Looking for a romantic getaway, Family retreat or off-the-beaten-path adventure? It’s closer than you think!
Fort Bragg’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation offers 14 cabins for rent year-round. Several cabins recently received upgrades, including new floors, TVs, furniture and more.
FMWR made the changes to stay up to date with its competitors, according to Sabine Bryant, chief, Outdoor Recreation, FMWR.
“It’s reinvestment in our property,” she said. “At some point, you have to do a modernization of your real estate ... we also replaced the kitchen and the next thing on the list is the bathrooms.”
The cabins were originally built between 2004 and 2006, and offer Department of Defense ID cardholders the opportunity to unplug for a few days.
“It’s a good way to reconnect in my opinion,” Bryant said. “Even not having Wi-Fi sometimes puts you in a position where you have to be a little more creative and talk, sit around the campfire, just those old-fashioned bonding experiences. ”
Some cabins are more basic than others. The 12 small cabins at Smith Lake consist of two rooms and do not have TVs or running water. Before the renovations, the front room had one double bed and the back room had a bunk bed.
Now, guests can relax on sofas in the front room that include a pull-out bed with memory foam mattress. The double bed is located in the back room of the renovated cabin. They can sleep up to four people and have a table and four chairs as well. The small cabins also include a combination refrigerator and microwave.
Smith Lake’s two large cabins include a full kitchen, loft, bedroom and common area. They sleep up to eight and offer Families the chance to reconnect with a Foosball table and more. There is no cable, but the TVs include a built-in DVD player for movie night after a day enjoying the outdoors.
“It’s an excellent alternative to a hotel room ... and it’s super close to post,” Bryant said.
In addition to the amenities offered at the cabins, Smith Lake Recreation Area has plenty of activities to keep all ages entertained throughout the day. There are hiking and mountain biking trails, park and picnic areas with ADA playgrounds, as well as volleyball and basketball courts.
The lake is currently closed pending dam repairs, but will reopen. When the lake is in operation, Families can enjoy fishing, swimming, and paddle boat/canoe rentals. Some activities have fees associated with them, but FMWR offers a 50 percent discount on most activities for guests staying in the cabins.
Future plans for the area include a new 1,200 square foot recreation lodge. It will contain a business center, lending library with DVDs and games, meeting rooms and a kitchenette with wet bar.
Bryant hopes the updates to the area will help people think of Smith Lake a little differently.
“What we’re striving for is to be a vacation destination, not a drive-by. We are morphing this into a destination for vacationers,” she said.
All cabins are off-limits to pets, so Families will have to leave their four-legged friends at home.
Reservations are accepted up to 90 days in advance and require full payment at the time of reservation. Guests can cancel their reservations up to seven days before their stay date and receive a full refund. Walk-ins are also accepted, and if FMWR has availability, DoD cardholders can book a cabin for the same day.
Bryant said FMWR has worked hard to ensure guests have a good experience at Smith Lake Recreation Area.
“When people spend their money, they do have some expectations, and we want to meet those expectations ... I feel like we did a good job in selecting upgrades,” she said.
For more information on the Smith Lake Recreation Area cabins, visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/programs/smith-lake-recreation-area. Call 396-5979 to reserve a cabin or for additional questions.