Tennessee may not be the first place a log home has ever sprung up, but the Volunteer State has certainly raised its hand to be one of the genre’s most prolific producers.
In fact, log buildings are synonymous with the state, with nearly two-dozen manufacturers and builder/dealers dotting the countryside. And though the variety of log home styles are as distinct as country music is from rock and roll, the spectacular scenery, from the Mississippi River to the Great Smoky Mountains, sets a perpetually perfect stage for log home living.
Join us as we take a tour of the great state of Tennessee — log home style. Along our trek we’ll map the way to some of the region’s picturesque parkland and fun local activities.
We’ll check out some downhome restaurants, visit historic log buildings and, of course, stop by a variety of log home manufacturers and models. If you’re thinking of going on a log home investigation adventure, this southern gem is a sweet spot.
So let’s head out on our Log Home Road Trip through the Dixieland delight of Tennessee. Tennessee identifies itself so closely with log cabins, all of the state’s major highways welcome centers are constructed of log and stone provided by local manufacturers StoneMill Log Homes and Hearthstone, Inc. As you drive in, be sure to stop by one and rest a spell. And once inside, check some of these attractions and business out.
Outdoor Adventure & Historical Buildings
1. Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium
853 Bays Mountain Park Road, Kingsport, TN 37660
Tucked just inside Tennessee’s border with Virginia, Bays Mountain Park is a nature lover’s paradise. This 3,550-acre preserve offers tranquil walks and adventure courses, and astronomy buffs can gaze deep into the cosmos via the park’s planetarium and observatory.
2. Crockett Tavern Museum
2002 Morningside Dr., Morristown, TN 37814
May through October you can check out a reconstruction of the 1790’s John Crockett Tavern; a log cabin venue built on the site of Davy Crockett’s boyhood home in Morristown. This charming historic re-creation offers events all season as well as daily museum tours and a trading post featuring pioneer-inspired gifts.
3. Museum of Appalachia
2818 Andersonville Hwy, Clinton, TN 37716
Founder John Rice Irwin spent a lifetime assembling this rich collection of Appalachian heritage and artifacts and here you can view them all. Read the stories of the hardy and resourceful people of East Tennessee and stroll through the wooded paths to charming rustic cabins. A few hours here will be time well spent along your Road Trip.
4. The Hermitage
4580 Rachel’s Lane, Nashville, TN 37067
It may not be a log home, but Andrew Jackson’s Nashville farm helped shape him and, as a result, our nation. A fun history lesson for adults and kids alike, visitors receive a guided tour of the mansion and a self-guided stroll through the farm and grounds. Seasonal options include ghost tours, evening holiday tours or horse-drawn wagon tours. The Hermitage is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
5. The Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram
1001 Parkway #2, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Long before Uber, there was The Ober. Two 120-passenger counter-balanced cars take you on a spectacular 2.1-mile aerial journey high above the Smokies. A round-trip ticket is $13 for adults, $10.50 for kids 5-11 and 4 and under are free. Don’t miss this unique way to experience Tennessee.
6. Fall Creek Falls Golf
626 Golf Course Road, Spencer, TN 38585
Itching to hit the links along your Road Trip? Make a stop along the Tennessee Golf Trail at Fall Creek Falls. More than 20,000 acres sprawled across the eastern top of the Cumberland Plateau and designated as certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of the most scenic and spectacular courses in America. Bonus: Barna Log Homes has a model in the community that you can check out (see stop #22).
Food & Drink
7. Log Cabin Restaurant
15530 TN-13, Hurricane Mills, TN 37078
A local’s staple, enjoy huge portions of down-home Southern fare, like chicken-fried steak and pecan pie, in the snug, low-key warmth of a log home atmosphere. This is how the dining in the South is meant to be.
8. Leiper’s Fork Distillery
3381 Southall Road, Franklin, TN 37064
One thing Tennessee is more well known for than its log homes is its whiskey, so what could be better than combining them? Family owned and operated, this small-batch distillery offers tours and sells its renowned bottles from a charming 200-year-old log cabin that has aged as well as its spirits.
9. Ye Olde Steakhouse
6838 Chapman Highway, Knoxville, TN, 37920
Since 1968, Ye Olde Steakhouse has been a Knoxville staple — especially for University of Tennessee Football fans. Named one of the 100 best secrets of the Great Smoky Mountains and one of the 10 best steak houses in America, you may even have a celebrity sighting – Toby Keith recently dined here and gave an impromptu performance.
10. Eagle Springs Winery
119 W. Dumplin Valley Road, Kodak, TN 37764
Free wine tastings in a mountainside log home setting … does it get any better? Specializing in honey-based wine, each vintage starts with the same blend of clover, alfalfa and wildflower honey mixed with water and then fermented. From there, it’s separated into batches and a variety of fruits are added, giving Eagle Springs’ wines a bouquet and flavor all their own. The winery also can be rented for special events.
11. Old Mill Restaurant/Pottery House Café & Grille
175 Old Mill Ave., Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
This working gristmill offers two great dining options during your Log Home Road Trip – the Old Mill Restaurant and, right across the street, The Pottery House Café & Grille. Both offer delectable comfort foods in warm friendly settings. Try fluffy Southern buttermilk biscuits and grits with pepper gravy for breakfast or dine on locally caught trout and or chicken-and-dumplings for dinner. The adorable gift pantry lets you take some of their signature mixes, fruit butters and mountain jams and jellies home.
12. Loretta Lynn Ranch
8000 Highway 13 South Hurricane Mills, TN 37078
For the total log home experience on your road trip, try renting a cabin for a few nights. There are rentals scattered all over the state, but the Loretta Lynn Ranch’s central location, right outside the heart of Nashville, makes it a favorite. Plus, you get the added bonus of seeing the country music star’s plantation home, visiting the Coal Miner’s Daughter museum and a replica of Butcher Holler House — the tiny log cabin where Loretta grew up with her seven siblings, including recording artist Crystal Gayle.
13. Little Log Wedding Chapel
945 Glades Road Gatlinburg, TN 37738
If you’re looking for an unforgettable setting to hold a wedding, the Little Log Wedding Chapel is it. The simplicity of this full-log structure and its enchanting setting are the keys to its undeniable beauty. And fortunately, the Chapel escaped unscathed by the wildfires that ravaged the Gatlinburg area last fall. Even if you’re not in the market to book the venue, it’s well worth a peek along your Road Trip.
Log Home Companies & Models
14. Appalachian Log & Timber Homes
11320 Station West Dr., Knoxville, TN 37934
For 37 years, the traditional Appalachian style, featuring squared logs with dovetailed corners and chinking, as been this log home manufacturer’s bread and butter. Over the past several years, Appalachian has expanded their portfolio to include timber frame and even hybrid log home construction featuring a concept to completion approach. Arrange a visit to tour their charming “Log Square.”
15. StoneMill Log & Timber Homes
10024 Parkside Dr., Knoxville, TN 37922
With its rich tradition of log home manufacturing, StoneMill has been a fixture in Knoxville since 1974. A lot has changed since then, but one thing that has remained the same is the company’s commitment to servicing and educating its customers. Stop by for an impromptu tour of their models or schedule your trip around one of their educational seminars.
16. Hearthstone, Inc.
120 Willis Road, Newport, TN 37821
Hearthstone’s brand new headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities are just waiting for you to drop by for a tour. Now known for their precision-engineered log and timber houses, Hearthstone began as a restoration outfit, rehabbing cabins that were hundreds of years old. Even though the company is now high-tech, this philosophy of history and heritage is still evident. Pay them a visit on your Log Home Road Trip.
17. Honest Abe Log Homes
9995 Clay County Highway, Moss, TN 38575
Whether you just pop by Honest Abe’s headquarters in Moss or come specifically for a log home raising and tour (the next one is April 22), this is a Road Trip destination that’s not to be missed. And with several dealers’ models in the area (two of which are on the Road Trip – see stops #20 & #21 below), you’ll have ample opportunity to take in the beautiful homes they craft.
18. Jim Barna Log & Timber Homes
400 Bear Creek Road, Oneida, TN 37841
A trip to Jim Barna’s compound is like indulging in a log home smorgasbord. Dotted with models in all shapes and profiles, you can park your car, stretch your legs and stroll the grounds at your leisure. From cabins to castles, there’s virtually nothing this long-time log home manufacturer hasn’t accomplished, and one visit to its Oneida HQ will show you why.
19. Natural Element Homes & Natural Element Interiors
1225 Murrays Chapel Road, Sweetwater, TN 37874
This location is two stops in one! A Natural Elements home is almost instantly recognizable and is certainly one of the most unique log/timber/hybrid companies in the space. Their log campus features several buildings including their sales office, a model home and design center and decor store, Natural Elements Interiors, where you can buy unique, rustic-inspired furnishings that would perfectly complement your own home.
20. Honest Abe — Cookeville Model
3205 Highway 111 North, Cookeville, TN 38506
Though sizable at 3,215 square feet, this model encapsulates that cozy traditional log home feeling. Built in 2003, it showcases the timeless qualities of log construction. A soaring fieldstone fireplace greets you at the front entrance and the spacious three-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath design is open and airy. Accentuated by a wrapping 52-foot porch and a rock waterfall, this model is well worth a look.
21. Honest Abe — Crossville Model
448 Crabtree Road, Crossville, TN 38571
In 2014, Honest Abe unveiled this striking log and stone model that nearly stops traffic along its prominent intersection location within the Cumberland Plateau. Nearly 3,000 square feet of living space surrounded by 1,700 square feet of covered porch awaits you. With two distinct facades, it showcases the company’s diverse log and timber frame approach. It’s so beautiful, in fact, it was featured in the March 2016 issue of Log Home Living – a distinction rarely given to model homes. As you’re traveling between Nashville and Knoxville, be sure to stop here.
22. Barna Log Homes at Fall Creek Falls Model
27325 TN-30, Spencer, TN 38585
If your Log Home Road Trip won’t take you near Jim Barna’s headquarters in Oneida, you can still tour the company’s outstanding work. This full-service-distributor-owned model is located southeast of Nashville and in the heart of the Fall Creek Falls State Park, which boasts the highest free-falling waterfall east of the Mississippi. More importantly, it highlights the diversity of log home construction. Want to learn how the whole thing works? Plan your trip around their upcoming construction course (May 16-18).
Loggin' the Miles
Headed out on your Tennessee Log Home Road Trip? Let us know where you are what you've seen! Check in or post photo to loghome.com/facebook or loghome.com/instagram and use the hashtag #loghomeroadtripTN
NOTE: The special interest points on this map are for reference only. Please confirm the location of your destination before starting any trip. Log Home Living and its staff are not liable for any loss or damage that results from traveling to or visiting these destinations.