Friday, August 05, 2005

Road Trip: Oglebay Resort, West Virginia

Ohio and Michigan nearly went to war over Toledo.

Toby Boyce (c)

An interesting piece of history, but personally I would have much rather seen us battle Pennsylvania and Virginia for the sliver of land that gives West Virginia its unique northern point.

Recently, I attended the Independent College Advancement Associates Conference at Oglebay Resort just north of Wheeling and had my love of the region restored.

Ogelbay is only a couple miles from the hustle of I-70 and downtown Wheeling, but it could easily be 150-miles from civilization. As you head up Route 88 North, the winding road seems to leave stress and tension behind.

Toby Boyce (c)

As I walked into my room at Wilson Lodge, I kept expecting Jennifer Gray to be getting whisked off her feet by Patrick Swayze. The Lodge has been able to maintain a rustic and classic feel despite being updated and brought into a more recent times. The majority of rooms do not have internet access (there is a library on the second floor with wireless capabilities) or the newest gadgets and toys and the bathroom in my two double bed room was small -- but for some reason this lack of amenities made the Lodge even more special.

The meeting rooms were well-kept and clean and provided a nice environment for the conference. The location's food was very good and I found every member of the staff to be helpful and ready to make our visit even better.

Toby Boyce (c)

But the true beauty of the Resort is located outside the walls of Wilson Lodge. The Lodge has four golf courses for the hacker. Arnold Palmer and Robert Trent Jones give it two premiere courses that cannot be matched for beauty. Crispin Course is an 18-hole course that works its way through the facilities and has some beautiful holes and throw in the driving-range and Par III course and any golfer would be happy for a weekend in the West Virginia hills. Personally, I didn't play any of the courses - something about being in my first year of playing golf that I thought these were a notch above my level - but did walk around the Robert Trent Jones course to get a feel for it and I don't think there was a flat-lie on the course at all.

Toby Boyce (c)

If you don't golf, there are numerous other options for the person planning to visit Oglebay. The outdoor pool is beautiful but I made my way toward the lake and the nature center and walking trails. The trails led you through the steep hills and I would suggest good hiking shoes and being ready for a nice level of physical activity before heading over the hills. But my personal favorite was a butterfly park located behind the nature center, which also became the feeding place of three Hummingbirds while I was watching.

All told the trip was a good one and only sitting 2-1/2 hours from Columbus this is a must-visit for all stressed out Buckeyes.
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