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The Heart of West Virginia is a rugged paradise for those seeking to escape the daily bustle of modern life

ALEXANDER – So, you want to get away from the grind of daily life while soaking in the peaceful pause of West Virginia’s woods and plentiful panoramic views?

Southern Upshur County offers many great places for family and friends to escape, like Paradise in the Woods, a picturesque log home tucked away in a pristine area overlooking the sparkling Buckhannon River.

Paradise in the Woods, owned by Upshur County native Cheryl Lewis, is one of many vacation properties available for rent in the area. Vacation-rental-by-owner properties generally allow more privacy than hotels; plus, there money-saving benefits, such as having the capability to whisk up meals in kitchens fully stocked with cooking tools.

A wraparound porch at Paradise on the Woods offers tranquil views of the Buckhannon River.

Perfect for soul-searching, socializing or both, Paradise in the Woods is located near Alexander, at 17 Independent Dr., in a remote, untarnished area of Upshur County about 18 miles south of the county seat of Buckhannon. Seemingly untouched by the passage of time, the charming, rustic cabin has a nearly 1-mile-long driveway that ensures a tranquil experience.

The 1,500-square-foot log home showcases a spectacular wraparound porch outside and cozy loft inside. It’s the perfect haven for both larger family gatherings – the cabin sleeps up to 12 people – and more intimate gatherings of lifelong friends who can catch up while roasting s’mores around one of the property’s two fire pits.

Overlooking the bubbling Buckhannon River, the cabin is perfect for families and is both kid-friendly and pet-friendly. In addition to the three bedrooms – one has a king bed; another has a queen bed and two twin beds; and a third with two day beds with trundles – there’s also a snug sleeping nook, where you’ll find twin bunkbeds.

Fancy some fishing? There’s also a fire pit along the river banks.

The location is ideal for families with children. Not only is there a game room featuring a chalkboard, dartboard and pool table – “The kids just love the chalkboard,” Lewis says – but also a treehouse adjacent to the main cabin.

And you won’t have to venture far across the railroad tracks to access a short trail that leads vacationers down to a secluded swimming area with a flat area of rocky beach.

“There’s a nice little area over there at the river,” said Lewis, who first began renting the property out in 2017. “We have a fire pit over there, and you can swim when it’s decent to do that. You just have to walk across the tracks, and there’s a nice little path. People really enjoy that, too.”

So, whether you like to reel in fish, would prefer to take a refreshing dip in the Buckhannon River or want to navigate the water via raft or kayak, Paradise in the Woods offers ample opportunity to engage in all those activities and more.

Not a water adventurer? Simply soak in the sun in one of the patio chairs lining the wraparound porch.

Paradise in the Woods is perfect for families looking to get away from the grind of daily life.

In addition, one of the most popular zoological parks in the U.S., where visitors can safely view both West Virginia native and introduced species, including mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, black bears and bald-headed eagles, is just a short 20-minute drive away from Paradise in the Woods.

After a fun-filled day, visitors usually enjoy gathering around a fire pit – there’s one in front of the cabin and a second right by the river.

The list of perks goes on. The fully equipped kitchen comes with a microwave, dishwasher, ice-making freezer and refrigerator, coffee maker, blender, crockpot and other essential kitchen tools for cooking up healthy, wholesome meals.

The rental offers a spacious kitchen.

Lewis said Paradise in the Woods is booked all summer, but there’s likely to be more availability in fall and winter months.

“Ninety-nine percent of people are from out of town,” Lewis said. “I get a lot of people from Pittsburgh. I get a lot of people who have family up north, but they also have family down south, and then, we are a really good meeting place, so families like to gather here. We really get a lot of that.”

She’s even had people travel from as far away as Florida to see snow in wintertime.

“My guests love the seclusion and privacy,” Lewis said. “They love having access to the river. They love the cabin because even on a rainy day, there’s a pool table and other activities for kids to do.”

“But probably the best comments, people love to just sit on the porch,” she said. “It’s quiet, and they have the opportunity to watch the wildlife – you’re going to see deer, squirrels, ducks on the river. We’ve actually had a couple people see bears, and that’s exciting.”

To search vacation rental properties in Upshur County, visit www.vrbo.com and enter “Upshur County, WV.”

This story was produced in partnership with the Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Visit their website to learn more about what Buckhannon and Upshur County has to offer those planning a trip to the rolling hills of West Virginia.


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