I want to give a shout out to Fred, Busy, Rod and Mark at Paint Creek Cafe/Hemlock Hollow. Thank you for enhancing my "wilderness experience" on my summer backpack. Eating a hot lunch/breakfast on a long porch overlooking Paint Creek was my idea of relaxing.
Hemlock Hollow is a little ways off the trail in between Allen Gap and Camp Creek Bald. I chose to walk up the Viking Mountain Rd from Allen Gap. It's not shorter, but it didn't have any PUDs.
Rod fixed me the Crazy Potatos for Sunday Brunch and then asked me how I liked it since I was the first to ever order it. I'll tell you what, after a few days on the trail, the Crazy Potatos were just the ticket for a hungry hiker! I even saved half of them for later.
Also had cold sodas and even got a little resupply there. It's not an outfitters, but, you can get a few things there if a boy scout troop has not just been in and bought everything up. I did get a coupla nalgene bottles cuz the platypus I inherited from my son leaked (I had already gotten rid of my gator-aid bottles).
They rent cabins and have bunk space for thrubees. I didn't check that part out, but, maybe someone else has and can give more info.
All in all, I loved it there and will be back (I went twice since I don't shuttle. I hike one way and then turn around and go back to get the 180 degree view).
Leave your comments here about Hemlock Hollow. Maybe some smart person can even link up their email address.
BTW, if you cowboy at Rich Mountain Firetower, remember there are no windows and no lightening rod.