By Addie Balenger
Instead of traveling down to South America to trek with llamas, simply visit the historic High Hampton Inn and Country Club located in Cashiers, N.C. Less than three hours from Atlanta, the inn offers its guests several opportunities to bond with these shaggy four-legged creatures.
Every Thursday and Friday during the summer, llamas accompany hikers and serve as golf caddies. They make the ideal hiking companion, carrying picnic baskets, blankets and provisions as walkers make their way around Cherokee Campgrounds or around Hampton Lake up to the top of Rock Mountain. If you enjoy golfing, reserve a llama as your caddy. Fitted with a special harness to carry golf clubs, a llama does its job well, with feet shaped in such a way that they do not damage the grass. While a llama caddy may not be able to help you with your game, at least you won’t have to worry about them judging your stroke!
During the evening, attend a meet-and-greet with the llamas at the inn’s Rock Mountain Tavern. Visitors have a chance to include a llama in the family picture and create a unique trip keepsake to show off to friends for years to come.
The llamas at High Hampton Inn are not ordinary llamas. Previously featured on “National Geographic Adventures,” “BBC” and “Animal Planet,” these animals are owned and raised by Mark English, who has experience raising llamas at his family’s farm in Brevard, N.C. Intelligent, sociable and calm-natured, these domesticated creatures are suitable friends for family members of all ages.
Renowned for their soft wool, llamas are related to camels and have a long history in South America as pack animals. Reserve your adventure with a llama at the High Hampton Inn today. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and celebrating its 90th season, the inn will not disappoint. In addition to golfing and hiking with llamas, the inn offers tennis, spa services and a 35-acre mountain lake for swimming, boating and fishing. And in case you were wondering, these other activities do not include llamas.
High Hampton Inn, 1525 Hwy. 107 S., Cashiers, N.C., (800) 334-2551, pro shop (828) 743-2450, www.highhamptoninn.com