Steeped in History
Loch Lyme Lodge on Route 10 in Lyme on Post Pond is a beautiful place to vacation, whether you’re a local or from out of state. People have been vacationing here for generations. I’m not kidding, literally. I spoke with Shirley Archibald Avakian who has been going to the camp for over 60 years, starting when she was a kid. She still is amazed when she thinks that her grandfather stayed in the same bedroom that she did as a kid, and her kids and grandchildren have stayed in that room too. I think you had to pick my jaw up off the floor. What an amazing tradition.
Liz Cole, the owner of Loch Lyme Lodge, told me more wonderful stories. One couple met at Loch Lyme Lodge when they were twelve, married, and now they take their kids there. There are lots of other guests who came with their families growing up and now as adults bring their own kids. One of the most amazing stories is the man who has come for 2 weeks every year of his life and he’s in his 60s! This really is a testament to how wonderful this place is. Even the ownership of the property has been passed on through generations. Many guests remember Paul and Judy Barker, who were the owners before Liz Cole bought the property in 2006. Judy’s family ran the lodge before her. It really is well loved and filled with wonderful memories. I think the guests should compile a book of their stories with photos…
A Place to Create Memories
At Loch Lyme Lodge guests remember many things have changed like having ice delivered to the cabins, adding kitchens to the cabins, and the singalong at the Sunday evening buffet, but many things remain the same. Shirley remembers putting up a rope netting along the stairs when her child was a toddler and it’s still there today, thirty years later.
The sense of place here is strong. Imagine coming year after year and carrying such fond memories with you. It’s no wonder Loch Lyme Lodge was voted Yankee Magazine’s ‘Best Family Retreat on a Pond’ in May/June 2015.
It’s a place to unwind and unplug: no internet or cable in the cabins. Liz Cole says many families use this as an opportunity to do a week without screen time, which I think would be a great bonding experience, encouraging families to spend more meaningful time together.
It may be different from the hustle and bustle of home, but that’s why so many people like it. It reminds me of when I went to the Northern Woodlands Writer’s Conference at the Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee. I sat swinging on the porch swing of my cabin looking out at the fall foliage on a brisk fall morning and thought, I don’t need anything else right now. It was just so peaceful. I think it’s like this for the guests at Loch Lyme Lodge. You can see more pictures of the cabins, grounds, and lodge to get a feel for the place here.
Filled with Charm and Tradition
There are twenty two cabins on the property which sleep from one to eight people. You can learn more on Loch Lyme Lodge’s website about the cabins and rates. Below are pictures of two of the cabins: Butternutwood on the left and Sprucewood on the right.
The cabin I visited was cozy and I immediately wanted to sit and stay when I entered. I got to see inside the Lakeside cabin from a guest who graciously offered to give me a tour. There was a beautiful view of Post Pond from the second floor window and a lovely screened-in porch I would sit in all day. I couldn’t believe how big the cabin was! I felt the peaceful atmosphere right away.
A Place to Dream
Liz wants to continue families having something to enjoy for years to come. She is part of a group that is building cohousing on the property, while keeping the hospitality business vibrant. Members, whether they are simply members of the Pinnacle Project, LLC, who come to enjoy the property, or members who also become homeowners or cabin owners, share the costs of the project, and if all goes as planned, will get their capital contribution back when they give up their membership. The group sees Loch Lyme Lodge as an integral part of intergenerational cohousing that shares the site – a wonderful place to raise children and to have one’s own grandchildren visit.
With such personal investment and memories created by families, I don’t think it will take much for the cabins to be sold and rented so that people can continue to share memories. She also hopes to renovate the beautiful barn, which has suffered water damage over the years, by starting a crowd funding project. Her vision includes building on the years of experience catering to the public and guests with theatre classes, weddings, yoga, music, dances, and more. I love her vision to continue the legacy of Loch Lyme Lodge and how it can best meet the changing needs of the community.
A Place to Unwind and Have Fun
Loch Lyme Lodge is a wonderful place to vacation whether you live close or far away.
I think one of the biggest perks I found during my visit was that they welcome your fluffy and furry friends. They’ve had people bring dogs, cats, and even birds! This is a real draw for people who want to get away but don’t want to have a pet sitter or put their pets in a kennel.
Great Food and Entertainment
Loch Lyme Lodge offers a variety of meal options (for both guests and the public). Enjoy their restaurant for breakfast and dinner, their snack shack for lunches, and Wed. and Sun. evening buffets with music, which you can read about here.
The staff include both locals and people from far off destinations like China and Moldova. All their meals are reasonable (pricing here) and if you want to drink alcohol, you’ll need to bring your own. I tried the lunch at the snack shack: a grown up grilled cheese with pears and a root beer float. It was so tasty!
Fun in the Sun
When you’re done enjoying the food, make sure to check out the walking trails (which you can cross country ski on in the winter). John Mourton, a well known trail designer in the area has designed 6 kilometers of cross country and walking trails to expand the lodge’s trail network.
There are also games and sporting activities to do. Play tetherball, basketball, tennis, horse shoes, volley ball, or soccer/ultimate frisbee on the big field.
Don’t forget all the water activities: kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing (with a local license). They’ll provide the boating equipment and life vests.
Fun for the Kiddos
For kiddos there’s a great outdoor play area with lots to do: a jungle gym, sandbox, multiple play structures, a swing set, and a volleyball net.
There’s even an indoor place to play called Playwood when it’s hot or rainy with tv, table tennis and more. What a great idea!
A Peaceful Place to Make Memories
You can join the many families who feel Loch Lyme Lodge is something truly special, so when the receptionist says ‘Welcome Home’ that’s exactly what it feels like: coming home.