River Mountain is part back-to-nature solitude, part fireside community fun.
For most city dwellers, the wilderness is attractive precisely for what it is not: full of other people. River mountain, tucked away in the woods three and a half hours west of Philly, has a different philosophy. Everything here – from common rooms to nighttime bonfires – is designed for strangers to get to know each other. No wonder: until the pandemic forced a change in plans, the property was designed as a summer camp for kids (hence those shared rooms).
Now River Mountain, open since last September, feels like an upscale hostel, the kind of place you can show up solo and soon find yourself sitting around a fire, drinking beers with a group. strangers until the wee hours of the night.
Where you will stay
Each of the property’s four main cabins contains 12 ‘pods’, stacked like bunk beds, with curtains for privacy. (The upper pods have skylights for stargazing at sunset.) For more solitude, book a personal tipi, or what comes closest to River Mountain compared to traditional accommodations: a private lodge room that can accommodate six people (although still in pods). Rates start at $ 52 per night for a single capsule and $ 220 for a tipi; private lodge rooms start at $ 220.
What you will do
On River Mountain’s 150 acres, located along a historic Native American trade route that later became part of the Underground Railroad, there’s plenty to keep you busy, from fishing and disc golf to the secluded grove of hammocks. great for reading and bird watching. A local yoga instructor runs classes on weekends, and the Buchanan State Forest just down the road has plenty of hiking trails and Narnia-style woods to explore.
The problem of eating and drinking
The no-frills breakfast and lunch – think mini frittatas and wrap sandwiches – are served in a log cabin circa 1807. For dinner, River Mountain offers a small selection of dishes (salmon, tofu, sirloin) for cooking. yourself on one of the many charcoal barbecues on site. Happy hour 5-7pm means amber beer nearby Olde Bedford Brewing Company and free sangria. Then finish the night with grilled s’mores over the open fire.
Good to know
1. Don’t expect hotel-level service.
Between the do-it-yourself dinners and the fact that there are only 12 showers on the property, this is a higher campsite than a five-star resort.
2. There is no cell service in these areas.
But the is Fast internet, the refuge is therefore well suited to remote work. There is even a conference room where you can take calls.
3. Take the time to take a short road trip.
Just 30 minutes away is Bedford town center, where you will find a taste of civilization: Founders’ journey, an indoor flea market, sells everything from records to antique furniture, and Lifestyle next door, coffee and lunch, would not be moved to Fishtown.
Published under the headline “Weekend at… River Mountain” in the July 2021 issue of Philadelphia cream magazine.