Step out onto one of the many sprawling porches of the Roaring Fork Lodge, and it becomes immediately clear as to where the rental retreat got its name. Perched high above one of the Great Smoky Mountains’ fastest and largest streams known as the Roaring Fork, this 6,312-square-foot, northern white cedar log home comes with one of Mother Nature’s best soundtracks – the cadence of rushing water. With its natural setting and sweeping views, you might not realize downtown Gatlinburg is half a mile down the road.
To achieve such a dream, though, required perseverance for owners Chris and Sarah Allen. Their first cabin burned down in the devastating Gatlinburg wildfires of 2016. Despite tragedy, site setbacks and serious red tape, they decided to not just rebuild, but go all-out. They worked with Cedar Log Homes of Northeast Tennessee and Fandl Construction to create the log lodge of their dreams.
“This one is basically Roaring Fork 2.0,” Chris says. “It has pretty much every upgrade you can think of.”
“The place has sentimental value to us, so we put a lot of thought and personal touches into it. It was built with comfort and luxury in mind. We didn’t hold back on that,” Chris says. “If you like modern gadgets, amenities and all the nice stuff like that, I’d say you’d be very pleased with that here. It’s no cookie-cutter rental cabin.”
If you can peel yourself away from the luxe amenities, the world outside the lodge’s log walls is just as thrilling. Summer in Gatlinburg boasts hikes to eye-popping waterfalls and breathtaking mountain laurel blooms.
“Sometimes, they just completely cover up the mountainside,” Chris says.
Autumn, though, is the Allens’ favorite time of year. The leaves start changing in higher elevations in early October, but in the city of Gatlinburg and in the valley, peak is usually right around Halloween, give or take a week, Chris reports. The humidity disappears and the temperature hovers in the 50s and 60s.
No matter the time of year, there’s no shortage of things to do. Explore the wilderness of the Smokies with a gentle horseback ride, or get your fill of thrills on a zipline or mountain coaster. Then, at the end of a fun-filled day, kick back on one of the cabin’s many porches and relax to the sound of the Roaring Fork.
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Baths: 3 Full, 3 Half