Set on a peninsula surrounded by the waters of Douglas Lake, Baneberry Golf and Resort's 6,735-yard course ripples through terrain lined with waterways and the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Golfers must evade water hazards on ten holes throughout the course while also keeping their shots from straying into tight tree lines. The 523-yard, par-five third hole is Baneberry's most difficult, combining considerable length with a pond that hugs the left side of the green, like a caddy trying to read a putt with his emotions. Before taking to the first tee, golfers can warm up at the driving range.
Course at a Glance:
At the turn of the 20th century, the plantation that was to become Frightmare Manor was just a regular estate, owned by seemingly upstanding citizen Jeremiah Lexer. Lexer, however, turned out to be one of America's earliest and Tenessee's most prolific serial killer. More than 30 corpses were unearthed throughout the property and in its marshy backwoods--and even after Lexer took his own life, mysterious deaths continued to plague the plantation.
Nowadays, Frightmare Manor draws on this horrifying history with haunted houses recently featured in Hauntworld the Magazine and named the #1 Haunted Attraction in Eastern Tennessee by Knoxville News Media. The hair-raising events sprawl across 4.5 acres that house four attractions, including the mansion and its wooded grounds. As visitors explore, spooky special effects and actors create thrills scarier than many haunted houses' ghost-shaped wall decals.
Deep within the Appalachian Mountains, the forest's leaves flutter as a blurry figure speeds by. But the creature high above the treetops isn't a bird, a plane, or a sports mascot recently released back into the wild. It's a person strapped into one of Black Mountain Thunder Zipline’s 11 ziplines, which take customers some 400 feet above the ground and at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Spread over 1.5 miles, the ziplines wind through canopies and down mountain slopes on trips that last roughly two hours. Expert guides tag along on every tour to ensure safety and instruct adventurers on equipment.
27 Drive-In carries on the classic American tradition of watching the silver screen from the reclined seats of an automobile. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at around 8:30 p.m., two towering screens show recent cinematic releases to audience members cozily nestled in laughing Hondas, transfixed Volvos, and sobbing Saturns. Movie-goers motor through a two-lane ticket booth before parking and dialing the radio to an FM station broadcasting the movie’s sound. Anticipated flicks such as Contagion enthrall viewers this September, and the Twilight sequel, Breaking Dawn: Part I will cause theater grass to do sit-ups to withstand getting flattened by the horde of oncoming vehicles.
Sheltowee Trace Outfitters’ founder, Rick Egedi, has navigated Kentucky’s waters since 1981. At his adventure center, he and his staff lead guided trips on area rivers, such as the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. Canoers, whitewater rafters, and tubers can float through placid, sun-dappled segments or conquer frothing rapids; alternatively, shorter trips ferry adventurers straight to the foot of the Cumberland Falls, where they can feel the waterfall’s spray and see that, despite conspiracy theories, it is not just water descending an escalator.
For landlubbers, the center’s activities range from trips up a climbing wall to geocaching excursions, on which visitors prowl through the surrounding greenery on a tech-savvy scavenger hunt using GPS tracking to turn up hidden caches of trinkets. During multiday outdoor trips, visitors can spend the night in nearby lodgings, such as quaint cabins and campgrounds, rather than sleeping atop nature’s waterbed—the puddle.
Birds and Clays, Inc. equips 12 forested stations with automatic traps that shoot sporting-clay targets high in the air, where they attempt to evade hunters’ bullets with swift, aerial maneuvers. Sporting clay professionals acquaint visiting duos with their weapons and equipment before waving them on to solve vendettas against clay in a manner that doesn’t terrorize local pottery shops. Trappers man the stations and load six to eight disks at each as guests take aim, hoping to shatter as many proxy pigeons as possible before heading through the woods to the next station. A limited number of golf carts swiftly shuttle patrons between stations when available, and cartless dischargers can trek the woodsy paths via foot or off-roading skateboards.
At True Flight Indoor Archery’s 14 indoor lanes, archers nock their arrows and let them fly to the targets 20 yards away, unimpeded by the errant breezes and impatient arrowhead collectors that so often spoil perfectly aimed shots outdoors. Shorter 10- and 15-meter lanes level the field for newbies to hone their technique, and the staff—affiliated with the National Archery in the Schools Program—imparts basic skills during private lessons. The shop also sells equipment from brands such as Martin Archery, Lancaster Archery Supply, and Maple Leaf Press, outfitting avid shooters with bows designed for marksmanship, hunting, or launching spare sets of castle keys down from the bastion.