Inn the Country

Getting back to nature at Fort Lewis Lodge & Farm.

Fort Lewis Lodge & Farm in Millboro is a “gateway to great outdoors,” says owner John Cowden. Opened by Cowden and his wife, Caryl, in 1988, the inn sits on more than 3,000 acres in Bath County. The land is the site of Col. Charles Lewis’ 1750 plantation, and the historic property is also home to a circa 1850 grist mill.

Today, the lodge serves as a bucolic retreat, open April through October each year. Guests can enjoy a refreshing dip in the swimming hole at the bend of the Cowpasture River, unwind in the wood-fired barrel sauna, take an invigorating bike ride on the back-country roads, or explore the farmstead of chickens, pigs, and more than 100 head of cattle. Other activities include kayaking, hiking, and catch-and-release trout fishing. “It’s a place to come and observe the simple things,” says Cowden. “People want—and need—to get out in the woods.”

Stays include dinner and breakfast, all cooked by Caryl with vegetables she grows in the property’s garden or sources from other local farmers. In true family-business style, the Cowdens’ eldest son, David, and his wife, Erin, work front-of-house operations.

Retreats at Fort Lewis Lodge include wellness weekends with guided birding excursions, nature hikes, and gardening instruction, as well as yoga and meditation weekends. Upcoming events include a Taste of Summer BBQ with local beer and cider tastings July 27; plus, beer and cider pairing dinners are also in the works for later in the summer. FortLewisLodge.com


This article originally appeared in our June 2019 issue.

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