A Natural Getaway

Slip away for lakeside fun at this West Virginia state park resort.
Karen Lingo

From hiking and biking to building after-dinner s’mores, Stonewall Resort offers plenty to do. That’s especially true this month, when days are warm and nights remain cool. The indoor/outdoor pool lures youngsters and adults alike. Fishermen cast their hopes out on the lake. Children gather for naturalist-led activities. Luxury seekers slip into Mtn. Laurel Spa for a few hours of pampering.

Golfers just smile. A splendid 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature course climbs the gentle slopes and spreads down the fingers of land that reach into the lake.

Simple Pleasures
If rain drives guests indoors, board games come out in the library. It’s also the perfect time to climb in the car and go shopping. Before heading out to explore the area, though, browse MountainMade Gallery in the lodge. It carries a selection of handcrafted glassware, jewelry, and pottery by West Virginia artists. The glassware comes from companies such as Blenko Glass in Milton, as well as from individual artisans such as Ron Hinkle, whose studio you can visit near Buckhannon. To sample locally made spirits, tour Lambert’s Vintage Wines in Weston.

Watching deer graze across the resort grounds also makes fine entertainment. Hunkered into a canoe or perched in a golf cart, you can spy the graceful creatures foraging under trees and nibbling at the tender edges of the fairways. Look for them again in late afternoon.

Resort Fare
A few fast food chains pepper U.S. 33 in nearby Weston (Exit 99 off I-79), but your best dining bets are the two restaurants at Stonewall Resort. Lunch and dinner at Lightburn’s, in the clubhouse overlooking the resort, come with beautiful views. Choices range from chicken tenders or a cheeseburger to delicious pan-seared rainbow trout.

Stillwaters, in the lodge, offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you have only one meal here, make it Sunday brunch. For $19 load your plate with treats such as biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, pan-fried catfish, buttermilk chicken, veggie lasagna, garlic mashed potatoes, and crisp green beans. The smorgasbord also includes sandwich and salad makings. Desserts range from apple-caramel cake to lemon bars to homemade cookies.

Chill Out
The patio just outside Stillwaters and T.J. Muskies Lounge offers the perfect place to relax. Just sit and look out over Stonewall Jackson Lake, or when the fire pit is lit, toast some marshmallows and add them to your sweet memories.

Checking In
Stonewall Resort is 90 miles northeast of Charleston, off I-79 at Exit 91. Reserve a room in the lodge (from $119; two suites each come with a whirlpool tub), or book one of the 10 saltbox-style cottages (from $225). Ask about golf and spa packages. For more information contact www.stonewallresort.com, 1-888-278-8150, or (304) 269-7400.

Side Trips
See glassblowing demonstrations at Ron Hinkle Glass 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. For more information visit www.hinklesglass.com, or call (304) 472-7963.
Stop by Lambert’s Vintage Wines in Weston. Jim Lambert gives tours and pours samples of his 23 varieties of wine for tasting. Be sure to try the Symal, made from grapes grown on the property, and the popular semisweet Blackberry Merlot. For more information visit www.lambertsvintagewine.com, or call (304) 269-4903.

More Glass Stops
Appalachian Glass: From I-79, take Exit 99 (U.S. 33 West); www.appglass.com or (304) 269-1030. Watch glassblowing and toymaking demos; shop; and pick up area information at the Visitor Center.
Museum of American Glass in West Virginia: 230 Main Avenue, Weston; (304) 269-5006. See more than 7,000 pieces of antique glassware, and purchase new and old pieces in the gift shop. Open noon-4 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday or by appointment.


"A Natural Getaway" is from the May 2008 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.