offering many local Georgia foods at three onsite restaurants serving delicious meals. Don’t miss the molasses-brined pork chop or “Pig Candy” – crispy pork rinds served with salt and vinegar. Other dishes to add to your list are the Logan Turnpike Loaded Grits and the smoked-brisket cheese steak.
Woodlands Grill offers an English hunting lodge atmosphere with tapestries, huge fireplaces and exposed wooden beams plus views of the golf course. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant has an extensive wine, craft beer and spirit list. For those looking for a little privacy, try the restaurant’s cozy Wine Library.
Known today as Rice House, the structure was originally the home of the Rice Family in nearby Rome, Ga., that was delicately relocated to Barnsley Resort. Quaint, romantic and warm, we loved the goat cheese fritter and Georgia Rainbow trout, finished with chocolate mousse. The menu changes weekly to showcase the finest ingredients available, most from the property’s on-site garden. The Rice House is only open for dinner Thursday to Saturday.
The Beer Garden
Concertina lights float overhead and a huge fire pit dominates the beer garden where a casual menu is offered Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Soft music sets the mood and settling in for a delicious beer (choose from 30 craft varieties) is irresistible.
Manor House Ruins
The most splendid part of Barnsley are the Manor House Ruins. Once a gorgeous villa, today it stands in dignified watch over the resort and is available for special dinners and events. The home was built in the 1840s by Godfrey Barnsley for his wife, Julia. She died before its completion and the family struggled through the Civil War. Barnsley’s daughter and then granddaughter lived in the home through the Depression. The story of the ruins even includes a family murder. Be sure to ask to meet Clent Coker, the Barnsley’s resident historian, who delights in sharing the tumultuous history of the Manor House. You can also drop into the Barnsley Museum which is adjacent to the ruins.
For complete information, including special packages, visit BarnsleyResort.com.