The SRL Summer Bucket List

A field at SRL on a summer evening

A field at SRL on a summer evening

Last night, Mike & Jan heard the first katydids singing. There's an old wives' tale in these parts that the first frost occurs six weeks after the katydids emerge (also known as bush crickets or long-horned grasshoppers). So, mark your calendars ─ that's September 19th! 

Before summer slips away, make a trip to the mountains. Breezy days with low humidity, cool evenings around the bonfire, and the forest lush with more shades of green than Crayola could ever dream of are reasons why our guests seek refuge from the steamy city. Here are ten more:

10. Ten degrees of separation

At approximately 2500 feet elevation and surrounded by forest, our thermometer rarely exceeds 82°F! We're usually at least ten degrees cooler than the metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington and that temperature differential increases once the sun goes down. There's plenty of fresh mountain air to breathe!

9. Become a Fourteener

Since it's cooler, taking a long hike through the woods of Savage River Lodge and adjacent Savage River State Forest isn't nearly as daunting. The most adventurous of our guests can tackle all fourteen miles during their stay! Bodhi's Trail (green blazes) is always a favorite. 

8. Toast an American icon

Frank Lloyd Wright is undoubtedly the most famous American architect, and his landmark home Fallingwater is within an hour's drive of SRL in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. Our Art & Nature Package also sends you to Kentuck Knob, another Frank Lloyd Wright home with an extensive sculpture garden on the next hilltop over. When you return to Savage River Lodge, make a toast to Frank for his 150th birthday with a Kentuck Knob Mule from our summer cocktail menu. 

Kentuck Knob Mule
Combine two ounces Knob Creek Bourbon and a ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake for a few seconds, strain into a copper mug over fresh ice, top with Gosling's Ginger Beer, and garnish with lime wedge.

7. Pay your respects

Also in the Laurel Highlands approximately one hour away is that field of honor near Shanksville, PA: Flight 93 National Memorial. The Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm, closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. (Note that the Visitor Center will be closed until noon on Monday, September 11th for the annual remembrance ceremony.) The grounds are open year-round and are free of charge. Your visit will be heartbreaking, humbling, inspiring, and life changing.

6. The taste of summer

Our menus reflect the season. We will transition to our fall menu in late September, and say goodbye to summer flavors like Grilled Peach Caprese, best paired with our beautiful open-air deck dining. The height of the season will be on display at our second annual Farm to Table Weekend with a feature family-style meal, highlighting local ingredients from farmers we know. Make a dining reservation 

5. Life is ruff

They might not accrue time off from their bosses for good behavior, but they deserve a vacation just as much as you do! Many of our Cabins are pet-friendly (and not just for dogs!) There are endless stumps to sniff and sticks to fetch in the woods, and Kokopelli & Karma will even tell you where their favorite swimming hole is. After a long hike or swim, they can refresh at the dog wash station and have an item from the Bone Appétit menu prepared to enjoy back in the cabin. 

4. Cheese, please!

Garrett County is becoming known as Maryland's cheese capital with the newly opened High Country Creamery in Grantsville, and well-established FireFly Farms Creamery in Accident. We are especially fans of FireFly Farm's Cheese & Wine Package, an absolute must for all of our guests! Arrive hungry ─ you will taste four of their award-winning cheeses with paired wines and heaping charcuterie, nuts, olives, tapenades, and antipasto.

3. Mind the GAP

Consistently named as one of the best rail trails in the United States, the Great Allegheny Passage trail is a great mix of nature and history, with only a little bit of effort since the railroad grade has an average incline of less than 1%! Some of the trail's best known landmarks are very close to Savage River Lodge, including the Big Savage Tunnel and Eastern Continental Divide. We're only twenty minutes from the closest trailhead, but if you don't have a bike rack ─ or are coming by bike! ─ we'll pick you up

2. Seasons pass

Every season is special and we hope you get a chance to experience all four of them with us at Savage River Lodge. If you stay two nights in each season over a span of four years, your fifth two-night stay is on us! Seasons to do not have to consecutive, and don't worry ─ we keep track of your Season Pass stays for you.

1. Just because

For every reason, every season, and every now and then...


Savage River Lodge is a four-season destination in the mountains of Western Maryland with cozy cabins, luxury yurts, and a gourmet restaurant surrounded by 700 acres of protected state forest land. A relaxing retreat at all times of year, call us at 301-689-3200 or search availability online so we can help you plan your mountain getaway!

Top Ten Reasons to Stay in a Yurt

Every once in a while, we take an afternoon to pore through the guestbooks from each cabin and yurt, and read the notes left by our guests of what they ate for dinner, their favorite trail, or how much their dog loved the Bodhi biscuits. It's such a fun insight into the wonderful experiences people have here! This is a favorite that we came across recently:


We came to the yurt for Valentine's Day weekend! Here are our top 10 favorite things about the yurt:

10. Liberal use of the word "glamping"
9. S'mores / fireplace
8. No internet!
7. Cozy bed (very cozy)
6. Rain on roof
5. Bodhi's trail
4. Bodhi's book
3. Meet n' greet
2. Chocolate muffins
1. Shut the Box!

♥ Jacob & Rezina, Baltimore

Learn more about life in the round in our Yurts, and check availability. We'd love to help you plan your getaway to Savage River Lodge (and teach you how to play Shut the Box!). Call us at 301-689-3200 or email

A Quiet Place to Think

We encourage our guests to fully unplug, and forget the world they left behind and let the quiet of the forest take hold for the few days that they’re here. But sometimes, that serenity can be the missing ingredient in being able to accomplish important work.

Charlene Beeman, Frostburg State University PhD candidate, has made use of our refuge on more than one occasion as she progresses toward her thesis. She shared her thoughts with us recently about what the experience means to her.

My Quiet Place

My life is hectic and full already without the rigors of trying to complete a doctoral degree in three years. I’m constantly reading and writing, and I need solitude to write. The ideas stack up in my head and I can hold them there and get them where they belong in my writing ─ but only if I can hold my focus. Sitting at home, even at my desk in my bedroom, I find it difficult to focus. Doors closing, people talking, family dropping in to ask a question, laundry continuously needing to be moved from the washer to dryer to the drawers… even the dog becomes a distraction. They conspire to reduce what should have been two hours of writing to only twenty minutes.

I remembered the feeling of serenity and peace I felt one evening when my husband and I drove off the highway back a long lane through the woods to Savage River Lodge for dinner. I began to yearn for that feeling where my mind was clear and nothing grabbed my attention; then I knew I could write.

One Tuesday evening I took that opportunity and traveled back that same road, just off the interstate and not far from home. I felt the pressures and stressors of life leaving my mind and I became optimistic that I could finally hold my focus and think deeply without distractions pulling me away. As I settled into the comfort of the warm yurt with heated floors and subtle lighting, the words and thoughts instantly began to flow onto the screen as though they were waiting for the chance. Except for an occasional pause to check a source, I wrote and wrote, letting the concepts develop and the transitions flow onto the word document in front of me.

The knock on the door startled me. I had ordered dinner to be delivered at 6 o’clock and I was shocked to see I had been writing for two and a half hours, the time simply flew by. I read through what I had written as I ate, all six good pages. It would take me days to get this much written at home with only bits of time between interruptions. I felt warmth, safe and joyful warmth there in the yurt! I worked another hour with similar results then packed up to leave.

Before leaving I looked about at the comfort of the room and I noticed the yurt was nearly dark except for the light coming from just above me onto the area where my laptop and my research bag had been located. I also realized the the room had a wonderful romantic ambiance that I would keep in mind for when my husband and I needed time alone together. No question, this place was a pleasant respite from the hectic rigors of everyday life; a place to get away for a few hours or a night. It is close to home yet so full of solitude that I now refer to it as ‘my quiet place’.


A Welcome Workation

Trade your meeting room for some breathing room! If you need a “workation” for you or team, or need space to begin penning that novel you’ve always been meaning to get to, we’d be happy to help. Our 18 cabins and 8 yurts offer luxury accommodation for business or pleasure in western Maryland. Private meeting space, gourmet dining, and forty acres of woodland are included, too. Call us at 301-689-3200 or inquire through our website.