Moosilauke Ravine Lodge
Moosilauke Ravine Lodge is a cabin complex on the side of Mount Moosilauke in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The main lodge structure, built on the site of old horse stables, was completed in 1938 under the direction of woodsman C. Ross McKenney from native spruce cut on the mountain. It was originally intended as a ski lodge, and hosted some of the nation's earliest competitive skiing. However, the harsh New Hampshire winters made heating the large log structure a severe challenge and during the rise of other large mountain ski resorts in the 1950s, the Moosilauke ravine lodge fell into disuse. It was saved from ruin by Al Merrill, Director of Outdoor Programs and Ski Coach, who championed the value of the beautiful lodge for students and the community.
Today it is managed by the Outdoor Programs Office and staffed by Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Outing Club students and recent alumni. The lodge is open from mid-May to mid-October, with two weeks starting in the end of August reserved for the Dartmouth First-Year Trips. The staff provides a family-style, home-cooked dinner every night, which is attended not only by Dartmouth students, but by community members, Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, tourists, and even Dartmouth professors. In the summer, the lodge also houses the Trail Crew, a crew of Dartmouth Outing Club students who help maintain the seventeen Dartmouth Cabins & 50 miles of Appalachian trail between Hanover and the Lodge itself.
The term "Moosilauke Ravine Lodge" actually refers to a complex of buildings. The main building (referred to as "The Lodge") has the kitchen, dining room, the Lougee Lounge and library, a classroom, bunkrooms, and the bathroom facilities. The outlying buildings are mostly bunkhouses, sleeping anywhere between 2 and 12 people. The dining room and library of the lodge are heated, when necessary, by large stone fireplaces.
The complex lies in a valley above the Baker River (originally the Asquamchumaukee) on the southeast flank of Mt. Moosilauke, with easy access to many trails which total over 30 miles in length and range from easy walks to strenuous hikes. From the lodge one can easily access the Appalachian Trail which crosses over the top of Mt. Moosilauke. Here the Appalachian Trail rises above treeline for the first time after its beginning in Georgia. The Lodge purports itself to provide "Rustic Mountain Hospitality" to its guests throughout the season, as well as being "Famous for Fine Food". In addition to providing showers to hikers, the front desk also rents out linens and sells some basic hiking supplies.