Cookeville, Tennessee: Hidden HollowBuilt by Arda Lee as his vision of what an amusement park should be. Arda is gone but his park lives on.
- 829 Hidden Hollow Rd, Cookeville, TN
- East of town. Follow Poplar Grove Rd to Mt Pleasant Rd, then turn left onto Hidden Hollow Rd.
- Adults $4, Children $3
Visitor Tips and News About Hidden Hollow
Hidden Hollow has been re-opened! The new owners have since added miniature golf to the list of attractions. They have a catch and release fishing lake, petting zoo, swimming, and many swing sets and play areas for kids.[Suzanne, 05/16/2008]
Arda Lee's Hidden Hollow
My fiance and I drove here from Nashville. It was always a favorite stop of mine during my travels down I-40. We were thinking it might be a good place to hold an outdoor wedding. Sadly, there was a sign saying that Hidden Hollow is closed, and the land will be auctioned off sometime in May. She cried. It was a long, quiet drive back home. As the sign says: "There never was and probably never will be another Hidden Hollow."[Clay Kriese, 05/07/2007]
Arda Lee was 88 when he died in 2004. His daughter Jeannie and her husband, Jimmy Richardson, kept Hidden Hollow going for a few years, but they have apparently packed it in.
Arda Lee had a vision from God in the late '70s to build a park in Cookeville on his 86 acres of land, and he got real serious about it. Problem was he had no money or materials. So he was known to bum around the city and outlying farms and various other shifty places to acquire odd junk materials for free or for trade. He built this really shifty "resort" with a wedding chapel, petting zoo, filthy man made pond, a mill wheel in the creek, etc., etc. After he built all of this himself with only his beat up Chevy pickup, he made a display of the Chevy on a rock outcropping on the side of the hill with a sign that reads, "This truck built Hidden Hollow after its owner had a vision from God. Washed only by rainwater", or something like that. Admission is really cheap or free if he likes you, and its usually populated with some crazy characters who take their kids to swim and play.
He has the most outrageously shady drive-thru Christmas light display, but he leaves them up year-round without plugging them in.[Jonathon Fagan, 12/18/2004]