Road Trip

The U.S.A.'s Weirdest Roadside Attractions

by Colleen Clark

Minister's Tree House, Crossville, Tennessee

En route from: Nashville to Knoxville

Roadside attraction: In 1993, God came to Horace Burgess in a vision to tell him that if he constructed a tree house to honor Jesus, he would never run out of materials. So the minister cobbled together a towering, ramshackle ten-story structure around an old white oak tree in Crossville, Tennessee using donated and reclaimed lumber. At the heart of the Minister's Tree House sits a chapel with pews, weathered Bibles, and a basketball hoop. If you brave the rickety ladders to the bell tower, you'll have the religious experience of viewing Jesus (the word, not the person) landscaped into the field below.

Should you stop? While adults may find that frolicking around this giant playhouse for an hour or two inspires childlike wonder, we wouldn't recommend it for young children: There are a few precarious drops and more than a little danger of serious splinters.

Motor lodge: For only $85 a night (or even less Sunday through Thursday nights), you can rent the Mill House Lodge, an old stone mill that sleeps 16 and overlooks an arched dam in the nearby Cumberland Mountain State Park.

Minister's Tree House
Beehive Lane
Crossville, Tennessee

Mill House Lodge
Cumberland Mountain State Park
Crossville, Tennessee
Tel: 931 484 6138

Photo: Courtesy of Chuck Sutherland / Flickr

Next: A fish out of water in Wisconsin >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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