Escape to Walker Creek Farms and Cabins in Clay County.
With the price of gas pushing $5 a gallon, who isn’t looking for a summer escape that is easy to travel to but feels miles and miles away? Walker Creek Farms and Cabins, a country retreat located an easy 45 minutes north of Charleston and less than two hours from Morgantown, is just the place.
When Clay County native Daniel Tanner, owner of DL Construction, first saw the 250-acre farm, he approached the owners to purchase it, but they weren’t interested in selling. “I had a vision,” he says. “I wanted to create a nice country getaway.” As luck would have it, four years later, in 2018, he purchased the farm. By September 2020, he had built five vacation rentals—with two additional new yurts becoming available this July—as well as six stocked ponds and six miles of hiking trails. His dream became a reality.
“My vision was to recreate the memories of my childhood, when I would visit my grandparents. I remember sitting on the porch while it was raining and watching the drip lines because they didn’t have gutters. Life was lived at a slower pace. I wanted the cabins and yurts to have all those same smells, squeaks, feels, and textures.” Details are important to Tanner. All you have to do is look at the square nails he used on the floorboards. “Our floors aren’t perfectly smooth. They are like they would have been in the 1800s,” he says. “I wanted to create a rustic but elegant experience with modern conveniences.”
The fully furnished cabins and yurts are spread a comfortable distance apart. “They each have something unique about them,” says Tanner. “My dad, Lester, is a carpenter, too. He built most of the beds, cabinetry, doors, and windows.” Amenities include Keurig coffee makers, air conditioning, central heat, full kitchens, luxurious baths, firepits, charcoal grills, and satellite television. Don’t forget to pack your bathing suits, because you won’t want to miss relaxing in the galvanized troughs–turned–hot tubs. And each location has a hammock—a perfect place to cozy with a good book or a copy of WV Living magazine. You can even bring Fido, because most rentals are pet-friendly.
Two new yurts are almost ready for visitors. The Willow Yurt, which overlooks the two-acre Willow Lake, has a detached bunkhouse and two bathrooms and can sleep eight people. It’s perfect for two couples or a family with teenage kids.
On the lower part of the property, there’s a chicken coop where you can gather your own eggs in the morning. There’s a basket in each of the cabins. “A lot of people have never gathered fresh eggs,” says Misty Tanner, Daniel’s wife. “And they love doing it and visiting with the other animals. We have goats, donkeys, sheep, and pigs.”
Although there currently is no restaurant on the premises, the Tanners are working on adding one. But located just one mile away is Pizzas & Cream, an award-winning unique eatery where you can order custom brick oven specialty pizzas, homemade ice cream, gelato, and Italian ice. Walker Creek also partners with nearby Bop and Nana’s Bakery and Catering, the new undertaking of Tim and Melody Urbanic of Cafe Cimino fame. Just place your order at least one day in advance, and your food will be delivered to your door.
With its close proximity to recently opened trailheads at Duck and Ivydale as well as to Buffalo Creek Rail Rides and the Elk River, Walker Creek Cabins and Yurts is meeting the increased demand for lodging in Clay County. Load up your bikes, kayaks, and fishing gear, because you can easily spend a week engaged in outdoor activities.
While the Tanners plan on adding a few more cabins, a restaurant, and a country store to their property, it is important to them to retain the country retreat ambiance. “We won’t compromise the stay with overcrowding,” Tanner says. “I would rather have less guests with a greater experience.”
You can make reservations for dates from mid-March to the end of December by calling 304.286.5200 or visiting walkercreekfarms.com.