Road Trip! Destination: Cabin fever
By Kate Benz
Published: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Sure, room service and a bell hop can be enticing. But how about some quality time getting re-acquainted with Mother Nature? Whether you're looking to truly rough it in a bare-basics abode, go semi-frontier with a cabin that comes complete with fully stocked kitchens, fresh sheets and towels and free firewood, or live in the lap of luxury in an ultra-sophisticated lodge, there are endless opportunities within a short driving distance that beg you to choose your own adventure. Perfect for those oh-so-romantic getaways, family vacations or no-spouses-allowed friend benders.
Kate Benz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-8515.
Leber's Log Cabins
Looking for an authentic experience? Look no further than these little gems located alongside Route 40, aka the National Road, in Fayette County. A few miles down the road from Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, this original destination spot was established in 1932 by Roy and Frances Leber. These days, the cabins are owned and operated by second- and third-generation family members, although they have not lost an ounce of their vintage charm. Quarters can be cozy and secluded — perfect for those romantic getaways. Showers, towels, a fire ring, picnic table and access to the in-ground pool are included in your “rustic” adventure.
Cabins sleep two to six people.
Details: 724-329-5206 or www.leberslogcabins.com
Grand Vue Park
At Grand Vue in Moundsville, W.Va., your sojourn into the woods won't be fraught with nagging feelings of having forgotten something … between the silverware, dinnerware, cookware, towels, sheets, plenty of firewood for the fire pits, matches and fully stocked kitchens, they've got you covered. Choose from three deluxe cabins with two stories, four standard cabins, or the Eagle, a premiere cabin. Those susceptible to panic attacks at the very thought of living a day without technology can rest easy knowing a flat-screen TV and free WiFi are available. “That was a point of contention with my staff. I said, ‘You can't travel that way anymore! It's nice to get away but you've got to be able to check your phone,' ” general manager Craig White says. Outdoor activities still abound, however, including use of the pool; miniature, disc and par-3 golf; a three-hour, dual zipline Canopy Tour; nine miles of mountain biking that are separate from the six miles of walking trails; and a 40-foot-by-40-foot synthetic ice skating rink that can be used no matter what the weather.
Cabins sleep eight to 12 guests.
Details: 304-845-9810 or www.grandvuepark.com
Bitter Goose Cabin and Lodge
The daily grind can leave anyone feeling as though the walls are closing in. For those in need of some wide-open spaces, this 23-acre farm owned by Connie and Randall Hollingshead in Broad Top, Huntingdon County, overlooking the Allegheny Mountains, might just do the trick. Regardless of whether you take an entire tribe with you and shack up in the seven-bedroom lodge (it's one of two of the oldest barns in the county, built before the Civil War), or head out for a romantic getaway in one of four, hand-built, well-secluded cabins, everyone is welcome to nosh on the blackberries and raspberries found growing wild, take a dip in the pool or skate along the pond in the wintertime. Kitchens come fully stocked, bedding and towels are included, and firewood is free. Just don't rest on your laurels when it comes to choosing a date. “I have reservations with certain weeks or weekends from now to infinity,” Connie Hollingshead says.
Most cabins sleep eight to 12 guests. Four cabins sleep up to six people. The lodge sleeps up to 20.
Details: 877-466-3527 or www.bittergooselodge.com
Tom Cat Hollow Lodge
Yearning for the days of a gas-lamp-lit street? A stay at the Tom Cat Hollow Lodge in Tioga County will put you within a short drive of the quaint streets of Wellsboro, within 45 miles to the Finger Lakes, and close to both rims of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Whitewater rafting, trail rides by horseback, and biking the rails-to-trails corridor through the Pine Creek Gorge ensure boredom will remain at bay. Within the cabin itself, a handcrafted spiral staircase leads to an intimate loft with a queen bed, while a separate bunkhouse is equipped to accommodate four more of your favorite people. “We've got stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, hickory cabinetry,” says Catherine Shinaberry, co-owner with husband, Tom. “The outhouse got replaced. That was one of the first things that went.”
Cabins can accommodate up to six people.
BYOB takes on new meaning for guests of the Cherry Ridge Cabins, located just off Interstate 80 in Centre County in the mountains of Bald Eagle Valley. Cooking utensils, dishes and silverware are included, but guests need to bring their own bedding. There's also a Finnish sauna available for those looking to sweat out any stress. “We were up in Michigan and my relatives had a sauna and I said, ‘I'm gonna put one in,' ” says owner Michael Mattis, who relied on his own two hands to erect each abode. “I built the first cabin in 1986 with real logs,” he says. Far from being a small-town secret, Cherry Ridge has found appeal with an international fan club. “We have people come from England and Germany. The guy from Germany ships his luggage,” Mattis says.
Cabins sleep four to six guests.
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