Our Story

  We've carried a dream of opening a lodge since hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2012- yep, we hiked the entire AT 2184 miles!  It took us five months starting on March 17th at Springer Mountain, GA and finishing August 10th on Mt. Katadhin in Maine. 

It was a life-transforming experience. 

We experienced true joy and peace in the midst of the simplicity and difficulty of the trail.  There was a fresh horizon each day, a new section trod, the beauty of the birds, the trials of the weather, the joy of friendships gained.  The trail beckons us still!  Completing the hike was the most arduous, yet enjoyable experience we've ever had.  So, when we learned that The South Holston Cabins was for sale in November 2019, we knew when we first saw it that it was the right place to fulfill our dream. 

We love the outdoors and experience a great sense of peace, tranquility and a quiet joy when outside. We want to share that experience with others.  We're so grateful to Sarah Van Steenis, the prior owner, for selling her place to us, and we seek to carry forward her dream and that of her mother Bettina.  We renamed it Tailwaters Lodge and we seek to offer experiences for fly fisherman, hikers, couples getaways, bird watchers, and more.  We encourage couples to come to re-connect, build on their relationship, and leave strengthened.  Our lives are so busy today, pulled in so many directions, always expected to be plugged in, seldom having opportunity to rest, so we want folks to come here to unplug, to unwind, and to experience peace, whether through casting your line in the water,  scuffing the dirt of a trail, or poking down the road on a bicycle.  

Meet Bruce & Paula

Bruce grew up in New Hampshire and have been saying that Tennessee feels like a kinder, gentler New Hampshire - similar mountains, rivers, lakes and foliage, yet less snow and less cold!  Paula grew up in upstate New York (Albany area) and spent much of her childhood in the Adirondack Mountains, so we both feel at home in the high-country.  We were married in 1985 and have two children - Jessica, who is now in heaven, and our son Joshua, who lives in Boston, MA.  We believe that this new venture allows us to use our talents, skills, gifts, and experiences for God's glory.  We look forward to your stay with us and we feel confident that you'll be blessed during your time here.