Why Live on Renegade Mountain, or Better Yet, Why Wouldn’t You?
Welcome: “Quite possibly the best place to live in Tennessee” is not just our slogan…it’s our state of mind, and here’s the proof! Renegade Mountain currently consists of approximately 900 acres in platted lots, living units, and infrastructure completely surrounded by an 1800 acre conservation easement (can never be developed) of pristine woodlands. Renegade Mountain is located on the beautiful and unique Cumberland Plateau in the heart of Tennessee. There are currently 1361 platted lots/living units that range from ¼ acre “membership” lots at the bottom of the mountain (elevation 1900’) to building lots at the top of the mountain (elevation 2680’) with many lots sporting 60-100 miles views. In closing, think about this…when the virgin winds sweep down off the slopes of the Rocky Mountains, they don’t encounter a single obstacle on their 2,000-mile journey to the east until they gently sway the wind chimes on your porch. Welcome to Renegade Mountain!
Location: Renegade Mountain is located in Cumberland County on the Cumberland Plateau, a 40 mile wide, 1900’ elevated landmass that runs from northern Alabama to West Virginia. Renegade’s location is close to the eastern escarpment of the Plateau which is the dividing line between the Eastern and Central Time Zones. The community of Crab Orchard sits at the base of Renegade Mountain and the County Seat of Cumberland County, Crossville, lies 10 miles to the west. Knoxville lies 50 miles to the east via I40, Nashville lies 120 miles to the west via I40 and Chattanooga lies 70 miles to the south via US 27; on a clear day all three areas can be seen from Renegade’s summit.
The Area: The area is nature at its best, and therefore outdoor activities abound. The Plateau is home to Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, Obed Wild & Scenic River, Catoosa Wildlife Area, well, you get the picture. If you like hiking, biking, four-wheeling, fishing, or hunting, it literally exists at your doorstep, and swimming underneath the 110’ Ozone Waterfall, located just two minutes from our entrance, is quite the experience. Even though nature abounds here, people and their sense of “community” are the Plateau’s biggest asset…the vast majority being warm, friendly, and helpful. Due to its rugged terrain, the Plateau area was not readily accessible until Interstate 40 traversed the Plateau in the late 1970s. Therefore, visiting Crossville and the surrounding area is like traveling 25 years back in time. There are no large malls, but the downtown area thrives; there are few “chain” restaurants, but dozens of “mom and pop” places that serve real home-cooked meals; there are no “connectors” to relieve traffic, just “Main” street or the “four-lane” where almost everything can be found; there is no “hustle and bustle”, just time to stop on the street and talk to your banker. Summed up, the area is the best-kept secret of places to live…Shssshhhh!
Brief History: If you like history, you’re in the right place! Renegade Mountain (officially Haley’s Mountain) was the summer hunting grounds for the Cherokee. It is the unofficial starting point for the Trail of Tears and the site of the last Indian battle “east of the Mississippi”. Many artifacts are still found here today and the mountain possesses its own Indian burial ground. Thomas (Big Foot) Spencer was the first white settler in the area; his 222-year-old grave marker and historical marker adjoin the entrance to Renegade Mountain. Renegade Mountain was formed in the 1960s by the “renegade” bankers and financiers who swarmed to the new “wilderness” to build the next best retirement resort. Over the years Renegade has hosted a ski resort and a world-class golf course, but through developer mismanagement and several bankruptcies, the mountain has reverted back to its more natural state and beauty.
Geology: Normally a boring geology discussion would be inappropriate, but the Plateau’s geology is anything but boring. The Plateau’s eastern escarpment experienced nature’s forces so extreme that the layers of rock actually folded over upon one another until they rested upside down. Here, on the Plateau, limestone is mined and sandstone is quarried, just the opposite of everywhere else in the world. Over centuries, the overhead pressure of the limestone made the sandstone hard and durable while the limestone water and minerals permeated and colored the sandstone. Together these factors produced the famous and colorful Crab Orchard Stone which is quarried only here and exists nowhere else in the world. It can be seen in the White House, Rockefeller Center, Frank Lloyd Wright designs, and is shipped around the world. Why is this important? Renegade Mountain is comprised of millions of tons of Crab Orchard Stone, and while some people may pay a hefty price for this unique stone, you can pick it up on your lot for free! Crab Orchard, “the stone capital of Tennessee” literally lies beneath you!
The Mountain: Renegade Mountain consists of approximately 900 acres in developed acreage, 70 acres in a golf course (closed), 1800 acres which is part of a private conservation easement, and among other unique features, has two waterfalls and nine ponds, all with fish. There are 5700 acres of undeveloped wilderness adjoining Renegade Resort’s southern boundary. While driving the 1.3-mile loop around the summit, you might witness a sunrise over Knoxville (50 miles), watch a thunderstorm pounding Kentucky (60 miles), marvel at a sunset over Nashville (100+ miles) or just admire the blue haze over the Smokey Mountains (90 miles). In addition to long-distance scenic views and natural beauty at every turn, the mountain offers two other notable attributes; weather and wildlife. At 2680’ elevation, we make our own weather! A winter condition called “Hoar Frost” coats everything (even spider webs) in a thin coat of ice that shimmers and glistens in the sun as it melts. Yes, it snows up here (snow plow and salt spreaders on site), but not to worry, a local adage says that “nothing melts faster than Tennessee snow!” And, on occasion, the high pressure moving in squeezes the last frozen water crystals out of the air causing “Diamond Dust” that dances and sparkles in the sun. On the brighter side, summers offer cool breezes and temperatures in the lower 80’s (the temperature here has never (unofficially) broken the ninety-degree mark). And last, but certainly not least, is our abundant wildlife…it’s simply amazing. Residents routinely see deer, turkeys, hawks, and eagles and if you’re more observant you might see our bear, bobcats, coyotes, badger, and yes, even that occasional rattlesnake. On one cool morning, we woke to find four buffalo roaming through (after escaping captivity). Even an elk showed up one time. In short, our mountain is a unique and mystical place to live and offers adventure every day of the week.
Community: By far, community is the biggest asset of Renegade Mountain. The residents, mostly early retirees, come from very diverse backgrounds, and while they prize their independence and privacy, they are always quick to come to the aid of a neighbor in need…any need. Current residents include authors, artists, military, engineers, consultants, nurses, doctors, and professors who willingly volunteer their time for the greater good of their community. This may involve anything from grabbing a loaf of bread at the store for a neighbor to the “resident” nurse checking in on someone with the flu. Our residents walk, run, ride bikes, and four-wheel individually and together in groups while the HOA collectively hosts mountain workdays and sponsors monthly social events for residents/guests.
Conclusion: If you value scenic beauty, wildlife viewing, and a sense of community over the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you probably have just found your new home and community. We certainly have had our share of problems, and there are more bumps in the road ahead, but with the diverse experience and undying commitment of our residents, Renegade Mountain will surely continue to prosper and grow. We focus on Quality of Life, and not Quantity. Come experience “Life Elevated at 2700 Feet”. Welcome to your new home…Renegade Mountain!
Looking for more to do from your back yard? Check out this list of forty things to do from your Renegade Mountain back yard!