Table Of Contents
Experience our plantation heritage, the comfort of country inn pleasures and scenic vistas, rich in texture and color. Contemporary American style meals served in Lewis Mill are a vibrant mix of fresh tastes and interesting menus. Come see for yourself!Open April through early November!
The richness and sheer beauty of the land led Colonel Charles Lewis to settle here more than two centuries ago. Today the 3,200-acre mountain farm once known as Fort Lewis Plantation has remained relatively unchanged over its 200 year history. Our accommodations, all with modern amenities, are reminiscent of the charm of those simpler times.
"Chin deep and a stone's throw wide, the big swimming hole on the clear Cowpasture River may be the most picturesque natural pool in the East."
~ Dream Weekends ~ The Washingtonian
"Fort Lewis Lodge is one of those rare and wonderful places
that celebrates life's simple pleasures."
~ Cassandra VanHooser ~ Southern Living
"It's almost sundown in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, and in the dappled sunlight various chirps, clucks and peeps harmonize to create nature's sunset symphony."~
Nina Elder ~ Better Homes and Gardens
"A country inn for guests seeking the outdoors and an opportunity for some 'natural' relaxation, hiking, fishing , mountain biking and swimming."
~ Matt Sampson ~ Virginia Wildlife
Whether you want to relax or challenge yourself, the choice of activities can make your stay invigorating or restful. While hiking, biking, antiquing, taking a dip in the swimming hole in the Cowpasture River, or touring local attractions such as the Homestead, you will become renewed amidst the stunning natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. For the serious fisherman or weekend angler, the Lodge offers miles of clean river teeming with fish. The Cowpasture holds a large population of smallmouth bass, and there are rock bass just right for kids to catch. Rainbow trout are stocked in the early spring.
- Swimming Hole (River)
- Mountain Biking
- Tether Ball
- Ping Pong
Within easy driving distance:
- Garth Newel Chamber Concerts
- The Homestead
- Mineral Baths
- Limestone Caves
- Cass Railroad
Dining At Lewis Mill
A few steps from the lodge is the magnificently restored 19th century Lewis Grist Mill where a most delightful surprise awaits you: a cuisine that rivals the finest restaurants in the largest cities. "There are no bounderies. I'm doing what I want to do with influences from all over," says Caryl Cowden of her contemporary American style cooking. This vibrant mix of fresh tastes and interesting menus is enhanced by numerous side dishes comprised of vegetables just plucked from the farm's own gardens, fresh breads and sumptuous desserts that have developed a reputation of their own among inn-goers.
The lush setting is like a first page description of what a gentle country inn should be in a first rate novel... a gathering place, a refuge, the perfect setting in which to laugh, do a little business, or just catch up and spend quality time with your favorite people.
Inside the Lewis Mill, the spacious dining room and upstairs game room are delightful and practical spaces for any event. Business and retreat planners are finding Fort Lewis Lodge the perfect change-of-pace location for mid-week conferences up to 30.
At Lewis Mill, anticipation begins during the twilight social hour at Buck's Bar on the porch overlooking a colorfully landscaped fish pond. Guest enjoy ice cold beer and wine while comparing notes on their day afield. John tends marinated beef, chicken, ribs, or fresh seafood sizzling on the grills while heavenly aromas waft from the kitchen.
Yes, we're in the "wilds" but isn't that what it's all about? We challenge you to find a more natural setting as a backdrop to your wedding ceremony and reception. The mountains, forests, fields and streams of this historic plantation set the stage for a one-of-a-kind wedding venue.
Just imagine your special day filled with scenes of families uniting, love and commitment, music flowing across the meadow, followed by inspired cuisine, toasting and dancing. The storybook architecture of the Pavilion is at center stage with sweeping church-like beams overhead and stunning mountain vistas in all directions. The beauty of the Pavilion can only be matched by the talent in the kitchen, where it is our belief that there is a strong connection between food and the heart.
The Lodge's Pavilion and inventory of catering equipment cover all your rental needs. Traditional or unconventional... we're ready to go with lodging accommodations for up to 50 and receptions up to 100.
Fort Lewis plays host to a limited number of weddings each year. Below is a listing of the primary expenses and services provided by the innkeeper. Perhaps the biggest issue is whether your selected venue "just feels right." We encourage you to visit, walk the grounds, see the Pavilion in person, and meet the innkeepers. Please do! But first, please ask about available dates.
- A $3,000 site fee
- Weddings require a two-night booking of the Lodge's 20 guest rooms. This will accommodate 40-50 overnight guests.
- Reception costs can range between $70-110 pp depending on the number of guests, plated or heavy hor d'oevres, alcoholic beverages, etc.
- Rehearsal dinners for up to 50 in Lewis Mill Restaurant.
- An 18% service fee on food and beverages plus applicable state and local taxes.
- All food and beverage (excluding the wedding cake) must be provided by the Lodge.
- All alcoholic beverages will be provided by the Lodge and will be served in accordance with ABC regulations.
- Private functions at the Lodge and/or Pavilion must conclude no later than midnight.
- All service providers must present a certificate of insurance.
- No rice/ potpourri is to be thrown. Only birdseed will be allowed in outside areas.
- Rental of the premise is not an entitlement of ownership. Respect of the integrity of the facilities is required.
- The basic facility fee includes 8 hours of consultation time. Additional time required above the 8 hour alloted time will be billed at a rate of $50 an hour.
- The Lodge's inventory of catering equipment eliminates the need for renting tents, tent lighting, dance floors, tables, chairs, linens and place settings.
- Can assist in making an initial contact with a local church or wedding celebrant in the area.
- Will recommend professionals for music, floral, photography, and officiating.
- Manages guest room reservations at the Lodge.
- Will create an estimate of charges outlining your financial commitment and deposit schedule.
- Oversees ceremony and reception set-up.
One of Virginia's most beautiful rivers is the Cowpasture. The Lodge has a real "swimming hole" to romp in. The five foot deep pool makes it a family favorite and there's a steady supply of skipping stones to bounce across the calm surface. Float downstream in an inner-tube, or just dangle your feet from our deck and breath the clean mountain air.
Hook, Line and Sinker
For the serious fisherman or weekend angler, the Lodge offers miles of clean river teeming with fish. The Cowpasture holds a large population of smallmouth bass, and there are also rock bass just right for the kids to catch. Rainbow trout are stocked in the early spring, making the Lodge a fisherman's paradise.
Take the High Road
There are miles of trails through these wooded mountains, some gentle, some more vigorous. One trail climbs 3000 feet for a view of the mountain tops that roll on forever. Limestone caves entice the intrepid spelunker. If bicycling is your passion, you'll enjoy taking the winding roads through this rural countryside. Mountain trail bikers can tackle logging roads into the wilder country.
Wildlife management practices are devoted to enhancing the natural habitat of a variety of woodland creatures. Ruffed grouse startle trail walkers with their sudden flight. Hawks - red tails and ospreys - are a common sight and if you're very lucky you might spot an eagle. Wood ducks nest along the Cowpasture and, sometimes, on chilly fall mornings, you'll hear the ghostlike honking of Canada geese.
A half hour drive through the mountains is Warm Springs, Virginia, and the soothing octagonal mineral baths designed by Thomas Jefferson. Five miles further is Hot Springs, the world famous Homestead Resort, wonderful art galleries and quality antique shops. Hot Springs boasts Garth Newel chamber concerts, wonderful shopping at the Cottage Row Shops, Bluegrass Valley drives and the Highland County fairs and festivals.
How To Find Us
From Points North:
From I-81 take the Bridgewater Exit 240. Follow 257 west to Bridgewater and Rt. 42. Take 42 south for 16 miles to Churchville. Travel 250 west, go 10 miles to Rt. 629, turn left. Follow 629 for 22 miles, through Deerfield to Rt. 678. Turn right and go 4 miles to Rt. 625, turn left. Lodge entrance 0.2 miles on left.
From Points East:
From I-64 take the I-81 north exit 87. From I-81 take the Woodrow Wilson Parkway exit 225. Follow 262 south for 5.4 miles to the Rt. 250/Churchville Ave. exit. Take 250 west, go 15.5 miles to Rt. 629, turn left. Follow 629 for 22 miles, through Deerfield to Rt. 678, turn right and go 4 miles to Rt. 625, turn left. Lodge entrance 0.2 miles on left.
From Points West:
From I-64 take the Millboro Springs/ Rt. 42, Exit 29. Take 42 north for 16 miles to Millboro Springs.Turn left onto 39 west, go 0.7 miles and turn right on Rt. 678. Follow 678 for 10.8 miles, turn left on 625, go 0.2 miles to sign on left.
From Points South:
From I-81 take the Rt. 220/Fincastle Exit just north of Roanoke. Follow 220 north to Clifton Forge. Pick up I-64 east and take the first exit, Millboro Springs/Rt. 42, Exit 29. Take 42 north for 16 miles to Millboro Springs.Turn left onto 39 west, go 0.7 miles and turn right on Rt. 678. Follow 678 for 10.8 miles, turn left on 625, go 0.2 miles to sign on left.