A Place to Be Still: Cherokee Cove


A few months ago, my husband, two daughters and I traveled to Mountain City, Tennessee to visit Cherokee Cove Family Camp, Conference Center and Retreat.  It was our first time in the Blue Ridge Mountain area, so we weren’t exactly sure what to expect.

And to be 100% honest, we weren’t all that excited to go.

Because here’s the thing: we have a two-year-old and a 12-year-old which means finding activities that appeal to our whole family is, well, challenging.

I know this is lame.

Don’t get me wrong – we are beyond blessed!  But anyone who has a two-year-old knows what I’m talking about, right?  Little legs make long hikes difficult; little bladders equal hundreds {thousands?} of potty breaks in an hour; growing brains mean lots of quick board books nixing leisurely afternoons spent reading.

And what we really wanted – needed – from this vacation was to get away from the routine of life to be still and quiet and reflective.  However, two-year-olds have a tendency to be the antithesis of “being still.” And being “reflective?” That’s just hilarious.

{You KNOW what I mean!}

Nonetheless, we traveled from our humble Ohio abode to the mountains of Tennessee and into the warm embrace of Cherokee Cove.

First, I will tell you what Cherokee Cove Family Camp, Conference Center and Retreat is not… it is not a place with high ropes and paddle boats, water blobs and all-season sledding runs, craft barns and high-dollar coffee shops.  Not that any of those things are bad {they’re not}.

It’s just that this place is decidedly and delightfully different. It is quiet and vast and a little bit wild. While we were there, a bear killed an entire coop of chickens, and my daughter discovered a couple of 5-foot-long rattlesnake skins:

 autumn with a snakeskin

Nestled in the mountains of Northeast Tennessee, Cherokee Cove’s approximately 200 private acres bordering the Cherokee National Forest is the home of Uphill Ministries, a non-profit Christian organization. Absent of Wi-Fi access or cable TV distractions, it is one of the few places we’ve encountered where a family truly can get away from {the sometimes burdensome} buzz of technology.  This was the view from our cabin:

cliffside blue ridge mountain view

Offering seemingly endless lodging opportunities, the possibilities for an excursion to this place are boundless!  You could easily plan a retreat, a family reunion, a marriage conference, an all-day symposium, or a private getaway. Here’s the view off the deck of the conference center:

conference center patio

Here’s a photo showing some of the Evergreen Village Cabins with the Evergreen Village Dining room — all which are connected by a lovely boardwalk through the forest:

evergreen cabins at cherokee cove

One of the ways owners, Stu & Samantha Stephens, encourage guests to utilize their space is to bring their own facilitator, programming and audience; then, Cherokee Cove will provide everything else to make the event a success. {Stu is a professional chef, by the way, and Samantha is a nutritionist, so gourmet meals for any planned event are an option.}

There are also Cherokee Cove sponsored events for which guests can sign up {see their event page for details}.  People can contact Cherokee Cove directly for assistance in developing/offering content for events as well.

And, oh yeah… it is also a fantastic place to vacation!  We did end up having a wonderful time together, and I’m ashamed that we didn’t have a positive attitude from the get-go.

Not only did we have a great time exploring the trails and grounds right at Cherokee Cove and enjoy watching the Waltons on DVD in our cabin (where Mitchell was inspired to write this), but we also traveled less than an hour to the nearby college town of Boone, North Carolina; visited Linville Caverns ziplined at Hawksnest Zipline in Seven Devils, NC; walked across the mile-high swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain; and biked 18+ miles down the Virginia Creeper Trail.

mitchell ziplining

virginia creeper biking

It. Was. Awesome.

My prayer is that you, too, will be able to get away with your family to a place where you can be still together, know that God is God, and re-connect with each other.  And if you’re looking for a place to do that, Cherokee Cove would be a fine choice.



Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. See full disclosure here.

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