GLOUSTER, Ohio - We were cruising along Ohio 78 just at sunset, the red glow of the sky illuminating the ridge tops above the scenic drive that has earned the nickname "the Rim of the World."

GLOUSTER, Ohio — We were cruising along Ohio 78 just at sunset, the red glow of the sky illuminating the ridge tops above the scenic drive that has earned the nickname “the Rim of the World.”

Just as we were about to turn off to our final destination, Aaron Copland’s rousing Fanfare for the Common Man came on the radio.

My wife and I grinned at the serendipitous dramatic flourish, while our 8-year-old twins started their own imitation of Copland’s famous trumpet line — and Burr Oak Lodge came into view.

Perhaps Fanfare was a bit too grandiose to mark such an occasion.

Still, Burr Oak Lodge is an oasis of comfort in what might be the closest thing Ohio has to wilderness. And, not long ago, the lovely lodge — which had major electrical issues — was closed and in danger of a date with the wrecking ball despite being partly renovated in 2008.

But instead of spending $2 million to demolish the lodge, park officials — wisely, in my opinion — decided to invest the money in updating and modernizing it. The result is a gem, newly polished and gleaming, in a part of the state that lacks many such gems.

The lodge is under new management. It’s now operated by U.S. Hotel & Resort Management, which also manages the lodges at Shawnee and Hueston Woods state parks.

The 60 guest rooms have been updated and consolidated into 38 new rooms, including delightful family suites that feature two bedrooms and two baths each.

These suites might well be the best lodging bargain in the state for family travel. We paid $99 a night with a AAA discount. Our two-room suite gave the four of us more than enough room to stretch out. The comfort (and privacy) of our own room (with a king-size bed) allowed my wife and me to actually relax without the kids underfoot.

The kids, meanwhile, enjoyed their own room, where they had bunk beds and the freedom to watch Cartoon Network on their own screen without having to hear Dad constantly lament the sorry state of modern television animation.

Everything from carpeting to furniture to bathroom fixtures was fresh and new and seemed of good quality. There’s nothing too fancy — it’s a lodge in the middle of a 2,500-acre state park, after all — but the renovations don’t seem to have been done on the cheap, either.

The lodge’s Cardinal Dining Room & Bar was also a pleasant surprise in terms of both quality and value. The food was quite good, a cut above what I’ve come to expect at park restaurants. I enjoyed all my entrees, including the house-smoked pulled pork and a tasty spinach-artichoke penne with a house-made wine sauce.

And the 99-cent meals on the children’s menu are great values for the preteen crowds. My son’s “ kiddie” cheeseburger, for example, was massive and quite tasty. (I know because there was plenty left to sample after Charles had his fill.)

My wife enjoyed the freshness of the mixed greens in her Burr Oak Salad as well as its flavorful balsamic vinaigrette dressing. In fact, the salad was so popular that my daughter — usually not a big salad eater — insisted on one for herself the next day. I lamented going off the 99-cent menu, but when an 8-year-old wants salad, you make compromises.

Burr Oak also offers 30 fully furnished two-bedroom cottages that sleep up to six people. Cottage guests can use all of the lodge’s amenities, including the heated indoor swimming pool, where my family spent a large part of our stay.

The large lobby area, with an expansive view of Burr Oak Lake, is also quite attractive, especially on a chilly day when roaring wood fires are lighted in several fireplaces.

We also enjoyed playing the board game Sorry in the loft above the lobby that serves as a game area, and we picked up a couple of interesting kids’ books from the shelves there for bedtime reading.

The lodge sits adjacent to the Buckeye Trail, the 1,440-mile loop trail that encircles the state. While my wife and kids were at the pool, I hiked a beautiful snow-covered ridge-top section along the lake, stopping just 1,439 miles short of completing the circuit.

In warmer weather, the lake is a popular site for boating, with four launch ramps and 270 dock sites. A 500-foot sand beach is available for outdoor swimming. The campground offers 112 campsites, and 181/2 miles of bridle trails exist for the horsey set.

As we pulled away after checkout, the morning sun illuminating those same lovely ridge tops we had seen on arrival, we were too busy recounting our weekend adventures to remember to turn on the radio.