Love to escape the city hustle and bustle for a rural and wild experience by the lake ❤ , then the Salt Fork Lodge, Cambridge, Ohio is the place to go! The resort has beautiful cabins beside the lake and on hillside (though I wouldn’t say secluded). You could also take the rooms in the main hotel building for your stay, but the cabins are definitely perfect for that wild serene experience. We saw one of the most magical sunsets over the lake. Words or pictures can’t explain how beautiful the sunset was!
About the Lodge & Park
The lodge was opened in 1970s and sits right beside the Salt Fork lake. The park, spread over 17000+ acres, is the biggest state park in Ohio. While driving to the resort soak in the dreamy countryside houses and farms in the Lori City. There are picturesque view points all along the way to take a stop and admire the landscapes. The drive to the resort takes you through tall trees along both sides! It’s just mesmerizing how they play the light and shadow game at dawn and dusk, making it a best photo op.
The park has a campground and reservation details are here in case you would like to just book that instead of the lodge. November to March is the off peak season and some sites may be closed or have limited amenities.
Quick link to the location of the Lodge. There are some spots when your GPS would go in SOS mode, so once you take a turn for the Salt Fork State Park, follow the signs on the road to reach the reception lobby. Divert to R-3 from R-1 and keep going straight past the Golf Course to reach the hotel lobby.
Cabin & the amenities
There are 54 rustic cabins in the resort,sitting along the lake side with 2 dedicated parking spots for each one. We were there in winters so the lake was mirror-like and still most of the time and the reflections were absolutely stunning. There are a few pet friendly cabins as well. The cabins come with the basic kitchen appliances like oven, microwave, stove and refrigerator and basic utensils to make your stay comfortable. The toiletries provided are limited , so you may as well pack yours.
Each cabin comes with a fire pit and barbeque, you can buy the firewood from the gift shop at the resort. With cabin holiday package, you get one free large pizza from the Timbers Restaurant and free ice bag. Some cabins come with their own jacuzzis overlooking the beautiful lake, but if you do take a room and not the cabin – there are swimming pools and hot tubs open to the guests.
Every weather has its own charm, so its absolutely fine to visit the resort in the off season. Since we went in a colder weather, we saw the most beautiful sunset on the still iced lake and in the morning as we went near the lake we could see the layer of ice taking over the lake.
The cabin holiday package does come with late check out options, so mention it at the time of booking or while collecting the keys. They have free of charge pack and plays available in case you are traveling with babies. We strongly recommend take the cabins for your stay! They will transport you away from all the noise, into a calm and idyllic setting – much needed on that special getaway you are planning!
Activities & things to do
Trails and wildlife encounters:
There are 14 serene trails that take you in the wilderness around the resort, one starting at the resort reception. So get your gear and go hiking. The park has deers, wild turkey and other wildlife.
The park is home to one of the largest inland public beaches in Ohio, swimming is allowed during the day only. You can reserve kayaks or boats to go around the lake. The resort allows fishing and hunting. However, do check the rules and regulations at the reception. During the icy winter months, go for snow sledging (bring your own) or snowmobiling.
Look for Bigfoot:
Legend has it that the Bigfoot is still wandering in the Salt Fork State park, why not go around to search for it.
Other resort activities :
If you are staying in the room and not the cabin, you could reserve one of the family fire pits. Take a dip in the indoor or outdoor pools and hot tubs or just spend your day golfing or playing other sports on the property. Spend some quality time with your loved ones over a friendly match of the complimentary board games available at the reception.
We went to the lodge in the winters and hence didn’t really get “bugged” by any bugs or insects. Probably, they must be hibernating. However, based on the reviews we read online, there may be bugs, fleas etc in summers as this lodges is nestled right in the forest. If that is something that does “bug” you, feel free to buy a protective spray.
If you do plan to have a campfire, it’s best to purchase the firewood kits from the lodge itself. The kit does not come with a fire starter, so if you do want an easy peasy no hassle camp fire, do buy one from the gift shop.
Been around US ? Which are your favorite must see recommendations? Let us know your experience in the comment section. Until then, happy travels!