A Fun and Romantic Getaway - Zip & Stay
The question was "what to do for our anniversary that was a little different and wasn't a boring stay at some expensive hotel, an expensive dinner out with a glass of champagne, or a movie and some popcorn" - all of which we've done over the years! I'd heard some good things about Cedar Mountain Lodge, so I decided to check them out and lo and behold they have a zip and stay package that sounded like a lot of fun and romantic enough for an anniversary. Add a bottle of champagne and a red rose and she's got to love it! So I booked a zip line tour and an overnight stay in a tree house.
Cedar Mountain Lodge is located on 550 acres of rolling countryside just outside the small town of Scurry about 30 minutes southeast of Dallas. It is on a working wildlife ranch with cedar trees, sprawling mesquite trees, open meadows, several ponds, and lots of wildlife from birds to bobcats. The Lodge is owned by Art and Cheryl, who are a great couple, best known for their Texas hospitality and their dedication to making sure you have an enjoyable stay at their Lodge. It's peaceful and scenic and can best be described as "rustic elegance" thanks to huge cedar beams and planking, soft leather couches, luxury linens, nice appointments, colorful landscaping, and more. The Lodge with a huge peaked foyer is impressive and was built from local Texas red cedar trees which were milled onsite. Cedar Mountain Lodge specializes in catering to corporate events, reunions and socials, and medium sized weddings.
We signed up for the "Zip & Stay" package which includes a zip line tour and an overnight stay in the Eagle's Nest - a tree house perched in a canopy of large oaks and pecan trees about 20' off the ground. When you come for the Zip & Stay you have a couple of options - you can complete the 4000' zip line course and then head over to the tree house for the evening or you can zip half of the zip line course, stop mid way and walk across a swinging bridge from one of the zip line platforms to the tree house, and then continue your zip the next morning by walking back across the bridge to the platform, hooking onto the zip, and flying through the trees for the rest of the zip line tour.
We decided to zip first, then head out to dinner, and come back for a sunset ATV tour of the ranch with Art and Cheryl. They recommended Carrera's Mexican Cuisine in Kaufman for margaritas and a good Mexican dinner. It's a hole in the wall restaurant but we really enjoyed the great margaritas, delicious Mexican food (the Salmon steamed in foil with spices and veggies was delicious), and very friendly service. With full bellies we headed back to Cedar Mountain Lodge and jumped in an ATV for a tour of the ranch at dusk. What beautiful property with several small lakes, lots of wildlife, dense forests, ponds, streams, and open meadows.
The zip line tour takes about 2 hours and you'll zip through the trees from platform to platform on 11differnt zip lines that total over 4000 feet. Before you start your zip line tour you'll get fitted into your zip line harness, put on some gloves and a hard hat, get hooked onto a short zip line a few feet off the ground, and get a short lesson on how to zip and more importantly on how to stop.
After your lesson, you'll climb 36 feet up to the top of the first platform. The guide will hook you onto the zip line and off you go - don't forget to watch the guide on the platform you're heading to because he is going to tell you when to start to brake so you don't slam into him. After you safely arrive, you'll wait for the rest of your group to zip to your platform, and then you're hooked onto the next line and fly to the next platform. Cedar Mountain Lodge's zip line tour consists of 7 platforms and 11 zip lines ranging in length from 840 feet to 190 feet and speeds of up to 32 miles an hour. What a fun tour!
After our zip line tour we walked to the Eagle's Nest and ascended the spiral staircase up 20 feet to our bedroom for the evening. The tree house is very well done with cedar plank walls, lots of windows, and some nice appointments plus it includes:
- a soft and comfortable king bed with luxury linens
- heating and AC but when it's cool open the windows and enjoy the sounds of nature
- cute bathroom with a shower
- a TV with DVD and some movies and CDs
- a microwave, coffee maker, as well as a mini-fridge
- lots of choices for breakfast: milk, orange juice, water, breakfast bars, cereal, fruit, muffins, and more
- and an owl who occasionally likes to sit on the rail of the porch and check out what's happening up in his trees!
The Eagle's Nest tree house has a cedar rail porch that goes around three sides of the tree house and it's hard to beat sitting in the cedar rocking chairs on the porch overlooking the small creek and towering pecan and oak trees while enjoying a cup of coffee watching the sun rise - it's serene and peaceful with just the birds chirping and a couple frogs croaking - now I know why birds build nests in trees. What a comfortable and unique way to spend an evening!
If you're afraid of heights or need lodging for a large family or some of your friends, then the Lodge or the Bed & Breakfast Suite is perfect. The Lodge is an impressive two story building constructed with massive red cedar beams and all planking and it has 18 bedrooms with varying floor plans that sleep two to four guests and that may be booked by large groups requesting multiple rooms or by individuals. The Lodge sleeps up to 51 guests. The rooms overlook beautiful Texas scenery and wildlife.
If you really want something unique and special for a larger group or family, then the Bed & Breakfast Suite is really amazing - a very well done and tastefully decorated log cabin style house that can sleep up to 14 in 4 bedrooms and a loft with 6 bunk beds. The Bed & Breakfast Suite also has 4 bathrooms, a cozy living room with soft leather couches and chairs facing a fireplace and huge flat screen TV, plus a fully equipped kitchen. The Suite comes with a continental breakfast or you can order a full breakfast for an extra charge, or cook your own in the well stocked kitchen. What a great place for several couples to share or a family get together!
In addition to the lodging, zip line tour, and tree house, Cedar Mountain Lodge has a hot tub, wedding ceremony site with a gazebo, small bar and event room, large mesquite wood burning BBQ grill plus a wood burning pizza oven, a fire pit on a stone patio, and a nature trail leading to the fishing pond that's stocked with catch and release bass, catfish, and perch. To help eliminate some of the kinks and stress from work, why not get a massage in the private health rooms. If you're a hunter, Cedar Mountain Lodge offers guided hunts for trophy whitetail deer, black buck antelope, and upland bird wing shooting plus trap shooting and wildlife tours.
For weddings, corporate events, or reunions, Cedar Mountain Lodge has everything you need some of which includes: full catering from a basic Texas dinner to fine dining; event planning services; team building options or zip line tours for guests; and impressive options (banquet rooms to small breakout rooms) for receptions, banquets, and meetings including all the AV equipment you might need.
We had a great time during our short stay at Cedar Mountain Lodge - the owners are friendly and service oriented; the grounds and facilities are upscale, clean, and very well maintained; the Eagle's Nest is a unique experience; and the zip line tour and ATV ride were fun! And what a perfect place for a reunion, corporate event, wedding, or getaway! Reservations are required and they stay busy, so book early. Have fun.