If you love the outdoors and are from Ohio, you probably have heard of the Great Ohio Lodges. Each is located in an Ohio State Park and hands its own look and vibe. A couple of weeks ago, we hit the road to cover the four northwest lodges and learned so much about both the parks and the properties. Our first stop: Cambridge, Ohio, for a Salt Fork Lodge review. From guest rooms to dining to activities, here’s what you can expect when you visit.
Disclosure: I was graciously hosted by the folks at Great Ohio Lodges to give you the scoop on Salt Fork State Park Lodge. All opinions are my own!
I have no problem admitting that I’m an outdoor girl by day, indoor girl by night. I’m happy to hike and bike when the sun’s up, but as soon as the sun starts to set I need my creature comforts. Happily, I discovered I can be a happy melding of both at Salt Fork State Park Lodge. Here’s everything you need to know about your next visit.
Well hidden off the main road (Route 22), the lodge sits upon a hill overlooking both the land and the large Salt Fork Lake. The creek on property was damed for a local water source but seeing how beautiful it was, the powers that be in Ohio thought it was too beautiful not to share with Ohio residents and it soon became a state park.
Fast forward to 1972 when the lodge opened its doors and it’s been an outdoor- lover’s dream ever since.
Quick tidbit about Ohio State Parks: the state is one of the only ones in the country that doesn’t charge an entry fee! Another cool fact: Salt Fork State Park is the largest of the Ohio State Parks.
Another quick tip: check-in is at 4pm, checkout at 11am. There is always a chance that you can extend your checkout time, though. Call down to the front desk and ask – it never hurts. As for road trip time, the lodge is just under two hours from Pittsburgh, just over two hours from Cleveland, and under three from Columbus.
Salt Fork Lodge Rooms
Okay, back to the review nitty gritty. The lodge has 148 guest rooms that either have a pool, lake, or land view. And depending on which floor you’re on, you’ll either have a patio or balcony.
For our visit, we had the pleasure of staying in a two double lake view room. On the third floor, it offered a gorgeous view of the lake no matter what time of day from our private balcony. We saw boaters, lots of wild animals including deer.
The room itself had a flatscreen television, microwave and mini fridge, and a coffee maker. There was a large closet area and a cute table and chairs to dine at.
The bathroom was super clean and had a giant counter for our things which I really enjoyed. And if that wasn’t enough space, there was another sink and mirror I. The room itself, making it super easy for my teen daughter and myself to get ready or freshen up.
Our room was quiet and the vaulted ceilings didn’t cause a weird echo, either. I noticed that the door to the patio Kelly most of the upside sounds out which was particularly nice at night as I’m a light sleeper.
But what about the beds? I can only speak for ours, but they were very comfortable as were the pillows.
Salt Fork Lodge Restaurants
There are two choices for Salt Fork Lodge dining right now. The main dining room, Timbers, was where we ate all of our meals and I have zero complaints. Like, zero.
The food was very good (the desserts were definite standouts as were the appetizers. Try the cheese stuffed pretzel!) and the service exceptional. Of course, we visited during off season so there wasn’t a ton of guests.
A thing to keep on mind: the portions are big, and I’m mean big. Once we learned our lesson, there was times that we shared apps and entrees because there was a ton of leftovers and we simply couldn’t travel with them.
Lastly, Timbers offers takeout pizza that we tried on our last night. All we had to do was call an order in and pick it up at the designated time. Easy peasy.
In addition to Timber’s, the lodge has a bar called Wildlife Lounge that offers alcoholic drinks and food.
Salt Fork Lodge Activities & Amenities
If you want a lodge with plenty of amenities, Salt Fork is a good choice. In addition to all of the park activities available, there are some good ones right at the lodge.
I loved the indoor pool and hot tub. When I swam, there was no one in the entire area. Again, off season. We had to get wristbands and towels from the front desk to use the indoor offerings but that was a cinch.
You’ll have access to shuffleboard, tennis courts, basketball, and a seasonal outdoor pool. There’s also table tennis (pong pong balls are a small fee) and a decently- sized arcade. Another feature we really enjoyed was the exercise room. The equipment is up to date and clean.
There’s a golf course at Salt Fork State Park as well. It has 18 holes, is a par 71, and is championship quality. 2021 Salt Fork Golf Course rates range from $13 to $41 depending on if you want to walk or drive a golf cart, day you golf, and even time of day.
There’s a Salt Fork Lodge gift shop in the lobby that sells everything from Bigfoot-branded wine to hoodies and tees to snacks. The hours vary, so double check at the front desk when you check in. Additionally, you don’t have to be a lodge guest to purchase items.
If you really want to invest in a fun activity, consider renting a pontoon boat at the marina. Prices vary and boats can be rented by the hour, half day, and day. You can either have a guided tour or choose to drive around the lake yourself, but it’s definitely worth it.
We had a guided tour during our stay and just seeing the land via water was eye opening. Did you know there’s a small island that’s completely covered with cypress trees? Yep!
There are several freebies at the lodge, happily. We had free wood that worked well, free parking, and most of the activities are free of charge. Also, there is a coffee maker in each room, but head to the lobby fro free coffee and tea anytime.
Salt Fork Lodge Review: In a Nutshell
The big question is would we stay again? And the answer: on a hot minute! Salt Fork Lodge has become one of our favorite lodges to date and it’s compliments of the combination of all of the above.