"This place is like an undiscovered gem," says
Bridget McNees, who along with her husband Mac owns Whit's End Ranch
outside of Clifton, Tennessee. Many of Bridget's "camping cabin" guests
agree, and once they arrive they can't help but call on their
friends to come join them, saying, "You're not gonna believe this
place. You have to come out here." As Bridget tells me, one cabin rental often
The Ranch is a 307-acre parcel of land. At Whit's End, there is
plenty to explore: forest, trails, hayfields where a neighboring
farmer cuts hay, 27 acres of pasture, creeks and rivers, and a
beach perfect for swimming for kids and adults both. Guests choose
from seven secluded
cedar cabins made of wood harvested and hand-milled on the
property by Bridget and Mac. The seven cabins combined can sleep up
to 25. Bridget calls them "camping cabins," but these are far from
roughing it in a tent.
The cabins are private, set back in the woods, and come complete
with fridges, microwaves, linens, heat, air conditioning, and
covered porches. There's also a communal outdoor kitchen and grill.
Guests get the perks of a hotel room and of camping, both in one
place, and they don't have to pack anything but food. Bridget, who
has camped all over the U.S. and Canada, is a warm and amiable
host. Guests seem to become quick friends with her (and with each
Bridget is more than willing to show guests her various building
projects around the property, and to teach them what she knows
about construction if they're interested. Guests can also learn to mill lumber
and drive the tractor to help with forestry work and maintenance.
But most of
them focus on "kicking back and relaxing" on the creek side
beach, Bridget says. She tells me she's not planning to build any
more cabins, so that the kind of vacation Whit's End offers is
always going to be an idyllic, "Pollyanna-type" experience.
The area around the ranch is full of activities: horseback riding at
Green River Stables, where Whit's End guests get a special deal,
canoeing on the Buffalo River, or golfing at a Jack Nicklaus
signature golf course. Despite all the attractions, says Bridget,
the area is very quiet for all it has to offer.
The town of Clifton is an historic riverboat port with
well-preserved old-time lanterns and cobblestone pathways. The
small town has everything you need -- restaurants, a dock, a
pharmacy, and Bridget's favorite, a "beautiful little café" that
she likes to recommend to guests for breakfast and lunch, and for
the "eye candy" antiques that the café owner sells onsite.
Whit's End Ranch
offers 7 cabins that rent for $75 (no kitchenette) to $100 (with
kitchenette) a night. Cabins sleep up to four guests, and all are
welcome to use the outdoor barbeque and common area kitchen.
For more information,including Bridget McNees' contact information,
check out the Whit's End
Ranch Farm Stay U.S. listing.