Featured Photo by Polly Dean.
By Polly Dean
We all seek a home-away-from-home when on the road – an especially comfortable hotel or lodge to end a long day of wading the nearby rivers and streams. Gil and Mary Willis have created a retreat that fits this bill perfectly. Elk River Inn & Cabins is a popular guest house for outdoor adventurers, whether they are fishermen, skiers, hikers or cyclists.
The Elk River Inn & Cabins sits on the shores of the Old Field Fork. Photo by Polly Dean.
Located in Slaty Fork in Pocahontas County in the east-central portion of West Virginia, Elk River Inn & Cabins is convenient to a number of notable fishing waters. Using the lodge as a headquarters, we were able to make day trips to different portions of the Elk, the Greenbrier, and the Cranberry rivers. The Williams River is also accessible. Located just outside our door was the Old Field Fork, one of the headwaters of the Elk River.
The lodge is a fully licensed outfitter with professional guides that know the area waters. Wade fishing trips include lunch and special diets can be accommodated. An outfitter’s shop is on the property. Fly fishing is becoming the fishing style of choice and guides know that each river is unique, requiring different methods and different flies.
The lodge also hosts a weekend fly-fishing school for beginners or those serious about improving their skills. It includes learning casting techniques, reading the water, and two full days of fishing.
The main lodge and dining hall. Photo by Polly Dean.
Hosting guests for 40 years, Elk River Inn & Cabins has a total of 13 guest rooms, with common sitting rooms with TV. They also have three cabins. Accommodations vary from motel-style rooms with private baths, to the Farmhouse which has 5 bedrooms with 3 baths, to the individual cabins of different configurations and sizes. Adjoining spacious decks offer places to relax and chat about the one that got away, while enjoying the beautiful views.
Summer temperatures are 5-10 degrees lower than surrounding areas and nights are cooler for sleeping. Not all rooms are air-conditioned. Pets are allowed in limited rooms. Wi-fi is also available.
A hot tub on the property is a welcome treat for those desiring to soak their weary bones after a day of wading the rocky stream beds. A hearty, plated breakfast that may include such tasty treats as homemade blueberry pancakes, quiches, fresh fruit, handmade granola, cheese grits and locally roasted coffee is served in the dining room each morning for the lodge guests.
Snowshoe Ski Resort is nearby, providing a variety of eateries and watering holes as well.
Whether you’re a hiker, biker, skier, snowboarder, angler or just a lover of nature, make a trip to the Elk River Inn & Cabins.