The idyllic cabin in the woods is as close as a state park or forest in West Virginia, and September is a great month to make an early fall getaway.
Several state parks traditionally offer mid-week September discounts for cabin rentals to make stays even better.
From the four-bedroom cabins at Blackwater Falls, complete with a dishwasher, washer/dryer and other amenities such as flat-screen television and microwave, to the simplistic lifestyle of a pioneer cabin at Kumbrabow State Forest, inclusive of gas lights, a water pump and a privy outback, "there is a cabin style at state parks for every personality," said Brad Reed, a district administrator with West Virginia's state parks. "It all depends on your wants and needs. We have people seeking cabins with just the basics and to get away from it all, and visitors who require full-service options. From Blackwater and Stonewall, to Holly River and Watoga, to Cabwaylingo and Kumbrabow, you can find your cabin preference."
A range of cabins are offered at Blackwater Falls and other state parks throughout West Virginia.
Cabins and cottages at Twin Falls Resort, Bluestone, Holly River, Cass Scenic Railroad, Pipestem Resort, Beech Fork and Watoga state parks and also at Cabwaylingo, Kumbrabow and Greenbrier state forests have special rates this month for rentals for two or more nights, Sunday through Thursday.
Lost River State Park has a popular "retreat to relax" option, said Mike Foster, superintendent at Lost River.
"We're quite a distance from most folks in West Virginia, so when anyone makes the trek to Lost River, they will want to spend an extra night or check out later than the normal time," Foster said.
Lost River, located in Hardy County, offers a third-night-free option from Sept. 17 to Nov. 22 and again from Jan. 2 to May 23. Advance reservations are required. The park features horseback riding stables, hiking and CCC structures. More information is available at www.lostriversp.com.
North Bend State Park, near Cairo and Harrisville, changes things a bit with a "cozy cabin getaway" that includes bike riding and boating. From Sept. 17 to 27, folks can get a $299 package for two nights, Sunday through Thursday, in a cabin for up to four people, along with bike rentals or kayak rentals for four hours of outdoor fun, box lunches for four for a day and a $25 gift shop voucher.
"We see couples and friends that travel together looking for less busy times for travel in the middle of a week. They find greater savings and a more relaxed visit," said Steve Jones, park superintendent.
North Bend offers a wide range of lodge and cabin packages and special event weekends throughout the year. More information is available www.northbendsp.com.
Bluestone State Park recently rolled out a package that includes usage of a pontoon boat. The "pontoon/cabin" package varies based on cabin type and days selected, but the rate package includes a four-hour pontoon boat rental with gas and oil costs included.
"Our customers have asked for packaged rates that include cabins and pontoon use and available on weekends or weekdays, and we're happy to provide them," said Brett McMillion, Bluestone State Park superintendent.
More information is available at www.bluestonesp.com.
Cacapon Resort State Park is celebrating a 75-year anniversary in 2012.
"The park opened to the public July 1, 1937," said Dave Pruitt, assistant superintendent at Cacapon Resort in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. "Our cabins range from bungalows to deluxe vacation units."
Cacapon has a Diamond Jubilee promotion that takes $75 off the total rental cost of a three or more night stay. More information is available at www.cacaponresort.com.
Cass Scenic Railroad is not typically considered as having cabins, but the state park does have company houses.
"Twenty-two of the original houses are restored and rented as overnight options," said Rob Sovine, park superintendent at Cass Scenic Railroad.
Like other state parks, Cass extends a 20-percent-off rate on Sunday through Thursday for rentals of two or more nights. Three or more daily train trips up Cheat Mountain continue through Oct. 28, with the exception of Sept. 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19 and 20, when train trips are not scheduled at Cass Scenic Railroad. Train trips resume Memorial Day weekend, but the company houses are rented year-round. More information is available at www.cassrailroad.com.
West Virginia's state parks that feature lodges and restaurants and also have cabins onsite are open year-round. Cabins at Lost River and Watoga state parks also are available for year-round travel destinations.
More information is available online at www.wvstateparks.com.