Scottish Invasion at Lake Guntersville State Park
When newlyweds Garry and Lisa Cossar chose Lake Guntersville Resort State Park as a stop on their extended honeymoon road trip through the Deep South, they expected it to be beautiful. When they arrived at the park those expectations were more than just met, they were exceeded.
Garry Cossar, 28, a marketing consultant from Edinburgh, Scotland, said he and his wife Lisa were looking for a place to stay in Alabama that was easily accessible, peaceful, scenic and close to nature. Guntersville met those criteria, but delivered on them triple fold.
“The lodge was stunning,” Garry said. “The accommodations and people were excellent, and the lodge and its surroundings, beautiful.”
That is high praise coming from the Cossars, who have traveled extensively around the world. According to Garry, the picturesque scenery of his hometown of Edinburgh is equaled by that of north Alabama. “The natural beauty of Lake Guntersville State Park rates right up there with Edinburgh,” Garry said.
Why did the couple choose Guntersville as a stop on their honeymoon in the United States? According to Garry the newlyweds wanted to experience the parts of the U.S. that most of the world is unfamiliar with. “We wanted to see the real U.S., and not just the big cities,” Garry said.
However, for Garry the choice of Guntersville was a romantic one. His grandfather, Davie, is a fan of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Having been raised on songs like “Sweet Home Alabama,” Garry knew that one day he wanted to visit the state. Davie will be 80 years old, this year. As one of his birthday presents, Garry is giving him a framed photo of a Guntersville sunset.
During the Cossar’s three-day stay at Guntersville they took advantage of the outdoor activities the park offers. The trails at Guntersville were “unbelievably beautiful,” Garry said. The forest, wildlife, hills, and the massive 69,000-acre Guntersville Reservoir created a memorable experience for the newlyweds.
The north Alabama scenery was matched equally by the hospitality of the people the Cossars met during their stay. “Each morning we had fun comparing our accents with the staff during breakfast,” Garry said. “The staff and other visitors to the park were fantastic.”
The Cossar’s trip just happened to take place during the 70th Anniversary of Alabama State Parks. In 2008, the Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge reopened after a $25 million renovation.
Their honeymoon, which also included stops in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, was a very positive experience for the Cossars. So much so that they have plans to come back next year. A visit to Guntersville is definitely part of those plans.
When asked if he would recommend Lake Guntersville Resort State Park to his fellow international travelers, Garry answered yes. “Maybe you’ll have a Scottish invasion,” he said.
Lake Guntersville Resort State Park, one of 22 Alabama State Parks, is located six miles northeast of Guntersville off State Road 227. For information, contact the lodge at 800-548-4553 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com
Photo by Lisa Cossar: Garry Cossar of Edinburgh, Scotland, by the pool at the Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge.