Lonely Planet Writer

You can camp underground at these adorable 'hobbit huts' in Middle Tennessee

Would you camp underground? Forget pitching a tent or renting a cabin: in Tennessee, those looking for a connection to nature can now book these adorable little ‘hobbit huts’ nestled in the hills just off the famed Natchez Trace Parkway.

'Hobbit hut' at Forest Gully Farms, Tennesee.
‘Hobbit hut’ at Forest Gully Farms, Tennesee. Image by Forest Gully Farms

Located on the grounds of Forest Gully Farms, these three tiny houses – called Gully huts – must be booked as a set. The red and yellow huts are sleeping cabins; the green hut is a tiny kitchen. The cozy compound, which just opened up reservations for April 2017 and beyond, rents for $250/night and can sleep up to 8 people.

'Hobbit hut' at night.
‘Hobbit hut’ at night. Image by Forest Gully Farms

Owners Jon and Mandy Giffin conceived the project as a way to allow visitors to experience their 15-acre ‘food forest’ – a collection of fruit- or nut-bearing trees, shrubs and perennials that are not traditionally farmed and therefore sustainable – in a way that was both ‘visually unobtrusive and sustainably minded,’ says Mandy Giffin.

'Hobbit hut' bedroom.
‘Hobbit hut’ bedroom. Image by Forest Gully Farms

‘Our vision of grouping several small huts together matched an idea Rocy and Melissa Pillsbury of [Maine-based] Wooden Wonders had always wanted to try and build,’ explains Giffin. So in the summer of 2015, the Pillsburys and their two small boys spent 5 months in Tennessee constructing the eco-friendly dwellings, whose underground location allows for natural earth insulation and drastically reduces heating and cooling costs.

Chickens at Forest Gully.
Chickens at Forest Gully. Image by Forest Gully Farms

The Giffins, who also offer tours of the farm with advance reservations, want to help visitors ‘notice the small things; the sight of a shooting star, the smell of a flower, the sounds of wildlife or the taste of fresh fruits or vegetables,’ says Giffin.

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