Hidden Mountain Resort, Tenn.
The story below is excerpted from our Sept./Oct. 2014 issue. For the full story visit our digital edition for FREE today!
Coming to Hidden Mountain Resort in Sevierville, Tennessee, Chris Karle celebrated a reunion with his family members. And, it was no small cookout. His family came from the Carolinas to California: all 83 members.
Karle’s clan rented 18 cabins, as well as The Lodge, a cabin-esque meeting facility. Their multi-day party featured communal meals, games for the kids, a family meeting and a golf-kart parade down the resort’s roads.
A father of four, Karle showed off some photos of the previous day’s parade. Then, he just started bragging – about Hidden Mountain’s “cleanliness, the organization and the privacy.”
He has also been bunking in these cabins for years. “We’ve stayed all the way from a two-bedroom to a three-bedroom,” says Karle, an Internet service provider salesman from Waycross, Georgia.
“My favorite cabins are where my brothers and sisters stayed,” Karle says, “because I can trash that and go back to mine.”
The original owners, Butch and Brenda Smith, remain at the helm of Hidden Mountain. Established in 1981, this resort was one of the first places to rent a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains. Today, says Summer Smith Orr, a daughter who handles marketing, the resort features cabins that range from cozy single-bedrooms to 14-bed mansions.
In all, the resort’s two sections – East and West – boast more than 200 cabins, cottages and villas.
“You can also rent golf carts,” Karle says. “And you can travel all around the compound and visit your neighbors and family members.”
On New Year’s Eve, this is where you’ll find the family of Amanda Woodlee. “We have kind of made it a family tradition. We get my extended family together in some of the larger cabins. And we just like to celebrate New Year’s that way,” says Woodlee, an executive assistant in McMinnville, Tennessee.
Woodlee, like Karle, has long been a cabin dweller at Hidden Mountain.
“It’s consistent. Everything is completely clean,” Woodlee says. “I’ve never been in one of their cabins where something didn’t work. If the fireplace is there, the fireplace works. If the hot tub is there, it works.”