I am well past the age of climbing trees, but the ad that popped up in my social media feed featuring a luxury treehouse was something that got my attention. With the world opening up again post-pandemic, it seemed like a great way to enjoy the great outdoors, take a break from working harder than I ever have before over the last 15 months during a global pandemic (that’s another article entirely) and just to GET AWAY and relish the peace and quiet of being in nature. I had already been researching as part of my professional work about Nature Deficit Disorder and how being outdoors in nature is really such a benefit to one’s mental and physical health. I also have been compiling a “must see” list of things I want to do which is sometimes the only way I seem to make my wish list a reality. Seeing this post was very timely and the “luxury treehouse” quickly got added to my wish list.
I am a self-professed “no camping” kind of gal. While I love being outdoors, hiking, enjoying nature, cookouts, picnics, and sight-seeing natural wonders across the country, when it comes time to sleep, eat, or just go about the normal activities of living, camping is not my preferred way to do it. These treehouses seemed like the perfect solution for someone like me who enjoys all the perks of nature but also appreciates the comforts of home. I decided this was something that I really wanted to do so got the family on board with plans to make a trek to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to visit Treehouse Grove, situated at the entry to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I understand that there are several “tree house resorts” in different parts of the country, though I have been visiting the Smoky Mountains since I was a child and it is not only near and dear to my heart, but also just a half-day drive from Nashville so was the perfect location for this “wish-list trip” over a long weekend. For readers who are not in close proximity to Tennessee who would like to experience a treehouse adventure, Google really is your friend. A great listing of 25 treehouse resorts across the country can be found in Vacation Idea magazine’s March 2021 blog post.
Back to Treehouse Grove, though. There are eight treehouses at Treehouse Grove, rustic yet with modern conveniences and décor. We stayed in the Poplar. It was beautiful, both the treehouse and the setting. The resort is secluded, with a long winding road to get down to the treehouse area, one that I would not want to take in the middle of winter, but that was not a problem with it being early summer. The treehouse -and from my understanding all seven of the others – had two bedrooms, one being a secluded loft, a living area, small kitchen, bathroom, deck with chairs and a fire pit, and a screened outdoor seating area. There was a common area fire pit and igloo-covered picnic table, and a beautiful stream on the grounds for all to enjoy. There was a TV which rarely was turned on during our stay, as well as electronics in the kitchen and bathroom which did get used. It was wonderful waking up in the midst of the forest and enjoying the sounds of nature with not a care in the world. The “city” (i.e., downtown Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge) was just a few miles away so getting a fix of pancakes, putt-putt golf, and window shopping were there for the taking. The resort was mesmerizing in the evening when all lit up.
I so enjoyed the time away and was reminded of just how impacting nature can be – for the body, mind, and spirit. I totally agree with John Muir – “Father” of the National Parks system, naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, botanist, zoologist, glaciologist, and nature preservation advocate – “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” I have to agree with him, and will be sure and take his advice: “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” I sure enjoyed the paths taken in my treehouse adventure.