Hosts John and Caryl Cowden dreamt of
creating an inn to provide the finest accommodations for
their guests, yet reflect the natural beauty of the area.
In 1986, they made their dream a reality on the richness
and sheer beauty of the land that led Colonel Charles
Lewis to settle here more than two centuries ago. His vast
3,200-acre mountain farm, once known as Fort Lewis
Plantation, has remained relatively unchanged over its two
hundred year history.
The Main Lodge and Silo centers
on a warm, welcoming gathering room and offers 8 cozily
decorated guestrooms with locally hand-crafted shaker
styled furniture. The attached glazed-tile silo has been
renovated with a spiral staircase leading to 3 very
private bedrooms-in-the-round. There's even a lookout on
top for expansive views of rolling meadows and rugged
cliffs towering above the river.
Cabins: For the ultimate
romantic getaway, guests can choose an historic, hand-hewn
log cabin. These one and two bedroom cabins feature Bob
Timberlake-style furnishings, as well as large stone
fireplaces, rocking chair porches, plus extra amenities
like refrigerators and coffeemakers. All accommodations
have access to the relaxing hot tub located on one of the
lodge's many spacious decks.
The Riverside House, which is
on the Lodge's upper tract, is a secluded location with 5
spacious bedrooms and numerous porches. All this plus the
Shenandoah Mountains on the horizon and the river down
below...what a way to get away from it all!
Fort Lewis Lodge's estate of mountains
and forests, fields and streams offers you countless
activities outside the front door. Make a splash in the
summer in one of Virginia's most beautiful rivers, the
Cowpasture. The lodge's "swimming hole" brings
back memories of innocent bygone days. Float downstream in
an innertube, or just dangle your feet from the deck and
breathe the clean mountain air. For the serious fisherman
or weekend angler, the lodge offers miles of clean river
teeming with fish. The Cowpasture holds a large population
of smallmouth bass, and there are also rock bass just
right for kids to catch. Rainbow Trout are stocked in the
early spring, making the lodge a fisherman's paradise
There are miles of trails through these
wooded mountains, some gentle, some more vigorous.
Limestone caves entice the intrepid spelunker. If
bicycling is your passion, you will enjoy taking the
winding roads through this rural countryside. Mountain
trail bikers can tackle logging roads into the wilder
country. There's a lot more to do nearby, including Warm
Springs, Virginia, the soothing octagonal mineral baths
designed by Thomas Jefferson, only thirty minutes away.
Five miles further is Hot Springs, and the world famous
Homestead Resort. Hot Springs boasts Garth Newel Chamber
concerts, wonderful shopping at the Cottage Row shops and
superb golf at The Cascades, one of the finest courses in
Serious photographers, artists and
nature watchers will discover a natural paradise at Fort
Lewis. That's because wildlife management practices are
devoted to enhancing the natural habitat of a variety of
woodland creatures. A pheasant release program has brought
these beautiful long-tailed birds into the corn field
stubble. Ruffed grouse startle trail walkers with their
sudden flight and hawks (red tails and ospreys ) are a
common sight. If you are lucky, you might spot an eagle.
Wood ducks nest along the Cowpasture river and, sometimes,
on chilly fall mornings, you'll hear the ghost-like
honking of Canada geese. Fox, deer, wild turkey, bobcat,
and mink abound, and, every so often, someone comes across
an old black bear scuffling a tree stump for ants. These
are the gifts that nature bestowed Fort Lewis.