80 Miles From Here: Adventuring to Monteagle, Tennessee

Last June our family needed a change of scenery and spontaneously landed on heading up to Monteagle, Tennessee for a one-night trip. What we thought would be just a quick getaway 24-hour getaway to break up the monotony of being at home during the pandemic ended up turning into one of our most memorable, favorite getaways to date.

If you’re looking to get out of town solo, as a couple, with your friends, or as a whole family but don’t want to travel far, consider Monteagle! We left this special city so glad that we’d discovered something so special so close in proximity.

From our home on the southwest side of Madison, our drive took a little over 90 minutes. We left bright and early on a beautiful Friday morning with our three young kids in tow, ages 6, 4, and 11 months at the time. We headed straight to the Fiery Gizzard Trailhead of the South Cumberland State Park to do a little bit of hiking (our youngest was happy being worn in a carrier and has always enjoyed being included in the fun!)

Our goal was to see a waterfall and take our time exploring with no set agenda, so we did just that! We had a small backpack with sandwiches, water, and snacks and planned to eat lunch while hiking as well.

After a roughly one-mile hike down the trail (not super treacherous but definitely wanted to hold the kids’ hands at certain parts), we were rewarded with sighting Foster Falls! My husband was the only one who chose to swim due (the water was still quite cool in early June), we still enjoyed sprawling out our towels, snackin’, and just taking a breather. I also very much enjoyed the sight of others relaxing as well. The positive energy was contagious. Everyone seemed happy to be there that morning. It was wonderful!

Once the waterfall area picked up a bit with fellow visitors, we decided to hike back out. Before crossing a short bridge to head uphill, we spotted a shallow, beautiful, sandy creek nearby and made a detour. 

This was a good decision because we ended up camping out there for a while! The water was warm and our kids had a ball playing in the sand, wading in the water, and hunting for unique rocks.

Shortly after lunchtime, we loaded up and hiked back up to our car. It was a workout but also totally manageable for our four-year-old. Highly recommend carrying water bottles.

Our next stop was checking into Monteagle Inn for the evening. Children typically aren’t invited to stay inside the main Bed and Breakfast building, so the kind owners upgraded us to their separate cottage house (still on property). This is where we found Heaven on Earth!

Our oldest kids still call this cottage “Miss Honey’s house” (a reference to the movie Matilda) because of the lush landscaping and general quaint “hideaway” feeling.

It consisted of its own private parking area, a huge yard to run around, a couple of adult bikes to zip around on if interested, a screened-in porch with comfortable furniture to lounge on, a full kitchen, two bedrooms, and more. For our small family, it was perfection and just what the doctor ordered when it came to resting our minds and bodies.

We enjoyed a full breakfast at the property the next morning, which felt like such a treat. Cannot recommend this precious lodging spot enough.

Right next door to the bed and breakfast is Mountain Goat Market, a local staple we enjoyed so much that we admittedly ordered from it twice (dinner and lunch – ha!). Everything was divine: the pizzas, kids’ items, a range of cakes and desserts, and more. In fact, I’m shocked we haven’t driven up there in the last year just for dinner. We enjoyed it that much!

Before heading home the next day, we walked around Monteagle’s quaint downtown area (though much wasn’t open at the time), played at a couple of different playgrounds (mountain-type playgrounds are just so much more fun and adventurous for kids in my opinion!), and then finally drove and walked around the grounds at The University of the South (Sewanee). Breathtaking.

Oh, and we also may have hunted down a few properties for sale too because that’s our favorite pastime when we discover a place we love: to dream about buying an investment/vacation property there. šŸ˜‰ Monteagle checked that box; We could see coming here for years to come to take a deep breath and enjoy everything that’s special about a mountain landscape and lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a quick day trip or overnight getaway from the Madison, Alabama area, consider Monteagle, Tennessee! The Cumberland has numerous trailheads that all offer different views and hiking options. Monteagle Inn is just one idea of many for where to lay your head at night. The cottage option (linked) has a hefty price tag for one night, but if you’re up for a splurge and want to bring more than 2 people, it’s worth it!

Just promise me that you won’t miss grabbing a bite to eat at Mountain Goat. Will you bring me back a pizza? šŸ˜‰

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