This winter, the tropics might seem alluring, but we know you better than that. Indeed, we understand that a day spent swooshing down the slopes or simply hiking on a snowy mountain trail beats sand in your swimsuit and sunburn. And if you add a rustic setting—where logs and timbers are a big part of the indoor scenery—inspiration will follow.
Sourwood Inn, Asheville, North Carolina (828-255-0690, www.sourwoodinn.com)
Deep in the woods of western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains is the cedar and stone Sourwood Inn. Though it’s only been around six years, the Arts and Crafts-style inn blends so seamlessly into the forest it looks as if it has been here for much longer.
The 12 guest rooms are simply appointed and accented with Appalachian quilts and handmade rugs. Each has a wood-burning fireplace, a deep soaking tub and a private balcony with a view of Reems Creek Valley. In keeping with the inn’s regional charm, Chef Kacia Duncan serves up local fare with a French twist.
Skiers can hit the slopes at nearby Wolf Laurel or check out their revamped snow-tubing park. Into hiking? The innkeepers also maintain trails on the property’s 100 acres, and they’re perfect for brisk winter walks.
The Point, Upper Saranac Lake, New York (518-891-5674, www.thepointresort.com)
When railroad scion William West Durant built a camp styled after a Swiss chalet on Raquette Lake in the 1870s, he unwittingly began an architectural trend that came to be known as the Adirondack Great Camps. One of the most lavish of these retreats, Camp Wonundra, was built in 1933 for William Avery Rockefeller on a 10-acre peninsula on Upper Saranac Lake. Although Wonundra became The Point resort (pictured above) in 1980, the spirit of the Rockefellers during the heyday of the Great Camp era remains very much alive.
With spacious bathrooms (many with original fixtures), massive chiseled-stone fireplaces, custom-made beds, Adirondack furniture and broad lake views, each of the property’s 11 guest quarters reflects the rustic but elegant signature of the Great Camps. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating.
Canoe Bay, Chetek, Wisconsin (715-924-4594, www.canoebay.com)
Set on the shores of a 50-acre spring-fed lake in the wilds of northwest Wisconsin, Canoe Bay is the kind of place you visit to completely unwind. Sure, there’s snowshoeing, cross-country trails and ice-fishing. But more than likely, you’ll spend your time stargazing from your deck or next to the fireplace with that book you’ve been meaning to read.
Canoe Bay is composed of 12 cedar buildings—including a rough-sawn cedar inn—which house 19 guest rooms and cottages. That’s not to say you’ll be roughing it: Accommodations here are understated but luxurious with warm cedar paneling, Arts and Crafts motifs throughout and comfy beds.
Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson, Wyoming (800-443-6139, www.springcreekranch.com)
Nestled among 1,000 acres on a butte overlooking Jackson Hole Valley, Spring Creek Ranch looks every bit the rugged West—especially with its collection of lodges and condos made from rough-sawn timbers of fir, spruce and lodgepole pine. But inside, it’s all about warmth and comfort. Guest rooms are made cozy with Native American rugs, handmade pine furniture, stone fireplaces and breathtaking vistas of the Tetons.
Besides the three world-class ski areas nearby—Jackson Hole, Targhee and Snow King—the ranch staff maintains 10 miles of groomed cross-country trails and can ar-range back country or heli-skiing. Not into 2,500-foot vertical drops? Try a horse-drawn sleigh ride, dog-sledding or a snowmobile tour of Yellowstone National Park.
Read the full story in the February 2005 issue of Log Home Living.