As professional travel writers/photographers, our trips are usually tightly packed with adventures. So much so that we often come home feeling like we need a vacation from our “vacation.”
But our stay at the Cottages at Spring House Farms, which offers dog-friendly cottages and cabins near North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, was very different.
With protected national forest all around it, the eco-friendly 92-acre farm is home to just 6 log cabins. Its hardwood canopy is home to many birds of North Carolina, and there’s a small trout pond on the property that draws wildlife as well.
Located relatively close to Asheville, Lake Lure, and two North Carolina State Parks, Spring House Farms proved to be a great place to get away from it all and just relax while savoring the sweet serenity of nature.
Here’s a look at the accomodations and amenities of these picturesque Pisgah National Forest cabins, as well as a few of the noteworthy nearby attractions.
READ MORE: Pisgah National Forest Travel Guide
CABIN RENTAL INFO FOR DOG-FRIENDLY
COTTAGES AT SPRING HOUSE FARM
RENTAL COMPANY: The Cottages at Spring House Farm
OFFICE ADDRESS: 219 Haynes Road, Marion, NC 28752
EMAIL: [email protected]
OFFICE HOURS: Daily 9AM-8PM EST
ACCOMMODATIONS: Six log cabins for 2 to 6 people. All cabins are pet-friendly and include hot tubs, fireplaces or wood stoves, outdoor grills, linens, and fully equipped kitchens.
DIRECTIONS TO SPRING HOUSE FARM FROM ASHEVILLE: From downtown Asheville, take I-240 E to I-40 E towards Stateville. After 19.8 miles, take exit 73 towards Old Fort.
The Cottages at Spring House Farm offers six log cabins on 92 acres.
These include three 2-person cabins, two family cabins designed to sleep 2 adults and 2 children, and one 6-person cabin– a lovingly restored two-story historic farm house built in 1835.
Each of these traditional Blue Ridge mountain cabins is slightly different, such as the Compleat Angler’s fishing theme. Some have fireplaces, while other have wood stoves.
But all of them allow dogs (see rules here) and include hot tubs, outdoor grills, linens, and fully equipped kitchens.
In addition to the farm’s great location and “getting away from it all” tranquility, one of the things we loved most about it was their eco-friendly ethos.
Spring House Farm is registered with EcoClub, an ecotourism organization that recognizes properties that are locally owned, minimize environmental impact, practice conservation, promote ecology, and respect all human rights.
They were also highlighted by Outside Traveler among the “Top 10 Adventure Lodge Hideaways in the US.” The author noted how the “cottages share the quiet solitude of these hemlock woods with only the resident turkeys and deer.”
Our cottage, the Outrigger Log Cabin, was tucked far back into the woods and boasted a big, beautiful picture window that let the outside in. It gave a great feeling of being at one with nature, even as we sipped hot cocoa by roaring fire.
ACCOMODATIONS & AMENITIES
From the sliding barn door leading to our custom built King-sized bed to the immaculate Appalachian decor details, everything about the Outrigger was picture perfect.
When we weren’t cuddled up by the fire on the cozy, overstuffed leather sofa, we were often out on the porch. Soaking in the hot tub while surrounded by the sights and sounds of the forest was so blissful, we never wanted it to end.
The farm-style kitchen was kept stocked with eggs, bread, preserves, coffee, and other breakfast essentials.
When we weren’t eating dinner at Downtown Asheville restaurants, we were often grilling our own. But the lodge has various meats, pizza, and other foodstuffs for sale.
There’s no Wifi in the cottages, but you can get it at the office, and there are TVs and DVDs in the rooms. But if you really want entertainment, there are nearly five miles of private hiking trails on the Spring House Farm property.
One is an easy trail along an old logging road that passes the upper pond and ends alongside The Historic Albertus Ledbetter House. The other one, known as the “Big Rock Trail,” is a 2.5-mile loop trail that passes massive boulders and goes near the top of the mountain where the farm is based.
After a long day of hiking or exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, what better way to relax than soaking in your own private hot tub? Or, for the ultimate in romantic indulgence, you can arrange for a soothing couples massage right on your cabin’s private deck.
PISGAH NATIONAL FOREST & OTHER ATTRACTIONS
Because the Cottages at Spring House Farm are located just 40 minutes east of Asheville, there are countless things to do in the area.
Here’s a look at a few of the most noteworthy attractions nearby:
Chimney Rock State Park
Most of Chimney Rock State Park’s 10 hiking trails are relatively short, but they can be combined to make a longer route.
Weed Patch Mountain Trail, by far the park’s longest trail, is 8.5 miles. Hickory Nut Falls Trail goes by a stunning 404-foot waterfall, which was famously featured in The Last of the Mohicans.
The Outcroppings Trail, which is more or less just a staircase, allows hikers to climb to the top of Chimney Rock.
Located in the Hickory Nut Gorge 27 miles east of Asheville, with Chimney Rock looming large above it, Lake Lure is widely considered one of the most gorgeous man-made lakes in the USA.
A classic filming location (it’s best known for Dirty Dancing), the lake features a 155-foot Flowering Bridge.
This is a former highway bridge that was transformed via an array of flowers and plants into a wondrous garden that makes for a lovely morning or sunset stroll.
Other popular Lake Lure activities include a sandy beach and water park, the Town Center Walkway (which offers majestic mountain views), picnics at the 23-acre Morse Park & Greenway, and boat rentals or guided Lake Lure boat tours.
Linville Falls/Pisgah National Forest
The most popular waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC, Linville Falls is in the Linville Gorge Wilderness section of Pisgah National Forest.
The Linville Falls Visitor Center, located at BRP Mile Marker 317.8, offers a first-class campground as well as access to plenty of good hiking trails.
The Linville Falls Trail leads to Upper Linville Falls, while the Linville Gorge Trail leads to Lower Linville Falls.
These trails offer several different observation decks along the way, including one that juts right out into the water.
South Mountains State Park
Arguably among the most rugged state parks in western North Carolina, South Mountains encompasses 20,949 acres of stunning Blue Ridge beauty.
Carved by erosion, the steep summits and knobs arise from the deep Catawba Valley.
They historically served as a natural buffer zone between the Cherokee and Catawba Indians before European settlers began farming the land along the Catawba River.
Hiking and rock climbing are favorite pasttimes here, especially the 3000-foot Buzzard’s Roost.
But the park’s most popular attraction is High Shoals Falls, in which the Jacob’s Fork River dramatically drops 80 feet over a cliff. –by Bret Love; photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett unless otherwise noted