Friday, March 17, 2017

Shawnee Lodge in Shawnee State Park, West Portsmouth, Ohio

On a recent visit to south-central Ohio, I needed to find lodging for just one night. We were headed to a college campus for a visit and tour with my son and would be out the door early in the morning. I have loved staying at lodges in state parks. The setting is so much more serene and peaceful than a Best Western situated next to an expressway exit.

Unfortunately our drive to Ohio lasted all day and got us there well after dark, so we didn't get much of a chance to see the grounds. I'd love to visit again to spend more time in this beautiful park when the weather is warmer, the days are longer and there's time to explore.

The lodge was renovated in 2012 and has the amenities you'd expect at a family lodge and some that would definitely be absent at a roadside express hotel. The grounds include a restaurant and bar, indoor and outdoor pools, game room, fishing, canoe and paddleboat rentals, tennis, volleyball, basketball and other fun activities.

Originally our trip was planned with 6 of us and trying to find a hotel to accommodate that many people in one room can be difficult. I was happy to find this room that was reasonably priced and had two queen beds and two bunks. We also took advantage of a good grade discount. My son brought his report card along and they gave $10 off for each "A" up to 5.

We did enjoy a hearty breakfast in the lodge before checking out and were able to take in the breathtaking morning view.

The property also includes 25-fully-furnished cottages and the lodge has a total of 50 rooms.

For those who love the outdoors, you'll be in paradise. Just one warning - from someone who spends most of their time driving the very flat terrain around Chicago, I had a bit of a white-knuckle drive through the hilly area in the dark getting to the lodge - which if I had planned better and left in the very early morning would have been much easier to maneuver in daylight when I arrived.

Shawnee Lodge is a perfect place to relax on a rocking chair on the porch as you enjoy nature and escape the hectic pace of everyday life. For more information, visit

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