If These Walls Could Talk
The Paddle House provides pitch-perfect lodging.
Hold on to your tree trunks! The Paddle House raises the bar on luxury vacation rentals at the New River Gorge. It used to be that vacationers seeking a whitewater adventure pitched a tent or rented a rustic cabin—but not anymore. Completed in July 2010, this 3,000 square-foot log home is nestled into the towering trees of the Wild Rock development, an easy walk to Adventures on the Gorge Resort.
The Paddle House, designed by architect Bahlmann Abbot, a Fayette County native and one of Class VI’s former river guides, is more than just a house. It tells a unique story—one lovingly forged by hands of river guides. The New and Gauley Rivers run through the home’s veins, from the native sandstone fireplace built by former whitewater guide B.J. Johnson and his wife, Katie, to the general contractor Craig Wood, who was also once a river guide, to the custom-made cherry cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms created by Chris Benner and his brother, Mike, of Benner’s Custom Woodworking.
“My favorite aspect is the custom cabinetry and the heartwood pine flooring,” says Dave Arnold of Adventures on the Gorge. “We call it ‘Willie Wood’ for one of our former river guides Willie Drake.” The reclaimed sustainable flooring comes from the post-Civil War Lindale Manufacturing textile mill in Lindale, Georgia. Former river guide Willie Drake’s Charlottesville, Virginia, company, Mountain Lumber, began rescuing the historic heart pine wood beams and timbers from the mill in 2006 and cut it to size for The Paddle House.
Designed for three couples, the house has three master suites and a fourth bedroom outfitted with double sets of bunk beds perfect for children. It is even pet friendly with its own custom doghouse. The custom cabinetry in the kitchen is accented by the large expanse of Rainforest Green granite—the granite’s pattern uncannily echoes the forest view from the windows. The kitchen opens into a large family/dining area that will easily accommodate large groups. The neutral palette of the comfortable furnishings from Wells Home Furnishings of Charleston allows the breathtaking outdoor views to take center stage.
The most spectacular scenery is best viewed from the fire pit patio overlooking the New River Gorge. Several Adirondack chairs circling the fire pit provide the perfect spot to relax with friends.
Watch this video to hear Dave Arnold share what he thinks makes The Paddle House so special.