My name is Mike Chandler. My family began vacationing to the Smoky Mountains when I was a child. Every year we stayed somewhere new, that is, until we discovered Townsend. One year, while driving from Chattanooga to Pigeon Forge, we drove through Townsend, and fell in love with the quaintness combined with how much there was to do in one little area. Townsend seemed close to everything, and yet far enough to feel like we were really “getting away” on our vacations. That was the year we first saw our cabin.

We discovered the cabin and others nearby, then owned by the same owner, which offered just what we wanted:

  • A rustic and remote feel
  • Riverfront property
  • Plenty of space
  • Nearby restaurants, things to do, and essentials

Townsend had it all, and the cabins were like heaven to us! So we began coming back every single year, and as our family grew, more people came with us. My sister’s family grew to three children, and each year they brought their five. I eventually married Melanie and she began coming with us.

We made the cabin a yearly Summer tradition until September 2007 when my mother passed away after a three-year fight with cancer. Before she passed away we had one more vacation in June, and we will forever cherish that last vacation with mom at the cabin. Her passing made returning to the cabin too painful, however, and we didn’t return for nine years…

By 2015, Melanie and I had grown our family to three boys—Caleb who was 5, Logan who was 3, and Timmy who was 1. When faced with the decision of where to vacation that Summer, Melanie suggested we return to that cabin. At first I was hesitant, but looking back I’m so glad she encouraged us to go back. That Summer we returned to the cabin and it was amazing to introduce my sons to the place I loved so much. That Summer Caleb caught his first fish, as did Logan with my help. We went to Dollywood, we ate at all our favorite restaurants, explored Cades Cove, and made some amazing memories.

When we arrived that year we noticed an ominous ‘For Sale’ sign posted in front of the cabin. It wasn’t until the end of our stay that it sank in what the sale of the cabin might mean. What if the new owner didn’t rent out the cabin? What if this would be the only opportunity I would ever have to share the cabin with my children? What if my grandchildren never got to go to the cabin?!

As this reality sank in, I realized just how many other people enjoyed the cabin other than us, and just how much was at stake if the cabin were to sell. We wrote down the phone number on the ‘For Sale’ sign, called the owner, and the rest is history.

Today, Rippling Waters Retreat (formerly Smoky Mountain Log Cabins, Cabin #8) is available for rent, like it always has been. We desire to make the cabin available for families and future generations to experience the beauty of the “cabin experience” which we have come to cherish and adore. We invite you and yours to come make a tradition of experiencing the beauty of the Little River’s rippling water in beautiful Townsend, Tennessee.