The Lodge Report

Jun 1, 2002
Outside Magazine
Access and Resources

Ten rustic bedrooms, with shared baths, start at $99 per adult, including meals; children six to 12 are half-price; kids two to five, $25.

Cheating on Vacation: Cheat Mountain Club's lodge

WARNING: If you are pregnant, or have kids of any age, read on. This report contains information guaranteed to provide you with the premier places to rest you head. Then rip it in the great outdoors with your wee ones.
Durbin, West Virginia

Thomas Edison visited the Cheat Mountain Club in the summer of 1918. Old Tom strung up lights on the lawn and slept beneath the stars—he couldn't get enough of the fresh air and mountain scenery. Your kids probably will want to do the same, and snooze in the shadows of 4,800-foot peaks and the tall hardwoods of Monongahela National Forest—until, that is, they hear the midnight howl of a coyote.

Built as a private hunting and fishing lodge for Pittsburgh steel barons in 1887, the three-story, hand-hewn log building feels as it might have 100 years ago. The great hall, with oversize maple furniture and a stone fireplace, is perfect for curling up with a book or singing songs by the piano. Hearty meals of fish and game, homemade soups and bread, as well as kids' fare, are served in the family-style dining room. Children can raid the cookie jar—full of chocolate-chip and oatmeal-raisin goodies—at will.
Out the back door, you can fly-fish Upper Shavers Fork River, known for rainbow, brown, and brook trout. When the lines get tangled, take the afternoon to explore the ten miles of trails that wind through Cheat Mountain's 180 wooded acres. My kids like the nearby Gaudineer Scenic Area, where a surveyor's error spared a tract of red spruces, some 100 feet tall and 300 years old.
Afterward, it's fun to goof off on the three-acre lawn, playing horseshoes or flying kites. As the sun sets, sit on the terrace overlooking the river. You, too, might be tempted to sleep outside. Then again, you'll want to be well-rested for tomorrow's adventures.