On Location: Balsam Mountain Preserve

There is no location that captures the essence of fall quite like the Blue Ridge Mountains. We recently set off to Western North Carolina to explore the area and to put our Fall 2022 Collection to the test. We'll let you live vicariously through our weekend of friendship, fly fishing, and fall escape at Balsam Mountain Preserve. 

The Preserve  

Aside from having all of the amenities a Social Sportsman could dream of, from campgrounds to a premiere golf course, we were drawn to Balsam Mountain Preserve for their dedication to conservation. Over 3,000 acres, which they refer to as their "living laboratory", are managed by the Balsam Mountain Trust. The goal of the trust is to be a resource to the community however they can. They strive to keep the magic of the Blue Ridge mountains alive through environmental education with local elementary schools and colleges, native plant programs, and sourcing foods onsite for local restaurants. We were inspired by their mission and made the most of the natural environment while we were there.  

The Course

Rated by Golf Digest as one of the best 18-hole courses in North Carolina, we had to check out Balsam's Arnold Palmer Signature Course. As soon as we arrived, we threw on our Harbor Performance Chinos and hit the links. With elevations of 3,700 feet and a slope of 149 degrees we were awestruck, albeit a little intimidated. The club is private, but they allow up to 16 guests each day. If you find yourself in the area, do not miss out on the opportunity to play the one-of-a-kind course.  

On The Fly

In classic Duck Head fashion, we spent our next day off the beaten path. The Western Carolina region is home to hundreds of miles of creeks and rivers to explore, so we called our friends at Davidson River Outfitters for a day of fly fishing. We layered up in our quick-drying performance shirts and our new Fremont Performance Vest you'll have to stay tuned for. Our guide, Rob, came fully prepared with all the gear, plenty of patience, and excellent instruction. His passion and extensive knowledge of the backcountry was everything we needed for a seamless guided experience.  

The Campground

After making it back from our fly fishing trip, we layered up for a cool evening spent at Balsam's remote campsite. Dark Ridge Camp was about a 30 minute off road venture from the clubhouse. It's a tranquil spot located along Balsam's Dark Ridge Creek. We were lucky enough to be accompanied by Goose, Balsam's resident Llewelyn Setter who helped some of us fish for Brook Trout  while others stayed back to build a fire and practice on their fly tying techniques. Even though we were just minutes away from the club, this rustic outpost transported us to a place where time moves a little slower.   

A Weekend Well Spent   

Our cabin was a stone's throw from the club house and the perfect place to unwind each evening with the team. To cap off the trip, we spent our last night taking in the incredible view of the course with its mountainous skyline backdrop while being warmed by the perfectly situated fire pit. Though we hated to leave, we arrived back in Atlanta feeling recharged from our quintessential fall getaway, made in part by a well-rounded wardrobe. You can shop all of the looks from our travels in our Fall 2022 Collection 


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