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Relax. Enjoy Your Cabin in the Woods.

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You so deserve this.


Verb: The act of relaxing in a cozy cabin in the woods.

The New River Gorge National Park

Our back yard


Gorgeous weddings in The New River Gorge

Family Hike

Making memories.

For the Birds

That’s what the next couple weeks are all about here at OCR! This week is bird banding class, next week is the legendary New River Birding and Nature Festival!

We just finished up a Beginner Bird Banding class taught by certified instructor from The Institute for Bird Population. This is an intense (too intense for me) week-long course that puts everyone through the paces. They learn everything they need to get a certificate to work under a master bander. This intensive, all-inclusive event is limited to 8 people. We have had this event before, and hope to make it annual. You can learn more; just call Keith at 888.488.4836. Bird

This week is BIG in a small way. Small birds, small groups, big fun! The New River Birding and Nature Festival is a unique event that allows our guests to spend quality time with lots of birds and each other. Yep, bird nerds are social creatures in the right environment, and man, do we have fun.

The New River Birding and Nature Festival is in its 15th year. From the beginning, we have used the proceeds to fund educational programing for the Students and Teachers of Fayette County. Our flagship program is Leadership Fayette County. We also put on a week-long middle school academy and close to a dozen other events throughout the year.

We are very proud to be part of such an OSSUM event that gives so very much back to the community.

See you in mid-May. Till then, look at a bird and smile.

We will be.

Fools me, April

Every time! I am so gullible! The spring flowers pop out like these beauties I found while driving along in The New River Gorge National Park over the weekend.

And then one afternoon it is so hot I turn on the AC in my car and boom my mind, body and soul are falling all over themselves to get in summer mode.

And then it freezes and snows, and I walk out the door barefoot, and it feels like my feet just had the bottom layer ripped off them. And my mind, body and sole are confused: WHAT HAPPENED? How do I get my feet unstuck from the ground? I am afraid to move; it hurts! I have to move; it hurts! Where did I put my ski gear?

Anyway, I have learned how to help fix this cruel joke called April. I need some relief from this, and thought you might, too. My recipe for getting back at April (Not you, April; the month of April). All through April you would really get into this type of weekend.

  • MIND: It is tax time, and this weekend, you could use a getaway.
  • BODY: take a stroll on some of the 70 miles of trails, get a massage in the cabin, or soak for too long in the HOT TUB.
  • SOUL: Surrounded by nature and eating really good food in Fayetteville, WV and doing all of the above, the soul knows what to do.

We can only offer this until the 20th, because we are full after that until mid-May, because some folks have figured out just how OSSUM this time of year is here. One group is a Bird Banding Class and the other is the New River Birding and Nature Festival, which has a couple of spots still open.

Choose the package and take ⅓ offyep, 33% off— because we are about ⅓ of the way into 2016.

Thanks, April. I needed that.

Ossum the opossum meme

Memes are kind of like fact checking the candidates. “Mostly true, and a very good sentiment” is how I would rate this one.Ossum meme

Don’t get me wrong! Opossums are very good at what they do, and mostly go unnoticed. (Except for on the highway; that they are not good at)

Do they eat lots of ticks and other bugs? Yes, and really any little thing they can catch.
Not often would they open your trash, but they will check out the open bag. (That was probably your dog or someone else’s, or maybe a raccoon or the crows and ravens. Yep, they do that)

Opossums are hidden in plain sight during the day under a rock or porch or in a hole in a tree, and only come out at night to do their good deeds.

I believe Opossums to have an inferiority complex. They are nocturnal, because they don’t think they look cute like their buddy the racoon (Who is also nocturnal). So they hide in the dark doing the hard work of finding and eating ticks and other bugs and mice, and cleaning up fallen fruit.

Just like the meme says, they won’t hurt you. They just want to be left alone. They rarely carry rabies, and are not aggressive. Give them some space, and they are happy to do your dirty work.

The soul of a place

The soul is not the flashy “attractions” that first draw you in; it’s that part that brings you back.

You may not be able to put your finger on it or see it. Sometimes you can tell just driving by, sometimes within a few minutes of being somewhere, and sometimes it just grows on you. You know ittrail’s there by the way it makes you feel.

The constant is there is just something about it that you like. Something that makes the little oddities and imperfections feel right; it speaks to you. Without these, there is no soul.

Sometimes soul is built in from the original vision, or what that has morphed into. The big souls are contagious because everyone gets it: the staff is infected, and carrying that feeling on to you. When you get it, you can’t help but share with friends and family.

So enjoy the snapshots and jingles. Let them work their magic. Just know that some places have more— a whole lot more— than first meets the eye.

The New River Gorge has soul, one as old as time itself. Come feel it.


It will all be over soon.hush, a quiet snow

Winter, that is. Enjoy it while you can.

I love the muffled, soft quality of the woods when there is a fresh spring snow sticking to everything. A “quiet snow” is different— comforting, calming, giving everything all of its cool embrace and letting us all know to be patient, to hold on a little longer before we bust loose with the exuberance of spring.

All throughout the New River Gorge National Parks, the roads are open, making access to the muted wonder of winter’s last hurrah easy.

Take a driving tour or a walk in the woods, then enjoy a wonderful meal in Fayetteville, WV, and a relaxing hot tub session before cuddling up by the fire. Give us a call. We’ll be here even after the snow is gone.

We have room for a couple lucky groups to get in on this weekend’s hushed winter wonder. Give us a call. 888-488-4836

Planning season! (Not planting season, but similar.)

Planning Season is the time to put those vacation seeds that you have been dreaming about out in the light of day.

Share your dreams with others by planting these seeds with overt suggestions, pretty pictures and links.

New River Gorge beauty

New River Gorge, WV , vacation

Some “friends and family vacation” gardens are so fertile and grow so fast that this may only take the mere suggestion of your dreams, and you will be ready to call us to book your West Virginia Cabin Rental and adventures. Begin to fertilize the others with photos of your last great adventure. Tend your garden of vacation dreams over lunch with your prospective travelers to plan and talk about your vacation.

Some gardens need more time and attention, and we are happy to help you cultivate these any way you might need. We have special skills in this area.

To help you with planing season, sign up for our newsletter, like our facebook page, bookmark

We will fertilize your vacation garden, and you will reap the harvest of fun and relaxation.


Its an avocado!

This is the best 21 seconds of youtube ever.

I want to be more like this tot.

You know, happy. I am a very happy guy, but that is Yoda-level happy. (Okay, Yoda is not a good example of a happy guy, my kids just pointed out.)

Lucky for us, we like making people this happy, and we get to all the time when they book a cabin with us.

So if you did not get this kind of reaction during your gift giving season, give us a call. Booking a relaxing weekend in one of our “cabins in the woods” can fix that. She may even bring you along.


Your Cabin in the Woods

Over The Hill Cabin

Over The Hill Cabin

We went to this cabin that was tucked in the woods with a fireplace and hot tub. It was awesome. We had family dinner for the first time in a long time. The cabin was next to the New River Gorge National Parks, and Mom actually went on a walk in the woods. When we got to the overlook, the views were incredible. In this little town called Fayetteville, we had really good food at these cool locally owned restaurants and saw some stuff about Civil War and coal mining history we did not know before. But mostly we hung out together. It was fun. Next time we are taking a fishing trip with a guide so Dad does not have to touch the fish. Mom wants to try rock climbing, and I am going to be tall enough to do the ziplines.

Opossum Creek Retreat LLC is located in South-central West Virginia next to The National Parks of Southern West Virginia, which includes the New River National River, The Gauley River National Recreation Area, The Bluestone National Scenic River beside Babcock State Park, Hawks Nest State Park and Pipestem State Park.

Adventures abound! World-class whitewater rafting, zipline and canopy tours, mountain bike trails, the Bridge Walk, rock climbing, fishing, 70 miles of hiking trails and antique shops in every small town. Driving tours that include 4 of the top 10 waterfalls in West Virginia, and countless others.

We are family owned and operated. I designed and built the cabins to fit snugly in the surrounding forest. We are happy to share our private and secluded piece of Almost Heaven with you.


Opossum Creek Retreat LLC


Thank you,
Geoff Heeter

Free Veterans Day cabin getaway

Veterans Day deal WVDear Veterans,

We love you, and want to say thank you, again. We always offer 10% off for veterans anytime, but come Veterans Day, we give it away. And this year we got some big help.

We have a bunch of people that said, “Yes, whatever you need,” so brace yourself for an all-inclusive Veterans Day getaway/giveaway for free:

– 2 Nights at Opossum Creek Retreat (Nov. 10 & 11, 2015)
– Bridge Walk on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. (Reservation required)
– Breakfast at Cathedral Cafe
– Lunch at Secret Sandwich Society
– Coffee from Vandal’s Kitchen
– Drinks at Maggie’s Pub

It’s our thanks to you. And you can say thanks back to these local business by giving them some love on social media. You know, take a selfie in front of their sign and post it on Facebook, or tweet about it, or review us on Google or any other spots.

The bonus: It’s like a treasure hunt. Get all of these great local business to sign your passport (waiting for you in your cabin), and we will give you a set of Opossum Creek Retreat logo glasses/mugs as a bonus.

This is the only time we wish we had more cabins. We only have 6 cabins available: 3 cabins with 2 bedrooms; 2 cabins with 1 room; and The Farmhouse with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. (Bring an old army buddy or 3 or 4!)

Here are the rules:

  1. You must be active duty or retired military, any branch.
  2. If you have taken advantage of this special in the past, please allow others a chance.
  3. If you show up, it is free. Only reserve a space if you are 100% sure you will be able to come. We will require your credit card info, and will charge your card for the full price of the stay if you do not show up.

To enter, send your name, rank and branch of service to [email protected], and also tell us how many people are in your group. We will draw from the hat and notify you by Sunday, Nov. 1.

Triple-bottom line.

WVU students visit OCR for an inside look at an ecotourism business.

WVU students visit OCR for an inside look at an ecotourism business.

We are lucky to host WVU students every so often.

Geoff & Dr. Ding.

Selfie of Geoff & Dr. Ding!

Dr. Ding has been bringing students here or having me speak to his class in Morgantown for about a decade.

The first time I went to WVU and spoke to Dr. Ding’s class, complete with a massive Power Point, I did not get a standing ovation. In my defense, it was early in the day, and they are mostly teenagers. I did get a lot of good questions and discussion, and The Ding asked if we could do it again. When I suggested bringing the students on a field trip to Opossum Creek Retreat for a firsthand look and conversation with an “ecotourism” business, The Good Dr. said, “Great idea, can you make us lunch?” (Oh, can we make lunch!)

I did not set out to be an “ecotourism” business. We did not know such a thing existed. We just did what we felt was the right thing: build a quality product, treat people fairly and be a good neighbor. And as it turns out, that is what ecotourism, in my opinion, boils down to.

I am sure that a year-long class at WVU requires a longer explanation, but for the day that they are here at OCR, that will be our triple-bottom line.

Making people happy feels good.

WVU class

The class at OCR, learning about ecotourism!