Anniversary Trip to Fort Lewis Lodge

Matt and I headed to the Virginia countryside after work on Friday to celebrate our 4 year anniversary! Our destination? Our old friend Fort Lewis Lodge in the George Washington National Forest. This place will always have a special spot in our hearts because it was where we went for a 3 night “mini-honeymoon” immediately after our wedding! (Recaps: Mini-Moon Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) We have a ring picture just like this from that trip – decided to recreate it. :)

fort lewis lodge anniversary trip

We hadn’t been back to Fort Lewis Lodge for a few years and we missed it! We went back for our 1 year anniversary trip but then decided to mix it up for years 2 and 3. It was good to be back. :)

fort lewis lodge

This place is such a gem – it’s rustic and homey, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by gorgeous countryside. Perfect for outdoorsy adventurers like us! :)

fort lewis lodge

We arrived on Friday around 8:15, just in time for a late dinner. One of the things we love about this place is they include dinner and breakfast in the room rates. The food is delicious, too!

fort lewis lodge dinner

After running 22 miles for marathon training on Friday morning, this food was especially awesome – and I definitely slept well that night! I was asleep by 9:30 and we didn’t get up until 8:30 on Saturday – amaaaaaazing. Breakfast is around 9 – perfect!

fort lewis lodge breakfast

We had a pretty lazy day on Saturday because the weather was rainy – good excuse to relax! We spent the morning reading and lounging in the hot tub in the rain (we figured we’d be wet anyway, so what’s a little rain?) before venturing out for a late lunch in the closest town about 30 minutes away.

After lunch, we came back and did a short late afternoon hike – it was still soggy out but the rain had stopped!

hickory trail loop virginia

The hickory loop trail is only a 5 minute drive away from the lodge. It’s a short but steep hike to an overlook with gorgeous views. That’s the lodge down below!

fort lewis lodge hiking

fort lewis lodge

hiking fort lewis lodge

We also made sure to stop by our old friend the tin man, who lives on the trail. John, one of the owners of Fort Lewis Lodge, found him somewhere in North Carolina at a side of the road sale and installed him on the trail. :)


Also: every time we do this hike this “TURN AROUND” sign cracks us up – it’s meant to just tell cars that they have space to turn around here, but we always interpret it as a horror movie sign. “TURN BACK… BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!!” Lol.


We returned to the lodge in time for happy hour at Buck’s Bar before dinner. :)

buck's bar fort lewis

Red wine for both of us – followed by this delicious dinner about an hour later!

fort lewis lodge dinner

Post-dinner warming our hands by the fire:


On Sunday we were excited to wake up to a gorgeous morning! Hooray – now THIS is the kind of weather I expect in October in Virginia!


One last awesome breakfast!

fort lewis lodge breakfast

Post-breakfast perfection:

countryside hot tub

We were sad to say goodbye – but excited for our next stop on the adventure: a hike in Shenandoah National Park, which is on our drive home!

hiking shenandoah national park

We’ve been making our way through our “Hiking Shenandoah National Park” book and decided to hike Hightop Mountain in the southern district this time – we knew the park would be crowded on such a lovely day and this hike isn’t super crazy popular. It also has a lovely view from the summit – perfect for such a clear day!

hiking hightop mountain VA

The hike is a 4 mile out and back along the Appalachian Trail. Lovely and wooded!

As for the summit, it was stunning – but it was a really windy day and it was CRAZY windy out on the rocks! Hold on to your hats!!

hightop mountain summit shenandoah

hightop mountain summit shenandoah

I was rocking a new 1/2 zip top that Brooks gifted me recently – perfect timing because it’s windproof! Made a big difference to not have that cold wind going right through my top!


We were planning to sit and eat lunch on the summit (packed sandwiches from Fort Lewis!) but it was so windy we retreated and ate in the woods. Didn’t want us or our lunches to fly off the mountain. ;) Especially not this delicious freshly baked cookie!

fort lewis lodge cookies

Our final stop on our adventure, about an hour outside of DC, was a quick stop at a pumpkin patch! :)


Matt found this fun farm called “Cows n Corn” right on our way back – perfect! We got some pumpkins for carving and for decorating, and picked up some fall-ish mums too!

decorate with pumpkins fall

Such a fun weekend with my best guy. Perfect way to celebrate our special day 4 years ago! Here’s to many more. :)

(Psst: if you’re interested, you can find all our wedding-related recaps here: our wedding.)

Please note there are affiliate links in this post.


  1. 1

    It looks like you two chose a beautiful spot for the weekend. It looks like you got some nice weather. I’m a bit jealous because we got snow here and it was cold over the weekend.

  2. 3

    What a fun trip together!

  3. 4
    Roadrunner says

    Very, very nice. What a wonderful weekend with your guy! Happy anniversary!

  4. 5

    Looks like a fabulous time!! Happy anniversary!

  5. 6

    What a beautiful trip for your anniversary! My fiance and I are getting married in a year’s time – October anniversaries are the best ;)
    It’s so special that you have a wonderful spot so close to you that you can keep coming back to for your anniversaries, and throw great food and hiking into the mix – awesome!

  6. 8

    What a great weekend! Sorry about the rain but still looks like you had a great time! This post makes me miss America so much! Fall hiking, cookies and pumpkins?! Yes please!! :D

  7. 10

    Happy anniversary to you both! My fiance and I will be getting married in 10 days (!), and I’m so happy we too will have an October anniversary. Your trip looked lovely!

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