Years ago, I took my oldest son to a party at what has been called the largest treehouse in the world. When I dropped him off, I had this moment of hesitation before I let him get out of the car. I was certainly not prepared for what I saw! This humongous treehouse looked rickety and dangerous. After making him promise to be careful, I let him go. As I drove off, I had second thoughts. And, as I got home, I continued to worry. When I picked him up, he had survived and he had a great time!
Rumors had spread that it had closed due to vandalism and the treehouse was not mentioned in our house again until just recently. My future DIL has been going there and then my husband came home from work asking me about it. Turns out, some people he had worked with were talking about it and encouraged him to check it out. So, we ventured there over the weekend.
I wasn’t sure I remembered the way. You go from a paved road to a dirt road and come to an open gate. You hesitate for a moment because of the keep out signs. But, I knew … if the gate is open, you are welcome inside.
The trees hide the enormity of it as you drive up.
It is built by hand using pieces of scrap wood. A “welcome” sign invites you in.
Once inside, you climb a spiral staircase that has a sort of fun house, dizzying effect on you. Each piece of scrap wood along the stairs has graffiti messages that add to it’s personality!
Once inside, we seemed to only circle this chapel.
I have heard people say that the chapel was a spiritual experience for them. This particular day, it was pretty crowded, so it did not have that effect on me. However, it was thought provoking!
There is said to be secret passages and a basketball court. But, we did not look for them. You could literally spend the entire day there climbing and circling this structure if you dared. And, if you got tired, there were plenty of places to take a load off.
Or to take a nap if you please.
Of course, you hear chit chat from other tourists while you are there. I heard someone say that homeless people live there. I can not confirm this to be true.
I can say, though, that whether it be vandals or just careless visitors, there was a bunch of trash strewn about and even an entire lower level area with trash collected in a heap. I think it is sad that a man can offer his space for all to see for free, yet people are so disrespectful!
To see the treehouse while the trees are bare go here.
There are also many artsy touches to the treehouse … some I captured, some I missed. To see more photos or to find detailed directions, google Minister’s Treehouse Crossville, TN. I found way too many links to share! Most of the sites also share stats on the treehouse. Since I did not speak with the minister, I cannot confirm them to be true.
The treehouse is definitely interesting! And, while we did not feel adventurous enough to find our way to the bell tower, or even see all of it’s rooms … I am glad we did go inside. And, despite the initial dizziness upon entering, I never felt unsafe. The structure feels pretty sturdy. It does have some open areas that drop to the floor below near the trees and the occasional open railing on the outside porches would warrant small children being closely supervised. Otherwise, a must see if you are in the Crossville area!