Cabin in the Woods: House on Metolius
For years, visitors had access to the secreted-away and astoundingly beautiful House on Metolius 200-acre estate only by way of temporary rental of a few rustic cabins. This year, the resort reinvented itself with the opening of the Main Lodge, which offers seven gorgeous private rooms and lovely common dining and living rooms appointed with fine art and cozy fireplaces.
The classy Central Oregon facility, built on a vista near Camp Sherman, overlooks the Metolius River and, in the distance, Mt. Jefferson and Three Finger Jack. The property is simply more spectacular than anything else around, and that’s saying something for the Camp Sherman area, which is known for its beauty and peace. This place feels really special.
If ever I were to get married again, House on Metolius would be my place of choice. I can see the lawn full of flowers and a summer breeze, the mountains shimmering in the distance, the massive old pines lining the horizon, the Main Lodge filled with our friends and family. It feels peaceful and lovely. (Don’t worry, honey. You’re still the one.)
Weddings are just one opportunity the refreshed House on Metolius offers. Private fine dining is another. “If you have a party of six or more, you can call ahead and reserve a table in our private dining room,” says General Manager Loy Helmly.
During our recent visit, we enjoyed a meal of butternut squash and halibut with citrus beurre blanc, followed by some very delicious chocolate espresso custard, all accompanied by a yummy Cabernet. Only one other table was occupied in the intimate dining room, and when our children were finished — ahead of us, of course — they wandered into the living room to explore books and games, leaving us to linger and make new friends.
The House on Metolius property has a long history as a resort, and previous owners have had ties to Jantzen swimwear, Berlin Air, and local forestry operations. Art and artifacts throughout the lodge reflect this history, my favorite of which is a massive map of the world in the lodge hall.
We stayed in Eleanor’s Lodge, a spacious old cabin with incredible views of Mt. Jefferson. A wrap-around deck with copious bench seating hangs over the Metolius River gorge, as it drops towards the meadow below.
In the morning, the girls led the way down the hill and through the meadow to a trail that follows the river. The Metolius is known for fly-fishing, and its clear blue waters are some of the most gorgeous in Oregon. We weren’t here to fish, however — just to wander, look for fairies and daydream about our next House on Metolius adventure. Wedding or no, we’ll be back.
About the Author: Kim Cooper Findling
Kim Cooper Findling grew up on the Oregon Coast but became a Central Oregon girl in the mid-90s, taking in the sunny skies and never looking back (expect a few wistful glances at the ocean). She is the editor of “Central Oregon Magazine” and the author of “Day Trips From Portland: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler” and “Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoir.” Catch her around the state sampling microbrews, hiking river trails, taking silly pictures with her iPhone, and camping with her husband and two daughters in the family tent trailer, Brutus.
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