Relax at Stonewall Resort
Escape to a haven of outdoor activities and luxurious accommodation in Lewis County.
photos courtesy of Stonewall Resort
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Twenty-five years ago, no one could have imagined that the little river town of Roanoke, West Virginia, would be the site of one of the Mid-Atlantic’s finest lakeside resorts. For starters, there was no lake.
By 1990, the picture had changed, and Roanoke lay under 60 feet of water. The new flood control lake was the centerpiece of Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park, named for the Confederate general born and raised about eight miles to the north. Over the next decade, the park became a popular camping, boating, and fishing spot. The story could have ended there, but at the turn of the 21st century, the state partnered with a private developer to build Stonewall Resort. Given the area’s natural assets and accessibility, the success of the venture was virtually assured. The resort’s location was two miles off busy Interstate 79, two hours south of Pittsburgh; four hours from Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; and four and a half hours from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland.
Last year, Stonewall Resort celebrated its 10th anniversary, and the wisdom of its creators has never been more apparent. Built in the style of a 1920s Adirondack hotel, the lodge has a timeless quality and an atmosphere that captivates as soon as you step from your car into the covered archway leading to the entrance. The main doors open onto a hall with soaring ceilings and massive wooden beams. There, and in the spacious common rooms, warmth emanates from natural stone fireplaces. Generous windows provide a constant view of the lake and invite you to step onto the terrace and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
The lodge’s 196 guestrooms are stylishly simple, but with all the modern amenities. The building’s layout spoils you, because so much is under one roof and a short walk from your room. This includes the full-service spa with its fitness center and heated indoor/outdoor swimming pool and the restaurant and lounge.
On the ground level of the lodge is Stillwaters restaurant, where you can choose inside or patio seating—both with lake views—and enjoy an eclectic menu of local game, fish, and produce. Across the hall is TJ Muskies lounge, a comfortable place to cozy up to the fire with drinks, listen to live entertainment on Saturday nights, and perhaps sample one of the signature burgers. After dinner, join other guests around the fire pit to roast marshmallows and make s’mores.
As much as I like the comfort and convenience of the main lodge, my favorite place to stay in summer is one of the 10 modern saltbox-style cottages on the lake. Ranging from two to four bedrooms, they are perfect for a romantic getaway, a private family gathering, or a convivial weekend with golfing or fishing buddies. All of the cottages have vaulted ceilings with exposed cedar beams, stone (gas) fireplaces, mission-style furnishings, and spacious decks with gas grills and comfy outdoor furniture.
The cottages have ample parking for boat trailers, so it’s easy to put the WaveRunner in the water and explore the lake, being respectful of the many no-wake coves favored by fishermen. There are 82 miles of shoreline on the 26-mile-long lake—plenty of room to lose yourself in nature.