There are very few electrical appliances here at The Close. Refrigerators, stoves, water heaters and room heaters are run on propane. There are wood burning stoves and fireplaces for additional heat as needed. However, we do have convenience of electrical use by way of generators at each building which will run small appliances such as hair dryers. Bethany will run larger appliances. Air conditioning is supplied at all cabins. Bear in mind that we ask that generators only be used as necessary, usually for lighting in the evenings until bed-time. There are candles, flashlights, and charged LED bulbs that can illuminate the buildings when the generators are not in use. Note: IF YOU REQUIRE CPAP, YOU WILL NEED TO BRING CHARGED BATTERIES SINCE THE GENERATORS DO NOT RUN ALL NIGHT.
There is treated water on the property, fed to each cabin by way of cisterns. However, you will need to bring your own drinking water for your retreat. Bottled Spring Water is ideal for drinking and meal preparation.
Cell phone use is very limited here at The Close. You may get some service on ridgetops on the property and nearer to town.
Wildlife Habitat Considerations
Wildlife live and frequent the grounds. Bear, Turkey, Coyote, Bobcats, Deer, Geese, Ducks, Owls, Hawks, and a host of smaller game are seen on the property and throughout the surrounding woodlands. It is important that you keep trash inside or in the supplied trash canisters, never outside the cabins. Enjoy the wildlife from a distance.
In addition, there are a number of ticks, bees, and insects during the Spring and Summer seasons. If you have allergies, please bring appropriate medications as we are at least 30 minutes away from medical care facilities.
Due to our purpose, cleaning, and wildlife considerations, we DO NOT allow pets on the property. We DO NOT kennel pets.
Cabins and lodges have linens provided. You may check the Accommodations Page for information about additional linen needs.
The person making the reservation for a group is responsible for all information and safety issues surrounding your stay at The Close. There are important considerations as explained above that should be expressed to each individual coming to stay here.
The group leader or family member should check in at the gate house for final instructions.
Bird songs and calls of Canadian Geese fill the cool morning air. An occasional weather front rushes through and warmer air fills the void. The river continues to speak of it’s power and the thunder begins to roll in the distance. The rustle of life begins anew as if rising from a restful night of tranquil sleep. It is a busy time of year on the Cumberland Plateau.
The weather is ideal for both indoor and outdoor activities throughout the season. Daytime temperatures range from the 30’s to the 70’s and average around 65. Night time temps, however, can fall into the 20’s but generally stay around 40. Mid Spring ushers in rain and thunderstorms which continue to recharge the earth before the dry Summer months. A surprise snowfall can occur as Spring nears it’s mid point. Summer heat and humidity begins setting in by June and lasts until September.
Transient birds and water fowl as well as native wildlife are plentiful. Deer, Rabbits, Squirrels, Raccoons, Turkey, and other wildlife forage on new vegetation and leftover nuts and seeds. Mice begin to ramble in the meadows. Red wing blackbirds and geese make their way back to the ponds and marsh areas. Wood ducks and Ring Neck ducks make their way through the area settling briefly on the ponds that lie on The Close. And, of course, fishing is a relaxing activity throughout the day.
Early Spring (Mid March - Mid April): A cozy cabin awaits the end of daily activities during this cool start to the season. It is a good time for hot cocoa, journaling, reading, study and prayer. Tufted Titmouse and Goldfinch are still common along the woodland edges. Woodpeckers, Purple Finch, Cardinals, and Robins can be seen in abundance. Remote areas on the Close and the National Forest are still accessible. However, be careful on wet days when you are near the bluffs and steep hills. Please inform us when you plan to venture into the surrounding woodlands. You will need to dress in layers. Non-cotton garments are recommended with layers of wool and or fleece. A rain shell should be worn over your clothing or, at least, carried with you. Remember gloves and toboggan to cover your skin. Keep your feet warm and dry with liner socks, wool socks, and waterproof boots.
Mid Spring (Late April - Late May): Daylight hours continue to lengthen and woodland rambles are pleasant, although gnats and ticks begin to flourish. It is still a great time for restful sleep, reading, journaling and communion with Christ.
Late Spring (Late May - Late June): Warm, humid air begins to replace the cool dry air until Autumn. Morning and evening fog blankets the ridge saddles and surrounding gorge until the sun burns the moisture off the following day. It is still a good time to be out. So bring your camera, Bible, book and sketch pad.
A Spring packing list should include: Socks, Liner Socks, Boots, Dry clothes for cabin wear, Hangers to hang wet clothes, wool, and fleece layering garments, Cotton undergarments and outer garments in late spring. Remember gloves, water repellent shell, food, zip lock bags, camera, binoculars, blankets, clothes for warmer days, strong storage containers, drinking water, drink mixes, Bible, journal, pencil, drawing supplies, note pad, and other items specific to your goals on retreat.
Don’t forget your insect repellent or dress to keep these pests away from your skin.
Spring is in the air and a fresh look is always present at The Close. Cozy rooms with little distractions make for a fulfilling stay throughout the season.
Stillness characterizes daily heat and humidity along the Cumberland Plateau. As evening approaches, the chorus of cicadas will be heard along with owls and woodland rustling. Early summer storms give way to heat from mid July until September. And early morning and evening fragrances permeate the surrounding woodlands and meadows, signaling all is ready for settling peace.
Daytime temperatures range from the 80’s to mid 90’s and average around 90. Night time temps will range in the 60’s but often settle in the muggy 70's. Summer is still a great time to find a shady cabin and write, journal, pray, read or rest in the mid day. Evenings are generally cool enough to enjoy the lakes or hike the surrounding trails.
Deer, Rabbits, Squirrels, Raccoons, Turkey, and other wildlife are active during the nights and early mornings foraging in the abundance that may be found. Bears occasionally visit The Close and surrounding woodlands. Please be careful and take trash to the canisters at the barn. Food should be sealed and stored within the lodges.
Early Summer (Mid June - Mid July): Wake up to fresh scents of the woodlands. It is a good time for cool drinks, journaling, reading, study and prayer. Tufted Titmouse and Goldfinch can still be spotted along the woodland edges. Woodpeckers, Turkey, Hawks, and Owls can be spotted as well. Remote areas on The Close and the National Forest are not as accessible and, in fact, are not recommended due to the abundance of snakes and biting insects. We ask that you still inform us when you plan to venture into the surrounding woodlands. Fog builds in the surrounding gorge in the evenings, creeping into the saddle in the center of The Close and settling for the nights. It is almost a nightly occurrence that lasts well into September. It is best to layer your clothing with lightweight materials. Non-cotton garments are recommended. A rain shell should be worn over your clothing or, at least, carried with you.
Mid Summer (Mid July - Late August): Daylight hours continue to lengthen and heat builds along the ridges. Coves provide a respite. Yet, gnats and ticks can be pesky. So, bring repellant. It is still a good time for rest, reading, journaling and communion with Christ.
Late Summer (Late August - Late September): Heat wanes. However, mid September brings occasional tidings of cooler days. Morning and evening fog blankets the ridge saddles and surrounding gorge until the sun burns the moisture off the following day.
A Summer packing list should include: Socks, Boots, Dry clothes for cabin wear, Hangers to hang wet clothes, Capalene or poly layering garments, Cotton undergarments and outer garments can be worn but tend to stay damp. Remember a rain shell, food, zip lock bags, camera, binoculars, blankets, light clothes for hot days, strong storage containers, drinking water, drink mixes, Bible, journal, pencil, drawing supplies, note pad, and other items specific to your goals on retreat.
Don’t forget your insect repellent or dress to keep these pests away from your skin.
Temperature and weather varies in Autumn. We are blessed with cooler nights and warm, pleasant days. There are also a good deal of foraging native and transient birds and water fowl. Deer and turkey come foraging on nuts and seeds. Late autumn gives us cool days and cold, dark evenings with little or no pests. It is a very quiet time of year. There are greater chances for outdoor activities throughout the season.
Here is a condensed list of things to consider when you stay at The Close in Autumn. And, of course, we can provide you with up-to-date information to help you plan for your stay with a phone call..
Early Autumn (Mid September - Mid October): Evenings are cooler with the promise of sitting around the campfire telling stories or having an in depth conversation in the confines of the cabins. Access to more remote areas on The Close and the National Forest become more possible. Foliage colors are beginning to show on many of the under-story trees and shrubs. You will need to dress warmly for evenings and bring cool clothing for warm days.
Remember, seed ticks are plentiful in the woods, so wear long pants tucked into heavy socks to provide skin protection when going into the forest. Bring allergy medications for ragweed and other plants or pests. Also, bring storage containers that will withstand critters as they will be more than eager to help themselves to your meal. Be aware of the possibility of snakes that gather on the roads in the evenings.
Mid Autumn (Mid October - Mid November): Days and evenings are pleasant which provide great sleeping conditions. Foliage colors are vibrant, wildlife viewing is abundant, and pests are few. October and November are great times to be at The Close. You can smell the leaves in the air and hear approaching wildlife.
The weather is unpredictable from day to day. Critters are still finding places to live in the winter. Prepare for a wide variety of conditions, but a good campfire and smore’s liven up a cool evening.
Late Autumn (Mid November - Late December): Cool days and ample viewing conditions give opportunities for exploration in the otherwise non-accessible areas around The Close. There are bluffs, valleys, waterfalls, rock houses, overlooks, and native vegetation to explore.
Rain and Fog are normal during this time of year. Watch for slippery areas and muddy conditions especially around cliff lines. Conditions often are good for outdoor photography.
An Autumn Packing List might include: Wool Socks, Liner Socks, Boots, Dry Clothes for cabin wear, Hangers to hang wet clothes, Polypropolene under garments for mid to late Autumn, Cotton undergarments for early Autumn, Fleece, Wool, Gloves, Water Repellent Outer Shell Clothing, Warm Meals, Zip Lock Bags, Camera, Binoculars, Bug Repellent, Camera, Binoculars, Blankets, Cool Clothes for warm days, Strong Storage Containers, Food, Drinking Water, Drink Mixes, Bible, Journal, Pencil, Drawing Paper, Note Pad, and other items specific to your goals on retreat.
Winter is a very tranquil time for a retreat at The Close. The rustling of the leaves have long gone, just the sound of the breeze whooshing through the evergreen boughs. The roar of the river nestled in the gorge is more prevalent and soothing to hear. The air is dryer, there is no buzzing of insects, there are open views into the Rockcastle River gorge and extended views into the surrounding Cumberland Plateau.
The weather is ideal for both indoor and outdoor activities. Daytime temperatures range from the 20’s to the 50’s and average around 40. Night time temps, however, can fall into the single digits but generally stay in the 20’s. Precipitation usually falls in the form of rain but we get a few snowfalls averaging 2-3”.
Native and transient birds as well as water fowl can be viewed, especially from mid to late Winter. Deer and other wildlife continue to forage on nuts and grasses. The cotton tails can be readily seen. Mice tend to bring some of the nuts indoors so remember to seal you food.
Early Winter (Mid December - Mid January): This is usually the coldest time of the year with long nights and short days. After taking a brisk walk, it is nice to return to a cozy cabin for hot cocoa, journaling, reading, study and prayer. Birds like the titmouse and goldfinch are common along the woodland edges. Also, remote areas on The Close and the National Forest are accessible. Be careful, however, on wet days when you are near the bluffs and steep hills. Please inform us when you plan to venture into the surrounding woodlands. You will need to dress in layers. Non-cotton garments are recommended with layers of wool and or fleece. A rain shell should be worn over your clothing. Remember gloves and toboggan to cover your skin. Keep your feet warm and dry with liner socks, wool socks, and waterproof boots.
Mid Winter (Mid January - Late February): Daylight hours begins to lengthen and woodland rambles are pleasant. It is still a great time for restful sleep, reading, journaling and communion with Christ. We begin to see the return of robins, woodpeckers, and geese. Insects are few so it is a great time to be outside.
Late Winter (Late February - Late March): Spring Fever spreads with the warmth of the sun, the bird songs, the wildlife, and companionship of friends. Predictably, late freezes temper our fever just a bit. Morning and evening fog tends to blanket the ridge saddles and surrounding gorge. Rains are frequent, so watch for slippery areas and muddy conditions especially around the rim of the plateau. Shades of green begin to show on the surrounding hills and some flowering trees showing color in March. So bring a camera or sketch pad.
A Winter packing list might include: Wool Socks, Liner Socks, Boots, Dry Clothes for cabin wear, Hangers to hang wet clothes, polypro, wool, and fleece layering garments, Cotton undergarments for late Winter. Remember gloves, water repellent shell, warm meals, zip lock bags, camera, binoculars, blankets, cool clothes for warmer days, strong storage containers, drinking water, drink mixes, Bible, journal, pencil, drawing supplies, note pad, and other items specific to your goals on retreat.
Yes, Winter is a great experience. The chill in the air, needle ice, sheets of ice on pond surfaces, the cozy rooms, and little distractions make for a fulfilling stay, here at The Close.
Check the calendar to see if your request date is available. If using a mobile device, you may need to turn the device on it's side to see full calendar.