Lodging Agreement of Terms

It is critically important that you take the time to read each of our following policies to ensure that you will enjoy your stay at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary.

We have exceptionally beautiful facilities in our 3000 acre nature preserve. The Sanctuary is a special destination for people who love nature, appreciate historic buildings, desire quiet and beauty in their lives, and value a temporary break from the constant overload of high-speed communication. Our facilities are perfect for many people, but not necessarily everyone. So, please, read over each of our policies before clicking that you are in agreement. Our facilities are embedded in native ecosystems, so be sure to review the last paragraph which explains the possibility of insect entry in our lodges.

Payment and Cancellation Policy

The first night’s rent must be paid in order to hold your reservation. This deposit is non-refundable. All other payments are due no later than 30 days before check-in. Refunds are only available prior to one month in advance of your stay.

Pet Policy

Pets are not permitted at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. This policy applies to both lodges and trails.

High Speed Connections

There are no televisions, phones nor WI-FI available in our lodges. Cell phone service is limited, but nearly all carriers can be picked up on Highway 50. We have two trailheads on Rt 50 for convenient off-road parking.

Checking in and out

Check in time is no earlier than 4pm on the day of arrival. Be sure to check out of your lodge by 11am on your day of departure. Our lodges are spread out and our housekeepers often make long trips to handle our housekeeping tasks. Please know that staying after 11 am can cause considerable hardship on our staff. More check-in instructions will be provided through an emailed confirmation letter, including the entry passcode and directions. Please print the email and bring it with you when you arrive.

Prior to checking out:

You may lift and move furniture, but please do not slide furniture over wooden floors. Upon departure, please move all furniture to its original position, wash all used dishes, remove all food, and leave buildings in the same state as you received them, other than reasonable wear and tear. Breakages and damage caused by the gross negligence of the guests, or leaving the lodge in a condition that requires extra expenditures on the part of the Arc, whether to clean, restore or repair, may result in visitors being charged additional fees to cover costs borne.


All facilities welcome families except the Eyrie and Zen suites, which are adult-only, due to the fact that they are potentially dangerous facilities overlooking the rim of a 100 foot vertical walled gorge. They are simply not safe for children. Also, be advised that child-friendly Leatherwood Cabin is above a 40 feet gorge. Children should never be permitted to play on the deck without close supervision.

Accommodations Capacity

Daytime occupancy is limited to the maximum number of overnight guests shown for each lodge.


We provide healthy environments for our guests. Smoking and using chemical sprays of any kind inside our lodges is not permitted to protect the health of our present and future visitors, and our staff. We recognize that many people have sensitivities and allergies.

Hiking Regulations

The Arc of Appalachia Preserve stewards highly protected nature preserves. Please read complete regulations before visiting, only some of which are summarized here: Remain on trails at all times, walking in single file to protect bulbs of native wildflowers bordering the trail. Do not disturb, pick nor collect flowers, plants, rocks, or wildlife. Hunting, caving, fishing, trail biking,  rock climbing, wading, campfires, and swimming are prohibited. Many Arc trails border dangerous, potentially life-threatening cliffs: Trails can be narrow, uneven, and steep; with possible ticks, poison ivy, and stinging nettle. Keep children close at hand, and hike at your own risk. Click here for a complete list of dog-friendly trails. most trails do not permit dogs.

Wildlife Sightings of All Kinds – a word about insects inside the lodges

All of our lodges are immersed in a protected nature preserve that abounds in wildlife, including mammals and insects at much higher levels than found in farm country and cities. Our lodges are scrupulously clean and fully modern, and even though all insects are removed from the lodge by our housekeeping staff prior to your arrival, it is possible, even likely, that some will re-enter. It is not uncommon in our lodges to encounter animals such as spiders, wasps, ladybugs, wood roaches, and native (and pretty darn cute) white-footed mice. We suggest trapping wasps in a drinking cup covered with a piece of paper and releasing them outside. If dealing with these kinds of visitors would cause you duress, we recommend that you seek an alternative destination. We very much want you to be happy here, and have a good time.

Insects you may encounter on the trails

Most people hike the Sanctuary for days on end without discomfort nor the need to wear insect spray. We experience very few to no mosquitoes nor black flies at the Sanctuary. Chiggers are ever-present in mid summer but can be avoided by not laying down on the ground, and by not going off trail, particularly in grasslands. (Note: off trail hiking is not permitted in any case.) You may encounter a few deer flies buzzing around your head in low moist areas, the discomfort of which can be minimized with a ball cap. If you see ticks crawling up your socks or legs, simply brush them off.  Most ticks you come across will be dog ticks, large but relatively harmless. The much smaller deer ticks may also be encountered, which occasionally is known to carry Lyme’s disease. It is wise for all Americans to learn the Lyme disease symptoms in order to expedite treatment.  If you want to actively repel ticks and chiggers, we highly recommend mixing ROSE GERANIUM OIL with rubbing alcohol at a 1:4 ratio, which can be rubbed or sprayed on your limbs, hat and clothing. It is natural, harmless to the skin, very effective, and pleasantly fragrant.