Celebrate Christmas in the Cumberlands


HUNTSVILLE, Tenn. — The crackling of an open flame in the fireplace, your own private cabin, and miles and miles of outdoors to explore — from the heat of your car or in the wide-open, fresh air.

There are certainly worse ways to spend Christmas!

The Cumberlands come alive with the arrival of the holiday season. It’s at this time of year that our small towns trim the trees and light the squares, put on their Sunday best and serve up their best food. And with the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area and the Cumberland Mountains as backdrops, well, it’s a good time to be in the country!

There are plenty of options when it comes to rental cabins for your Christmas getaway. All are affordable and some start at less than $100 per night! Near the Big South Fork you may want to check out M&M Rentals at Williams Creek, Williams Creek Retreat, Wilderness Resorts or, on the west side of the gorge, Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat. Additional rentals are available from Big South Fork Rentals, MSF Cabins and Longhorn Ranch. In the Brimstone area, check out Brimstone Retreats or Cabins of Elk Run.

If you don’t like life quite so rustic, you might check out the Oneida Appalachian Guest House, or Grey Gables Bed & Breakfast at Historic Rugby.

Of course, there’s always the option to “rough it.” Full service campgrounds are available at Big South Fork’s Bandy Creek Campground, or, closer to the Cumberland Mountains, Brimstone or Trails End.

Once you’re here, you’ll want to get out and roam, and there is plenty of roaming to do! There is nothing like a drive (or a walk) through the Big South Fork on a snowy morning. Popular vantage points include the East Rim Overlook on East Rim Overlook Road near park headquarters, off S.R. 297, as well as the Oscar Blevins Farm off Bandy Creek Loop Road.

And if ATV riding is your thing, there are hundreds of miles of trails to explore in the Cumberland Mountains, between Brimstone and the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.

We have snow in the Cumberlands on some December days, but we also have plenty of 60-degree days with lots of sunshine. That’s the best thing about our neck of the woods: the varied weather! You’ll want to take advantage of those warm, sunny days for exploring. There are trails to hike in the Big South Fork, and even more trails to ride — so you might want to bring your horse. Plus, the Big South Fork is the only national park in America with mountain bike trails that have been rated epic by IMBA.

To learn more about how you can make the Cumberlands your getaway for Christmas, contact the Scott County Visitor Center at 800.645.6905.

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