If you like off-roading and you own a Jeep (or are dreaming about owning one), you will want to know what this ridiculous hill-climbing, mud bogging, glow-riding, barbie-jeep racing, sitting in the creek, camping, and live music event at the Loretta Lynn Ranch is all about. (Oh, and you should buy that dam Jeep already!)
3rd Annual TN TrailJam
The TN TrailJam kicked off its 3rd year, in the middle of a pandemic, riots, and protests all around the country. This event held annually at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN, went off without a glitch. No arguments about politics could be heard. All you could hear was laughter and Jeeps revving as everyone got along and were eager to help one another navigate some tricky trail sections or offer some grilled delights from a campfire cook session, all while being respectful of the whole socially distant thing.
Raising Money for Kids, Too!
The TN TrailJam isn’t just one big Jeep hell raisin’ party (well, it is), this event has a serious side. Raising money for the 23rd District Child Advocacy Center, a non-profit agency that serves children who have been victims of abuse in the Dickson, Tennessee area. This year the event raised $12,500 for CAC and that brings the three year total to $25,000. That’s pretty amazing for an event only in its 3rd year.
Lots of Great Activities
Loretta Lynn Ranch manager Anthony Brutto organizes the event along with the Topless in Tennessee Jeep Club. These guys and girls work hard to take this event to the level it is. It offers an action-packed camping weekend featuring all different trail rides from beginner to very challenging trails, and are all marked correctly (something you don’t find too often).
The trails are open daily and require that you show up to the riders meeting each morning to get your window sticker for trail access. Besides trail rides, you will also get a kick out of the mud bog event, where not too many Jeeps successfully make it through, hill climbs, obstacle courses, a parade on the motocross track, Barbie Jeep races (yes, grown men and women flying down a hill in those small Barbie Jeeps we enjoyed as children) and a nighttime glow trail ride; hundreds of Jeeps covered in glow sticks making their way through the trails on the Loretta Lynn Ranch property.
During the day, you can also sign up for a winery tour ride and stop at a distillery. It is Tennessee, after all. Besides all these fun things to do, they have Jeep vendors set up and everyone’s favorite: food vendors!
Thank You, Loretta
The cool part about this event is the location and it’s history, all thanks to country legend Loretta Lynn. Her life is an open book told through the lyrics of her chart-topping songs, like “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” also shared on the big screen by the Oscar-winning 1980 film based on her best-selling autobiography of the same name. Sissy Spacek plays Loretta Lynn, and it’s an iconic American dream story. A rags-to-riches journey of a young girl growing up with seven siblings in a one-room shack in Kentucky’s hollows to the stardom she obtained in country music in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1966 Loretta and her late husband Mooney found a home they loved and bought it; they also bought the tiny town the home was in. Hurricane Mills consisted of a post office, the gristmill that once provided electricity for the house, and a general store with a filling station.
After purchasing the property, fans started to come around and camp on her land, she sometimes even gave tours of her home. She never turned her back on her fans, so in 1974 the Loretta Lynn Ranch was open. Loretta and her husband both enjoyed off-roading and owned several Jeep’s; it was the preferred way to travel the 3500-acre property. It’s no wonder grandson Anthony, now Ranch Manager would have a desire for off-roading, as he grew up riding the many trails of the LL Ranch.
The Ranch now hosts several events annually from Jeep riding to Horse riding, to motocross. They offer fully equipped RV spots, plenty of tent camping, and lots of cute cabins. At the heart of the Ranch is a 2500 seat pavilion where concerts happen with live bands performing nightly during the TN TrailJam event.
One of the highlights during the warm weekend is riding your Jeep down to Hurricane Creek, which runs right through the LL Ranch property, where families enjoy kayaking, canoeing, tubing, fishing, and just splashing around.
You can follow the TN TrailJam page on FB to stay on top of what’s in store for the 2021 event. If you haven’t been to this event, we highly suggest you mark it on your calendar. Can only imagine how good next year’s event will be, you know — minus the pandemic.
Sara Liberte: Read more of her articles.
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