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Moosilauke Ravine Lodge Sign

I don't know if I'll ever be able to spell "Moosilauke" correctly on the first try… but that just means I have to go back. 

Just to learn the spelling. 

Not for the delicious dinner. 

Or the view…

Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains, Dartmouth College's Moosilauke Ravine Lodge is not only a perfect destination for outdoorsy folks but a hidden gem for Dartmouth students looking to have a unique dining experience, completely free of charge. This past term, I visited the lodge for an evening that left me with memories lingering long after my last bite.

The drive to the lodge was an adventure in itself. Plenty of Dartmouth students don't have cars, which would normally make it difficult to complete the hour-long drive – but the Dartmouth Outing Club (aka the DOC) runs evening trips to lodge dinners that make the excursion incredibly convenient. The process of registering for a lodge dinner trip is the exact same as signing up for a hike, canoeing, or any other trip the DOC offers: students can go to Trailhead, the virtual DOC platform, to view and register for trips. Once you sign up, the trip leader takes care of booking the dinner reservation. There is no cost for undergraduate students, and a significantly discounted cost for grad students – this applies to both meals and lodging, but I only stayed for dinner as opposed to overnight. 

And, as previously mentioned, the drive is about an hour long, so if you don't know the other folks you're going with, you have plenty of time to get familiar with each other (it is also entirely possible to sign up with a group of friends). When I went, I knew the trip leader – he was a fellow '26 who I met during O-week – and the rest of our van was grad students who I got to know on the way there.

It was a truly picturesque ride through the forested mountains. When we arrived, golden hour was gently turning into a sunset, so I snapped the pics below to commemorate our arrival.

Golden Hour in the Mountains
Golden Hour in the Mountains

The lodge's interior is huge, rustic, cozy, and timeless. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it, so I've posted pictures below. There's also an indoor swing, not pictured, which was super fun to swing on. There was also a screened porch which I enjoyed the view from. 

While waiting for dinner to start, some of us made tea or hot cocoa (I opted for the latter) and then ventured back out into the crisp mountain air to enjoy the view once more.

Drinking cocoa in the sunset!
Drinking cocoa in the sunset!

Dinner at Moosilauke is served family style, with a unique menu chosen by the workers (all Dartmouth students on off terms or recent graduates) each night. The night I went we had bread, potato soup, pasta, "crispy, cheesy carrots," and lemon bars for dessert! Each course was delicious, and I ate every last thing I put onto my plate.

Menu at Moosilauke!
Menu at Moosilauke!

Dinner also featured a brief show of sorts where the chefs introduced themselves and then led us in an activity (which we were also told differs every night). As part of our activity we all had to share things we were grateful for with our table. It was a nice way to center ourselves in the moment and get to know the folks we were sharing our meal with.  

I appreciate that night at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge even more now as I look back on it, currently writing from my hometown of Nolensville during our winter break. The combination of homemade food, charming ambiance, and the natural beauty that surrounds the lodge created a truly memorable evening. 

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