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Lone Wolf
04-02-2015, 17:29
the hostel is closed after 40 years due to bad hiker behavior. another one bites the dust

Sue_Bird
04-02-2015, 17:58
the hostel is closed after 40 years due to bad hiker behavior. another one bites the dust

Sad. I learned what the phrase "flop house" meant at the Jailhouse Hostel. Because there is a sign inside that says "this is not a flop house!" :) Apparently not enough people took note of that sign...

JumpMaster Blaster
04-02-2015, 18:04
What happened? Was it a specific instance or just intolerable behavior & incidents year after year?

tiptoe
04-02-2015, 18:22
When I stayed there several years ago, a hiker burst into tears because another hiker (both females) told her she couldn't keep her dog inside. It was quite the drama, and it made me glad that I was hiking against the flow (southbound on a summer section).

pafarmboy
04-02-2015, 18:35
I remember staying there on an early season (March) section hike several years ago. Musta been 30 gift baskets wrapped and ready to roll down in the bunk room. Had the whole complex to myself. Thought, "Man these people are awfully trusting." Sad to see that people who had that much faith in the hiking community have decided it's not worth the aggravation anymore.

Lone Wolf
04-02-2015, 18:35
What happened? Was it a specific instance or just intolerable behavior & incidents year after year?

not sure but most likely it's been building for years

Coffee
04-02-2015, 18:52
Isn't this hostel actually run by the local police?

ALLEGHENY
04-02-2015, 18:58
In 2012 you are to contact the PD and let them know you are there.

Sarcasm the elf
04-02-2015, 19:00
I could be totally wrong, but when I passed through in May of 2011, I thought I saw a sign at one of the shelters saying that the Jailhouse hostel had already closed back then. Am I just mistaken, or has this happened before?

ALLEGHENY
04-02-2015, 19:06
May have happened before. I was there mid June of 12 on a rainy night.

Rain Man
04-02-2015, 19:18
the hostel is closed after 40 years due to bad hiker behavior. another one bites the dust

Too bad. I really enjoyed my stay there. Too often a few bad apples ruin it for everyone.

ALLEGHENY
04-02-2015, 19:22
They might of heard of the hiker wave approaching.

Donde
04-02-2015, 23:06
Wow I keep betting on the place to be the next one, and keep getting it wrong. How long you think it will be before they are all gone (excluding the for profits)? Sooner the better.

Traveler
04-03-2015, 05:09
Too bad. I really enjoyed my stay there. Too often a few bad apples ruin it for everyone.

Given accounts and observations over the last several years, it may have been a lot more than a few apples that were bad and more like Frat house mentality that seems to be pervasive.

Starchild
04-03-2015, 07:00
Would like more info. Wonder if it was a problem inside the hostel or in the town which the hostel attracted to it.

When I went it was full, people sleeping on the floor, but pretty mellow. Lots of hikers wandering around town but no problems. The police even stopped by to let us know about the bars, categorized mainly by age groups.

It is shame that this one is gone, it seemed like one of the landmark 'must stay' places. But then again change is the only way things can get better, so I am ever hopeful.

Don H
04-03-2015, 08:15
I could be totally wrong, but when I passed through in May of 2011, I thought I saw a sign at one of the shelters saying that the Jailhouse hostel had already closed back then. Am I just mistaken, or has this happened before?

I stayed there on June 8, 2011.

Crazy Larry #1
04-03-2015, 08:23
Never stayed but sad

Don H
04-03-2015, 08:28
Isn't this hostel actually run by the local police?

It's run by the town, you check in (or use to check in) at the police station, behind the town hall after hours. During business hours you checked in just inside the entrance to the town hall.

It's not really a jail but the basement of the town hall.

Hikers need to wake up!

mrcoffeect
04-03-2015, 09:50
"getting palmerized will not be tolerated"
If the thru hikers companion in 2008 had to tell hikers to behave when at the hostel,it should be no suprise that the town was sick of it.

Walkintom
04-03-2015, 10:21
It was open in 2013 but I remember a couple of hikers who were staying there getting kicked out of one of the bars for being rude (not inebriated, just rude) so if that behavior was continuing to be a problem I can understand why the town would choose to no longer provide the location.

soilman
04-03-2015, 10:47
This is a shame since Palmerton is such a great stop. The people there that I talked to really liked the hikers and business were trying to attract them. This will certainly dampen their efforts. When I stayed there the place was full with people sleeping on the floor or in hammocks. People need to wise up or we will see more of this in the future.

BillyGr
04-03-2015, 16:01
This is a shame since Palmerton is such a great stop. The people there that I talked to really liked the hikers and business were trying to attract them. This will certainly dampen their efforts. When I stayed there the place was full with people sleeping on the floor or in hammocks. People need to wise up or we will see more of this in the future.
Seems the businesses can still attract people by providing what the town no longer wants to offer.

Starchild
04-03-2015, 17:32
Seems the businesses can still attract people by providing what the town no longer wants to offer.

Perhaps but I doubt it. there are 3 towns to chose from here, one of the best things is the Jailhouse, because of reputation and it being free, was the attracting feature to this town. This cause a good deal of community and bringing together of the hikers.

JumpMaster Blaster
04-03-2015, 18:57
Perhaps but I doubt it. there are 3 towns to chose from here, one of the best things is the Jailhouse, because of reputation and it being free, was the attracting feature to this town. This cause a good deal of community and bringing together of the hikers.

Maybe "free" was the thing that attracted the bad behavior and the undesireables. Just a hunch.

Wolf - 23000
04-03-2015, 19:10
Each year there are some bad apples that cause trouble up and down the trail. I'm talking about hikers who don't believe the law applies to them. What most hikers don't see is the people that live in trail towns have to deal with this crap year after year. If the community gives hikers a place to spend the night, the community is on the hook for any damage, clean up, or misconduct cause by hikers. It sad when a place that has been a part of the hiking community for so long, closes its doors forever.

Wolf

Donde
04-03-2015, 21:12
Maybe "free" was the thing that attracted the bad behavior and the undesireables. Just a hunch.

My thoughts exactly! Get rid of all the free food, odging, shuttles, shelters, and privies, and then see who shows up.

Traveler
04-04-2015, 06:29
My thoughts exactly! Get rid of all the free food, odging, shuttles, shelters, and privies, and then see who shows up.

This dovetails with the "hiker feed" issue. Well intentioned perhaps, but the unintended consequences are felt down the trail.

Don H
04-04-2015, 07:58
My thoughts exactly! Get rid of all the free food, odging, shuttles, shelters, and privies, and then see who shows up.

Says someone using a fee website

Donde
04-04-2015, 08:14
Says someone using a fee website

That is relevant how?? A website and the AT are very different things.

BillyGr
04-04-2015, 13:59
Perhaps but I doubt it. there are 3 towns to chose from here, one of the best things is the Jailhouse, because of reputation and it being free, was the attracting feature to this town. This cause a good deal of community and bringing together of the hikers.

But nothing stops one of the business owners from offering free place to sleep in their basement to replace the town's basement. And if one did, they'd likely get more business, offsetting any cost for the sleeping area.

Coffee
04-04-2015, 14:56
But nothing stops one of the business owners from offering free place to sleep in their basement to replace the town's basement. And if one did, they'd likely get more business, offsetting any cost for the sleeping area.

Better to start a hostel and charge at least some fee to filter out the real troublemakers. I think that $25-30 would repel almost all the problem hikers and maybe make it worthwhile to the business, maybe...

Lone Wolf
04-04-2015, 15:39
hikers need babysitters. it's why hostels without a caretaker and with an honor system most times fail

Bucketfoot
04-04-2015, 17:11
Mature adults do not need babysitters. Unfortunately not all hikers are mature adults!

Starchild
04-04-2015, 18:08
hikers need babysitters. it's why hostels without a caretaker and with an honor system most times fail

I think you really hit upon something here. Many of the hostels do tend to take hikers (of all ages) as their children (some are empty nesters), and the hikers are in the position of children when they arrive. I remember walking into one where the first thing is I was given a set of clothes and given a place to remove all of mine and my hiking laundry and place it in a basket (to be washed and returned)- this is what you would do for a child.

The Jailhouse hostel may have been too much the other way, no one to watch over the children.

fiddlehead
04-05-2015, 00:17
Give stuff away for free and the riff raff will take advantage.
Gotta charge and have some kind of overseer.
I'm surprised the free stay 2 days south of here is still open after all these years (Port Clinton pavillion, NOT Eckville shelter which was held up with AK-47 a few months ago)
Of course Eckville is owned by the govt and has a caretaker, hence it's long term existence.

Lyle
04-05-2015, 00:32
I think you really hit upon something here. Many of the hostels do tend to take hikers (of all ages) as their children (some are empty nesters), and the hikers are in the position of children when they arrive. I remember walking into one where the first thing is I was given a set of clothes and given a place to remove all of mine and my hiking laundry and place it in a basket (to be washed and returned)- this is what you would do for a child.
.

It is also a good thing to do if you want to keep most of the hiker grime, ticks, and mud off of the hostel's furniture and carpet. If I ran a hostel, the rule would be, boots off, shower, clean clothes, then sit down inside, eat and relax. Self preservation.

Jeff
04-05-2015, 06:50
hikers need babysitters. it's why hostels without a caretaker and with an honor system most times fail

Lone Wolf nailed this one. Hostels with full time caretakers, always on hand when guests are in the buiilding will NOT have the problems that shut down those with little or no management.

Lone Wolf
04-05-2015, 07:58
Lone Wolf nailed this one. Hostels with full time caretakers, always on hand when guests are in the buiilding will NOT have the problems that shut down those with little or no management.

when crazy larry and i were helping with The Place it was an almost daily thing to kick hikers out for drinking alcohol, smokin' dope, sneaking in dogs, etc. especially late at night when i would make surprise visits. i called the cops most times. most didn't donate to the honor box either. the caretaker would tell us this when he retreived cash from the box

wornoutboots
04-05-2015, 08:05
Perhaps but I doubt it. there are 3 towns to chose from here, one of the best things is the Jailhouse, because of reputation and it being free, was the attracting feature to this town. This cause a good deal of community and bringing together of the hikers.

They could do what Glasgow, Va. did & what other small towns could do, build a shelter in town? Glasgow keeps it very clean & offers hot propane showers & an abundance of split firewood.

bobp
04-05-2015, 18:59
They could do what Glasgow, Va. did & what other small towns could do, build a shelter in town? Glasgow keeps it very clean & offers hot propane showers & an abundance of split firewood.
Why would they do that? From reading this thread, it would seem that hiker traffic is a mixed blessing at best. It isn't as if hikers drop a boatload of cash in trail towns (compare the funds expended by a hiker on a stay in a trail town with the cost of a day in Orlando at Disney World). Don't kid yourself. Places that accommodate hikers (shout out to Unionville, NY from personal experience) do so out of a spirit of generosity. There are easier and more plentiful tourist dollars to be had for many towns.

handlebar
04-05-2015, 22:00
Shame to hear it's closing. That Jaulhouse had the best shower on the trail.

mrcoffeect
04-06-2015, 07:15
Shame to hear it's closing. That Jaulhouse had the best shower on the trail.

I know.You could strip the freckles off of your back with that water pressure.

RED-DOG
04-06-2015, 09:59
people needs to learn how to show respect when staying in a town, i stayed at the jailhouse on all my thru's it was the best hostel in PA. it's sad to see this one go.

Fredt4
04-13-2015, 18:32
Nice place, stayed there in 2011, bought a meal and two beers. Don't remember resupply was an issue or not. I think it was 100 or so, but it didn't seem so hot as we had gotten used to the heat.

rustmd
04-13-2015, 19:29
how sad. . .i stayed in the jailhouse last summer during my PA section hike. . .i was suffering from the rocks and it was such a haven to come into. as i recall, there was a group of town folks meeting to have their town declared a "hiker friendly town". . .i chatted with 1 person and then was invited to speak as an AT hiker to the group. i told them how important their town was on the AT map, and that the town had much to offer, although there could be some improvement made for how hikers accessed the town.

and now this??? very sad! i also wonder if they are fearing an overload of hikers??? what can we do?

.com

Starchild
04-13-2015, 20:02
how sad. . .i stayed in the jailhouse last summer during my PA section hike. . .i was suffering from the rocks and it was such a haven to come into. as i recall, there was a group of town folks meeting to have their town declared a "hiker friendly town". . .i chatted with 1 person and then was invited to speak as an AT hiker to the group. i told them how important their town was on the AT map, and that the town had much to offer, although there could be some improvement made for how hikers accessed the town.

and now this??? very sad! i also wonder if they are fearing an overload of hikers??? what can we do?

.com

Just curious 'a hiker friendly town' or a 'Appalachian Trail Community' the former has no official designation but means that people in general welcome hikers and help them and like them passing thru, the latter is a official designation by the ATC.

Dogwood
07-16-2015, 23:01
I find some irony in that some AT hikers have difficulty behaving themselves even in a place named the Jailhouse Hostel. :rolleyes:

bangorme
07-17-2015, 08:38
Right now doing the AT is a fad, and that's brought in tons of people that wouldn't ordinarily be on the trail Many are there for the social life, and that doesn't bode well for the places that exist out of kindness or hospitality.

couscous
07-18-2015, 00:12
Well said.

elray
07-18-2015, 09:57
Right now doing the AT is a fad, and that's brought in tons of people that wouldn't ordinarily be on the trail Many are there for the social life, and that doesn't bode well for the places that exist out of kindness or hospitality.

And the upcoming movie "A Walk in the Woods" isn't going to do the Trail any good either!

Traveler
07-18-2015, 13:27
I find some irony in that some AT hikers have difficulty behaving themselves even in a place named the Jailhouse Hostel. :rolleyes:

LOL! What lovely irony.

shelb
07-22-2015, 23:23
I stayed in the Jailhouse Hostel in 2013.... great place!

Last month (June 2015), a ridgerunner in the area told me it closed this year because of bad hiker behavior: drinking onsite and hikers letting (sneaking?) in other people after hours (people staying were supposed to be in by a certain time and provide ID).

Too bad....