Nine buffalo, three longhorn steers, and dozens of white-tailed deer wander across 550 acres of forested hills and meadows on Pine Lakes Lodge's property in eastern Ohio. And those are just the wild ones: there's also an onsite petting zoo with camel, Carl, as well as miniature horses. It's a nice secluded patch of nature for animals to find solitude, but not all of them are roughing it here: Leo, the resident bulldog, has his own temperature-controlled house.
It's a nice place for humans to settle into, too. After bird watching or longbow hunting on the private reserve, you can relax at the lovely main lodge. It’s a two-story bed and breakfast sprawled across 11,000 square feet and decorated with exposed wooden beams, a large stone fireplace, and a chandelier made of antlers. The luxurious Southern Cross suite and Buffalo Hills room feature jacuzzi tubs for two, flat-screen TVs, and private patios that look out to the nearby hills and meadows.
Each morning, innkeepers prepare a country-style breakfast. After the sun sets over the lodge, you can start off a three-course dinner ($30/person) with broccoli-cheese soup or a housemade vegetable broth. There's a varied selection of entrees depending on the season: try a new york strip steak, a portobello chicken breast, a stuffed pork chop, or a vegetarian asian stir-fry. Then seal the meal with a dessert such as a mini cheesecake, a brownie fudge sundae, or a yogurt parfait.
You can stroll on the property's several hiking trails and to the lakes to try to pet some of the many fish. Pine Lakes Lodge also offers one-hour guided horseback rides ($50/person), mountain-bike rentals ($25/hour), and two-seater John Deere Gator rentals ($100/hour).