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Bradford, Pennsylvania's Glendorn Lodge - a retreat from the fast lane!

© by George Bailey
Glendorn Lodge Is Pet-Friendly
Photo Courtesy Glendorn Lodge

When I found it, I realized that this estate was truly a place of tranquility. I quickly settled into one of the four elegant bedrooms in the magnificent redwood lodge, affectionately known as the Big House, and I found a wood-paneled recreation room for cards and board games, billiards, and at one end, a cathedral-ceilinged living room filled with oversized 1920's leather club house chairs. A two-story stone fireplace dominated the room. Nice!
     Outside was a swimming pool, tennis courts, trap and skeet shooting range, and a wellness centre. I pinched myself. Yes, I had started to experience a way of life that had seemed previously extinct.
     Glendorn Lodge has a mailing address in Bradford, Pennsylvania (two hours from Niagara) but it's not actually found anywhere in this small city of 8,500. One must drive 12.8 kilometres (8 m) from town to the edge of the Allegheny National Forest and enter through the gates of the rustic 1929 establishment which then whisks one away to another world, once a millionaires' retreat, but open to the public since 1995. In the evening, one experiences silence and treasures the serenity.

Allegheny National Forest Sign  A Fall Drive  Fall Port Allegheny Drive  Glendorn River Boats  Glendorn Terrace  Fall Colours Above The Longhouse

     In late afternoon, I learned how to fly-fish, never really catching on, but life certainly slowed down for an hour, followed by a lesson in skeet shooting. I didn't have time to try the horseback riding or one of the 20 Cruizer bikes available to guests. After a dip in the pool, I caught a few rays and then headed for my room for another rest before dinner.
     On the patio, I met another guest, John Conroy of Boalsburg PA, first visit for him and his wife Karen and their daughter Alva. He told me, "We'll be back because we're leaving here feeling better about ourselves than when we came."

Lutheran Church  Marilla Kayaks  Marillares Resevoir Trail McKean County  Mckean  White Tail Deer 

     Executive Chef, Joe Schafer, prepared a dinner of pan-seared fluke with braised artichokes, leeks and black trumpet, mustard-encrusted lamb, roasted tomato risotto and Provencal vegetables. Dessert was frozen maple mousse with walnut brittle. Since I prefer grapes to barley and wasn't driving anywhere, I coordinated the meal with a glass of Stonefly Vineyard Chardonnay and another glass of Stonefly Cabernet from California's Napa Valley, part of the cellar's extensive wines from around the world. I was deliciously spoiled.
     The following day, we headed out to explore the rest of the estate and stopped at a few of the 11 cabins built in the 1930's and 40's that sprawl over the 485 hectares (1,200 acres). The Forest Hideout cabin built in 1931 is like no other cottage one has ever seen.
     We then headed for the Allegheny National Forest, an unspoiled, powerful woodland for those ready to embrace the outdoors. My favourite stop was the Rimrock Recreation Area that offers a superb panoramic view of the Allegheny River. Fall is a particularly scenic time to visit to visit this part of Pennsylvania. My stay in this part of the world helped clear out the cobwebs and re-boot my system!

Photo Credits
George Bailey

George Bailey contributes to Sun Media's 43 paid-circulation newspapers across Canada as well as numerous magazines. George has appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, Canada AM, The Discovery Channel, and Live with Regis and Cathy Lee. He has published five books on Niagara Falls.

If you go
Glendorn Lodge: www.glendorn.com or 800-843-8568. From Buffalo take I-90 west towards Erie. After the Seneca West exit, take 219 to Salamanca then follow it to Bradford. GPS users punch in 1000 Glendorn Drive, Bradford PA. Luxury doesn't come cheap. Depending on the season and type of accommodation prices in U.S. dollars start at $400 per night. Meals are extra and some activities are additional cost.
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford,_Pennsylvania
Allegheny National Forest: www.visitANF.com or 1-800-473-9370
Click for Bradford, Pennsylvania Forecast

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