Monday, June 08, 2015

Lake Junaluska Assembly Grounds

My family heads to Lake Junaluska, North Carolina each year for the Holston Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The impossibility of a more beautiful location, that offers a high level of amenities, draws the conference to the Lake Junaluska Assembly Grounds in the same way that a mama goose calls to her babies. (You'll see plenty of each here.)

Disney Transportation has nothing over the free trolley service at Lake Junaluska. During events, the trolley runs every few minutes along the main road. The stops are strategically placed to be convenient to lodging and parking lots. Just wave at a driver to be picked up in between stops if needed.

Lakeside Pavilion: Lake Junaluska
Gayle Crabtree
The transportation exception is the campground across the highway. You'll want to drive to the Lake Junaluska to access the trolley service. There is plenty of parking near the basketball pavilion. Come in by the welcome center. Follow the road to the stop sign and turn left. You'll see the lot in half a minute. Meeting sessions take place in Stuart Auditorium. Just tell the trolley driver as you board, and you'll be dropped off at the right stop.

Internet access is available at the Terrace, auditorium, Mountain View and almost everywhere except the Junaluska Apartments. My solution was to bring a cell modem and am using it to write this article. Verizon Wireless is my cell provider and I've never had a problem on this campus.

Rose Walk: Lake Junaluska
Gayle Crabtree

Dining options are somewhat limited on campus. Meal tickets are available for The Terrace and Lambuth Inn. These can be purchased ahead of time or upon arrival. The cost varies depending on if you want breakfast, lunch or dinner and changes with the season. There is also a cafe in the bookstore. The cafe is located in the top floor of the Harrell Center next to Stuart Auditorium.

Some people tend to skip the lines and drive into Waynesville in search of a meal. Junaluska Apartments provide the option to cook in the room. Still others decide to picnic along the lake shore or in any of the grassy areas. 
 
A line of vendors is set up next to Stuart Auditorium during the Holston Annual Conference. This year I noticed Bojangle's Chicken, sports drinks, Italian Ice and more. 
 
A view of Lake Junaluska
Gayle Crabtree

Rooms for large families and youth groups are also offered. A number of houses are available for rent during conferences. Lake Junaluska staff can assist with these property reservations as well.

Families don't have time to get bored here. It's hard to list everything. A few of the available activities are a play area, basketball and tennis courts keep kids busy. Kids (and adults) can bike, jog or walk on the trails or along the rose walk. Mini-golf, a boat tour, paddleboats, swimming, kayaks, shuffle board and other activities are offered.

The assembly grounds are open throughout the year for getaways and retreats. Major holidays of Christmas and Thanksgiving, fall foliage and ski packages keep the Lake Junaluska Assembly Grounds relevant for getaways throughout the year.