Hundreds of cabins in the Great Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee provide romantic getaways, family vacation spots and rustic retreats. There aren’t as many cabins in the rest of the state, though many parks have cabins in addition to campgrounds. Expect rates to be higher the closer the cabin is to a major attraction like Gatlinburg, and during the summer.
Pickett State Park
Several of Tennessee’s state parks provide cabin rentals, and some of them are quite luxurious. Travelers in search of rustic cabins stay at Pickett State Park in north-central Tennessee. The park’s rugged topography offers sandstone bridges and scenic bluffs overlooking the Big South Fork River. Five rustic cabins, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and '40s, accommodate up to four people. The cabins have bathrooms and kitchens, and the park supplies linens and cooking utensils. Three of the cabins are open year round.
Country Elegance Cabins
Country Elegance Cabins, scattered along a trout stream and the Pigeon River near Gatlinburg, feature knotty pine interiors, decks with views and fireplaces. Some have hot tubs and claw-foot baths. Probably the most rustic is the Homestead Cottage, a restored 19th-century chestnut log cabin. While the cottage has both an outdoor hot tub and indoor heart-shaped Jacuzzi, the age of the building is apparent in the plaster chinking and exposed log walls. Located adjacent to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the cabin provides easy access to the Albright hiking trail.
Cosby Creek Cabins
Cosby Creek rents 20 cabins in Cocke County, Tennessee, an area of the Great Smoky Mountains that’s removed from busy Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Hillside Hideaway may be the most rustic of them. The two-bedroom, one-bathroom cabin features pine paneling, a wood-burning fireplace and a porch swing. The cabin has a hot tub, but it doesn’t have a telephone. Set away from other guests, Hillside Heaven is pet-friendly. Guests who stay five nights get the sixth night free.
Sweet Potato Patch
A collection of authentic Tennessee mountain log cabins with Smoky Mountain views, refurbished for rental, offer rustic lodging in an area named Timberidge. Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg has a huge selection of cabins, including many of the Timberidge rentals. Sweet Potato Patch is a two-story log cabin with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The front porch has a handcrafted porch swing, and a wood-burning fireplace keeps the cabin warm during the winter. Decorated with simple country furnishings, the cabin has a kitchen and back deck with hot tub.
- Smoky Mountains river image by louloua asgaraly from Fotolia.com