Harriet Tubman Road and Marcus Garvey Drive are two of the main roads at Sassafras Ridge, a very special place nestled between two National Forests... the Cherokee and the Nantahala... and situated atop the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains of Southeastern Tennessee. Watching silver-pink sunrises and mauve-purple sunsets are the favorite pastimes of the day. Sassafras Ridge provides an escape to an area of natural beauty and solitude. It is the place to go to enjoy the outdoors, whether you're interested in hiking, nature walks, horseback riding, fishing, whitewater rafting, canoeing, birdwatching, or photography. It is the place to go if you want to take time to smell the roses, discover the rhododendron and delicate wildflowers, or pick some ginseng and blackberries. It is the place to go, feel, pray, meditate and experience Mother Nature ... GOD's Country!
The Adventure Continues...
Located in Turtletown, Tennessee, Sassafras Ridge Mountain Retreat consists of over 585 acres of pristine forests and wilderness, fanning across mountain peaks and ridges, and including a natural oasis known as the Harriet Tubman Nature Reserve. Bordering North Carolina at the state line, Sassafras Ridge has over forty springs, numerous roaring streams, miles of trails and two spring fed lakes- Lake Nia and Lake Imani- stocked with trout and bream!
Sassafras was established by Shaka Kusaidi and Arike Logan, MD in 1992 as a beautiful, natural sanctuary for positive and progressive families and organizations. They have developed and built Sassafras Ridge into a community of over 585 acres and over eighty landowner families who now own their land for their famuily, future and legacy.
The developers subdivided Sassafras into five
acre lots to keep Sassafras Ridge a private community and to maintain a true wilderness environment. Collectively the community has
built over seven miles of roads, built two spring fed lakes, and have coordinated the installation of miles of electric power- most of it underground.
Research and development has began for a Solar Power and Farm initiative which is targeted to launch in 2021.
While some landowners have built beautiful homes and chalets and some are at various stages of development, all have acquired their land as a legacy and retreat for their families and future generations!
"We give thanks to GOD for this rich and beautiful land, this experience, this community and this opportunity. We are so blessed. And our collective potential is enormous," says Kusaidi, "Our landowners and community members are leaders in health, education, religion, the arts and culture, law, human rights advocacy, business, construction, science, communications and more!"
And we are diverse ... from the up North, New Orleans, the West coast to the Caribbean, Africa, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Georgia! We all bring different experiences, but share a common love of nature, life and our unique community."
Thousands of youth, adults and families have visited Sassafras, and hundreds of organizations, businesses and churches have participated in or have held their
own wilderness retreats, events, workshops and gatherings since 1993. They have produced or participated in women's retreats, staff development, youth wilderness camps, trainings, meetings, rites of passage, ministry and bible study, strategic planning, whitewater rafting, steppin' and line dance classes!
Once you visit Sassafras Ridge for the first time, you
become a member of our global extended family!
Some of the groups and churches that have visited include: the 100 Black Women of Metropolitan Atlanta-Teens on The Move, Americorp, Hands On Atlanta, Third World Coalition of the American Friends Service Committee,
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Impact Church, Spelman College, HTI Consultants, New Birth Fellowship of Faith, NKOBRA, Women In Transition, Kipp South Fulton Academy, Hebrew Israelite Women, Natural Healers Network, Detroit Youth In Action, Southern Snow Seekers, Camp Genesis, 1 Step Beyond, Camp Roots, Camp Village, Project South, WIT-Women In Transition, Brother Gadu, and RawX Yoga Retreats.-Carla DeRosa .