“What a wonderful place to have a wedding.” I thought this as I looked at the rustic village located on the Oak Lodge property which sits on 800 acres in the Laurel Highlands in Stahlstown, Pennsylvania.

No, I was not there for a wedding, I was there for a writing retreat. We were fortunate to have the whole property booked for ourselves! You can reserve the entire property for your guests which will make your guests feel special that you did this for the them!

The reason why I went on the retreat was to get away from the craziness of life so I could clear my head and write. Sitting on the deck looking out into the distance, all I could see was trees and beautiful green scenery. The calm feeling of walking through the paths and around the village was a feeling not always realized in my daily life running a business and literally running from meeting to meeting.

I was surprised to learn the Oak Lodge is a private estate that became a bed and breakfast in 2006 and started hosting weddings a few years later. Walking around the property I was amazed at the feeling I had of being in a faraway destination on vacation and not an hour away from Pittsburgh. What a perfect place to enjoy beauty and tranquility! Upon checking in I was given a map illustrating the layout and log buildings in Jimberg village which is on the Oak Lodge property and is the home of an 18th century farmhouse. In Jimberg village you will also find rustic buildings to walk through, beautiful meadows and a running waterwheel. Don’t forget to visit the sugar shack where their homemade maple syrup is made, where you can buy some to take home with you!

After a wonderful breakfast I decided to walk around on the trails. Oak Lodge has 15 miles of hiking trails you can use while staying on the property. If hiking is not your thing, you can take a leisurely walk and enjoy the beauty of nature. Still not your idea of fun? You can relax in the hot tub or swim a few laps in the indoor heated pool. Spa services at the Laurel Highlands Spa on the property include massages, facials and Reiki. Any of these services can also be arranged prior to your arrival.

When you walk into the village you will see a beautiful rustic chapel. I could picture a wedding being held there, and there are several weddings held at the Oak Lodge each wedding season. Oak Lodge hosts an average of 25 – 30 weddings a year during the wedding season. Imagine having your wedding at the Oak Lodge and having the whole village to yourself for your special day! Their wedding packages include the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, appetizers in a rustic tavern, dinner and so much more. How about dancing outside under the stars at your reception? Another great feature when you plan a wedding at Oak Lodge.

We spent a lot of time in the lodge in workshops sitting in the comfortable sitting area, eating our meals around the spectacular table, or spending time in our rooms. There are several rooms located in the lodge decorated with a rustic theme but each with their own southwestern flair. The room I stayed in at the lodge was very rustic and spacious with many modern amenities including a view of the waterfall on the property. The lodge has a modern kitchen to prepare your meals and it opens onto a deck overlooking a panoramic view of nature’s beauty. If it’s a little chilly out, there is a fireplace in the lodge you can relax in front of and read your favorite book.

If you don’t want to stay in the lodge there is a 1,200 square foot, handicap accessible private suite on the property. Newly built luxury cabins have been added to sleep additional guests. The Oak Lodge can sleep a total of 42 guests. A complimentary signature breakfast is included with your stay. Everything is in within walking distance of all the rooms and the main office.

Whether you are planning your wedding or special event and want to reserve the village for guests, or maybe you just need to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life, this is the place to check out. Nearby are other local attractions in the Laurel Highlands to see when planning your visit. This makes the Oak Lodge a perfect solution for your lodging.

Plan Your Trip…

Additional information can be found on the Oak Lodge website at OakLodgePA.com.

Denise Ann Galloni loves trying different restaurants and experiencing all the adventures Pennsylvania has to offer. She is the owner of DG Training Solutions Inc., and helps others find their voices to become better communicators. She is the creator, producer, and host of an award-winning TV show called Empowering Women. Learn more about Denise and check out her free resources at www.dgtrainingsolutionsinc.com.