Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, Hurricane Mills, TN
There’s something you should know about me: I love Loretta Lynn. I think maybe all us Kentucky girls have a soft spot for the Lynn and I am no exception. (Here’s something most people don’t know about Ky girls: We alert each other whenever CMD is on TV so we can all tune in.) While most of the world only know Lynn for her “Coal Miner’s Daughter” song, a closer look reveals that Lynn is a feminist dressed in fringe—nine of Lynn’s songs were banned from music stations for taking women’s issues head on.
 And she was doing that was way before Jack White came along and deemed her hip. 

Last summer I finally made the pilgrimage to Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. I’d grown up seeing Hurricane Mills—first in the Crisco ads filmed in her kitchen and later in her Oscar-winning biop, Coal Miner’s Daughter, but I was finally going to see it live and in person.

The trip did not disappoint and I immediately understood why she fell in love with the area. Rolling pastures, picturesque streams, sun-dappled forests—Hurricane Mills epitomizes the beauty of the south.

Lynn still lives on the property, but most her estate is open for visitors to enjoy, including the RV park, campgrounds and cabin rentals. The grounds are meticulously maintained. Not sterile, just clean and well-kept. There’s tons to do from horseback riding to swimming (in the pool or lakes), fishing, hiking and if you plan it right, even entertainment by The First Lady of Country Music herself, who performs several times in the year. The ranch also holds an annual and very well-attended motocross event every year, which is not the best time to go if you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet.

hillmanferryAnother local favorite is Hillman Ferry, Grand  Rivers, KY. Close enough to Nashville to make it an easy escape, but still away from it all, this 100% family-friendly campsite gives  visitors a range of choices for pitching your tent (or parking your pop-up): 
lakefront, lakeview or forest. It’s a favorite spot  for fishing and swimming—there’s even a beach where groups set up games or just lounge, soaking up the southern summer heat. (Big thanks to J Geraci for the tip!)

Image credits: Hurricane Mills courtesy