WE KNOW WHAT MAKES A GOOD LODGE: a striking, secluded setting along with a sense of the past. You want to embrace the elements in a place that has endured. It sounds straightforward but it’s surprisingly hard to find a lodge that sets the right equation. If there’s one with good trout fishing and a smart wine list, then that’s rarer still.
“A lodge with good trout fishing and a smart wine list, that’s rarer still”
The Lodge at Glendorn is just that place. Set on the edge of the Alleghany Forest in northwest Pennsylvania, it was built as a family retreat in 1929. The main building, known as the Big House, has an expansive dining room with a fireplace so large you could lay down in it. This is the setting for a civilized dinner that might include vegetables from their own biodynamic garden, or pheasant from the estate. But it’s all prepared with a modern touch.
THERE ARE A SERIES OF WONDERFUL CABINS scattered near the Big House. But I stayed further afield, in the Overlook, a brick cabin up a dirt road from the main compound. It was built in 1930 and could not be more endearing. An outdoor stone fireplace was the perfect setting for a late afternoon Glenlivet while enjoying the changing leaves.
“Damon, a guide who’s worked at Glendorn for 18 years was the perfect companion.”
How was the fishing, you ask? Remarkable. There are native brook trout (very small), brown trout (good sized) and rainbow trout that could properly be considered trophies. Without getting too technical, on my visit they were eager to take Adams from the surface of Fuller Brook, a lime-influenced creek that snakes through the property. Damon, a guide who’s worked at Glendorn for 18 years was the perfect companion, expert and easygoing at the same time.
In the end, what’s remarkable about a place like Glendorn is the staff’s understanding about what makes a memorable stay. They know that hospitality makes you feel welcome to pursue your own interests, whether that’s trout fishing, woodcock hunting, hiking their extensive trails or just sitting with a glass of wine reading a book by the fire. Everything makes perfect sense at Glendorn, but that doesn't make it any less extraordinary.