When heading south, finding unique and exciting campgrounds to park your trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes is always challenging. Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, is up to the challenge.

The ranch is conveniently located seven miles north of interstate I40 in Tennessee and only 14 hours south of Toronto. With the passing of Loretta Lynn earlier this fall, we can no longer be sure if the ranch, house, museum, and campgrounds where this country music legend lived and died will remain open to the public.

While the campground is still open this winter, it may be your last chance to visit and see it as Loretta left it.

The House and Grounds

Open all year, the grounds and woods abound with the natural colour and fragrance of Tennessee flowers. The scent of flowers and groomed lawns drift in the air.

The road to the east and a meandering creek to the west define the ranch boundaries. The house, museum, campgrounds, motocross course, horse jumping arena, and a western town replica are within these boundaries. All are in meadows close to the lower campground.

Loretta Lynn’s 14-room house is well-maintained and open to the public. This house was the original home Loretta and her husband furnished and lived in before building their new home to the rear. The new house isn’t open to the public. When wandering through the elegant rooms, a picture forms in your mind of what this coalminer’s daughter achieved.

The sitting room of Loretta Lynn’s mansion, featuring high ceilings, crystal chandelier, and a tiled fireplace. The space is decorated with elegant vintage furniture, a double bass, and piano adorned with family photos. The room is decorated for the holidays with a Christmas tree, lighted garland, and six stockings hanging from the mantle.

Guided Tour

In contrast to the house’s elegance, the museum has a replica of the miner’s cabin where Loretta lived as a child in Butcher Hollow, a coal mining town in Kentucky. The museum is across the road from the old house and records country music history and Loretta’s early life. If you’ve never been, the museum and the house are worth a visit.

The charge for the guided tour includes entry to the Coal Miners Daughter Museum. The museum is a self-guided tour. Allow 90 minutes for each activity. It’s possible to pay for the museum only, but both activities are worth the time and money.

The exterior of a historic grist mill. The two-story building is clad in natural wood siding, darkened and weathered in spots. The mill backs onto the running waters of Hurricane Creek.

Camping Events

Call the office for a list of planned events. You can coordinate your stay and pay extra to join the events, but you don’t need to participate to stay at the campground. For example, motocross and horse-riding competitions may not interest you, but these events fill lower campground sites. A discussion with the office ahead of time will help you get the most out of your stay.

Other Ranch Activities

      • Replica western town with a diner-style restaurant and gift shop.
      • A pool (may be closed depending on the time of year).
      • Fishing, tubing, and kayaking are fun and are allowed in the creek; details from the office.
      • Enjoy hiking and biking on the well-marked nature trails.

Campgrounds

There are three distinct camping areas:

Tent camping: A separate area has been set aside for tent camping. Ask the office if you need to be close to water or electricity.

Lower campground: These sites typically include water and electricity and are close to the event areas, river, kid’s play area, and pool. Most of the sites are grass, requiring a lot of levelling and lacking shady trees. Check with the office before agreeing to a campsite in the lower campground.

Stagecoach Hill: These big rig-friendly, full hookup sites are level, with 30-amp and 50-amp services, on well-treed sites. On one of our visits, we were entertained for free by a guitar player and singer around a communal campfire. Bill, the guitar player, had been part of Loretta Lynn’s backup group.

Now’s the Time to Add This Unique Campground to Your Travel Plans

Loretta Lynn kept a watchful eye on the ranch’s development. Someone who knew what it was like to be a child with nothing. You can camp, walk the meadows, and play in the creek at no extra cost. The campground, with its subtle attractions and a simple stream, provides entertainment for children of all ages without having an overpowering commercial push.

Now is the time to add this unique campground to your immediate travel plans and experience the ranch the way Loretta built it.

Getting There

Call the office for a list of events and available activities during your visit. Confirm availability with the campground office (931-296-7700) to avoid disappointment.

From Interstate I40, west of Tennessee, take Highway 13 to Hurricane Mills. The campground and ranch are on your left. Warning If you have a rig over 30 ft, be sure to take Highway 13 north from I40. A GPS may take other interesting roads past crawfish farms and over small bridges and tight bends.

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