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Ready, Set, Adventure!

Banning Mills: Where History And Adventure Meet

Article by Maria Dinoia

Photography by Historic Banning Mills

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

Located an hour west of Atlanta and a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Franklin, tucked away in the serene natural beauty of Whitesburg, Georgia is Historic Banning Mills. Owners Donna and Mike Holder set out to create a bed and breakfast when they bought the property in 1997 after finding a one-time “land for sale” ad in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The property had been neglected for over 20 years and the grounds were severely overgrown, but they decided to take a chance. What they discovered along Snake Creek Gorge was a lesson about Georgia's industrial era that dated back to the 1800s. 

Along the tributary of the Chattahoochee River, mills harnessed the creek's power and the men who owned these mills made a fortune. As sort of an ode to Georgia's early history, the Holder's Bed and Breakfast grew to become a non-profit conservation center, country retreat and adventure center. So Banning Mills was born. 

Banning Mills holds the Guinness world record for the longest zip line canopy tour and tallest free-standing rock wall in the world. The endless adventure options include zip lining, aerial adventures, kayaking, Eco-Spider ATV tours, hiking trails with suspension bridges, horseback riding, summer camps, team building, meeting spaces, birds of prey nature show, and special events. Pool, volleyball, tennis and miniature golf are available seasonally. 

Historic Banning Mills is family-owned and run with a mission to preserve the unique and pristine ecosystems of the Snake Creek Gorge and Chattahoochee watershed areas, as well as the extensive history of the Banning Mills township and gorge areas. 

Grab your girlfriends and make it a girl's weekend!

Day 1 

Adventure 1: Zip Lines and Canopy Tours

If you're ready to soar through the treetops and experience an adrenaline rush like no other, then the zip lines and canopy tours at Historic Banning Mills are a must-try. With over 100 zip lines and multiple aerial adventure courses, you can navigate through the lush forest canopy, gliding from platform to platform. 

Adventure 2: Horseback Riding 

Escape into the tranquility of the Georgia countryside on horseback and explore the picturesque trails that wind through the area. Guided horseback rides are available for all ages and skill levels, allowing you to soak up the beauty of the surrounding landscapes at a leisurely pace. 

Adventure 3: Spend The Night In A Treehouse 

Extend your adventure and recharge for another day of thrills by staying overnight in one of their cozy accommodations. From comfortable treehouse rooms with all of the amenities to family cabins and secluded cottages, Banning Mills offers a variety of lodging options to suit different preferences. 

Day 2

Adventure 4: Kayaking 

Immerse yourself in the refreshing waters of Snake Creek Gorge and embark on a kayaking adventure. Glide along the gentle currents of the creek, surrounded by stunning rock formations and lush greenery. Take your time to explore the hidden coves and quiet corners of the gorge, connecting with nature in a unique and tranquil way.

Adventure 5: Eco-Spider ATV Tours

The Eco-Spider by Swin Car is a powerful and rugged four-wheeled electric vehicle with spider-like arms that move independently to tackle tough off-road terrain. An exciting way to explore the park! 

Adventure 6: Climbing Wall 

Challenge yourself and conquer your fears as you scale the towering rock wall. Test your strength, agility, and determination while enjoying the guidance of experienced instructors. Once you've reached the summit, reward yourself with a thrilling rappel back down, taking in the awe-inspiring surroundings as you descend. 

  • Photo by Lisa Konicki
  • Photo by Maria Dinoia
  • Photo by Lisa Konicki