Innsbrook: A weekend on the lake

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When I learned that I would be going to Innsbrook, Mo., for a long weekend with my husband’s extended family in June, I immediately tried to find the town on the map. I knew it was near St. Louis…not far from Wright City…and yet I couldn’t find it.

I decided that Innsbrook must not be a town at all but just a resort. But I was wrong. On further analysis, I learned that Innsbrook is actually a village with 552 residents according to the most recent census; however, it is comprised almost entirely by the resort, which is a private, gated community.

This sounds sort of hoity-toity on paper, but the reality is that Innsbrook is a great place to go for a summer getaway – and probably any time of year. Located just south of I-70 about 45 minutes west of St. Louis, Innsbrook boasts 100 lakes (I counted 65 identified on the resort map alone), with boating, fishing, swimming, golfing, and hiking.

Some of Innsbrook’s residents are year-round. Others use the property occasionally and rent it out the rest of the year. We stayed in one of those homes. It was big enough to sleep 20 (probably more comfortably if half that number were children); we had 13 people in our group and two adults had to sleep on something other than a real bed. The upper level slept three in the master bedroom and two in a second bedroom. The lower level ended up being one big slumber party, with one bedroom filled with bunk beds, a second bedroom with two beds, plus day beds and a huge sectional sofa. The living room had an enormous, vaulted ceiling with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the water.

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The house was right on one of the lakes: Lake Charrette. It was lovely. Smaller than some of the other lakes, like Aspen, Alpine, and Lucerne, Charrette was quiet but certainly big enough to boat and fish on. From our house, I could only see four other houses on the lake (one on either side and two across). We had our own private sand beach, lounge chairs, a small dock with chairs, a campfire area, plus a wrap-around balcony large enough to seat our entire group for outdoor meals.

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We spent most of our time talking, reading, hanging around on the beach, watching the World Cup, and fixing meals in the huge, fully stocked kitchen. My brother-in-law and nephew fished. A group of guys golfed. We drank a fair amount. We made s’mores. It was pretty relaxing.

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One morning Dave and I decided to attempt to find the hiking trails, and we located and hiked two of them: The Meadows Nature Trail and the Aspen Spur Nature Trail. Both were better than I expected, winding through some nicely wooded areas, along a creek, through a prairie, and near a horse farm framed by white fencing. One took you to a waterfall. We even saw a couple of turtles on the trail.

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It was interesting to drive through the resort; it’s very well planned and wooded and doesn’t have a “resort” feel to it at all. Housing is grouped according to type: chalets, condos, cottages, villas, and homes. Most of the lots are large, giving residents and visitors plenty of privacy. And it’s an easy drive into St. Louis if you want to catch a baseball game or go to the Gateway Arch.

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