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Mother Natures Son
04-04-2015, 19:24
What are the dirtiest, filthiest hostels, campgrounds, etc. that should be avoided along the trail?

Donde
04-04-2015, 19:43
What are the dirtiest, filthiest hostels, campgrounds, etc. that should be avoided along the trail?

Two different questions I think. Dirtiest places (besides you know the outdoors and all) I recall are The Doyle and Kincora, and they are not to be missed. The only places I would really try to avoid are The Place, and Elmer's(that is certainly a minority opinion YMMV). The cleanest hostels are Bearded Woods, and Green Mountain House, they are also excellent.

peakbagger
04-04-2015, 20:21
The Doyle definitely meets the definition of dirty and nasty, yet it has a great bar and it has become a rite of passage for thru hikers. I expect someone's age will establish how they like or dislike it. Then again not a lot of options in town.

Hikers Paradise in Gorham tends to a have a mixed reputation, many thruhikers flock to it but others walk in and then walk across the street and book a room down the road.

Bake Oven Knob Shelter is one to avoid, it gets lots of local traffic and is site of many parties

HighLiner
04-04-2015, 21:33
The Relax Inn at Atkins was sort of bad...

brian039
04-04-2015, 22:58
The hotel in Buena Vista was pretty gross, but no grosser than I was when I got there. Also Kincora, especially if you are allergic to cats. You're probably not going to be staying in many campgrounds on the AT since you can camp for free elsewhere.

fiddlehead
04-04-2015, 23:26
The shelters.

Walkintom
04-04-2015, 23:31
There was a shelter just north of the roller coaster that we spent a long afternoon and night in that smelt badly of urine. Despite laying out or tyvek sheet the smell managed to permeate everything before we left. We arrived in a heavy downpour and I wished later that we'd just trudged on. I even wound up washing my pack in a hotel bathtub on 2 different occasions after that trying to get the smell out.

Doyle was great; we liked Elmers as well despite my non-vegetarian leanings.

rocketsocks
04-04-2015, 23:41
Embracing the grittiness in your travels will build character.

WingedMonkey
04-05-2015, 10:30
The Relax Inn at Atkins was sort of bad...

It was nasty 20 years ago.

Makes me wonder if the nasty is that old or if it was remodeled then made nasty again.

Walkintom
04-05-2015, 10:33
It was nasty 20 years ago.

Makes me wonder if the nasty is that old or if it was remodeled then made nasty again.

I'm pretty sure it's antique nasty.

elray
04-05-2015, 10:38
I wasn't real crazy about Neal Gap who's only interest in hikers involved selling them new gear, if you weren't in that category you didn't count. It was more of a filthy roadside rest for the wheeled weekend crowd.

Colter
04-05-2015, 12:04
The one place I wish I'd avoided in 2001 is the Doyle.

wornoutboots
04-05-2015, 12:48
IMO,Small hotels that allow live ins should be avoided, they tend to be the dirtiest as was the one in Marion, Va. I had to argue with the guy for 15 minutes to have him put the charge back on the card. So glad I switched to the Econoldge + they gave me a great hiker rate & it was across from the Food lion!

As far as hostels, Kincora was fine, sure there are a lot of cats & raccoons under the sink but not a place to avoid maybe a place to embrace. Elmers wasn't too bad either for an old 125 year old Victorian home, great yard with hammocks to lounge in during the day. I have only hiked from Springer to Harpers Ferry but I haven't found a hostel I wouldn't return to.
Three Springs Hostel in Buena Vista was the cleanest.

Drybones
04-05-2015, 19:51
Any shelter in GSMNP.

Woodturner
04-05-2015, 20:14
It was nasty 20 years ago.

Makes me wonder if the nasty is that old or if it was remodeled then made nasty again.

In 1975 it was a pretty nice place. With an adjoining restaurant.
But.....
In 1975 the abandoned motel in Rockfish Gap was pretty nice too.

scrabbler
04-06-2015, 00:26
I love reading reviews on nasty places from people who haven't showered , done laundry, or slept in a bed for weeks. :-)

Hoofit
04-06-2015, 05:47
Two different questions I think. Dirtiest places (besides you know the outdoors and all) I recall are The Doyle and Kincora, and they are not to be missed. The only places I would really try to avoid are The Place, and Elmer's(that is certainly a minority opinion YMMV). The cleanest hostels are Bearded Woods, and Green Mountain House, they are also excellent.

Elmers?
come on, Elmer's had a music room with all kinds of instruments , a big room full of antique furniture, comfy bed and a great meal...
What's so bad about that?
and as scrabbler pointed out, we mostly stink to high heaven when we get there!
the Doyle was pretty rough, like me after a week in the woods! But I ran into Baltimore Jack and Box of Tricks there at the bar who turned me on to some crooks and the breakfast across the road was great.....
ha! Spellcheck at its worst! That was meant to read Croks!
Hike on my friends!
If you're tired enough, you'll sleep anywhere......

Starchild
04-06-2015, 07:24
Elmers?
come on, Elmer's had a music room with all kinds of instruments , a big room full of antique furniture, comfy bed and a great meal...
What's so bad about that?
....

.....


I also don't understand why Elmer's was mentioned in this. It is not really my style, I liked Laughing Heart hostel better (except for the extra distance to the town), but I certainly appreciated it when I was there.

no-name
04-06-2015, 08:20
I've learned to avoid any campsite near roads. Places that drunks can walk to from their cars to party for the night. Ensign Cowell Shelter in Maryland was where I learned it best.

tim.hiker
04-06-2015, 08:39
Any shelter in GSMNP.I have stayed in several at GSMNP and found them to be clean and well taken care of, there must be a group that does this. But I have not been to any outside of there to compare...

Trillium
04-06-2015, 08:43
.......
the Doyle was pretty rough, like me after a week in the woods! But I ran into Baltimore Jack and Box of Tricks there at the bar who turned me on to some crooks and the breakfast across the road was great.....
ha! Spellcheck at its worst! That was meant to read Croks!
Hike on my friends!
If you're tired enough, you'll sleep anywhere......i think you meant Bag-of-Tricks.

Seatbelt
04-06-2015, 13:11
I love reading reviews on nasty places from people who haven't showered , done laundry, or slept in a bed for weeks. :-) Too Funny!!

Francis Sawyer
04-07-2015, 09:30
Think about it. ALL hotels/motels are CRAWLING with filth,Microscopic or other. Even if the place appears to be clean just think about what people do in hotel rooms. ( I just vomited in my mouth a little) and then in you come and lay your sleepy head on the pillow which was god knows where only 12 hrs prior . I'm not saying I don't use hotels but don't be fooled into thinking it's not a great big bacteria party you're stepping into. Lol.

Redrowen
04-07-2015, 11:18
Think about it. ALL hotels/motels are CRAWLING with filth,Microscopic or other. Even if the place appears to be clean just think about what people do in hotel rooms. ( I just vomited in my mouth a little) and then in you come and lay your sleepy head on the pillow which was god knows where only 12 hrs prior . I'm not saying I don't use hotels but don't be fooled into thinking it's not a great big bacteria party you're stepping into. Lol.

Same goes with hospitals, restaurants, public restrooms, any doorknob or hand rail, shelters, and anything else touched by a hiker along the AT. So much for dramatics.

4eyedbuzzard
04-07-2015, 12:21
Think about it. ALL hotels/motels are CRAWLING with filth,Microscopic or other. Even if the place appears to be clean just think about what people do in hotel rooms. ( I just vomited in my mouth a little) and then in you come and lay your sleepy head on the pillow which was god knows where only 12 hrs prior . I'm not saying I don't use hotels but don't be fooled into thinking it's not a great big bacteria party you're stepping into. Lol.


Same goes with hospitals, restaurants, public restrooms, any doorknob or hand rail, shelters, and anything else touched by a hiker along the AT. So much for dramatics.

Every human's skin hosts an abundance of skin flora: bacteria (1000 different species) and other microbes - roughly a trillion inhabitants on each and every person (pretty much regardless of bathing habits). They're on the skin, in the outer layers, in hair, under the nails, in teeth and mouth, even in eyes, nose, and ears. Most are benign or even symbiotic. And that's before the really BIG party starts in the digestive system where there are pounds of other lifeforms.:eek:
:welcome all you little critters

Don H
04-07-2015, 16:53
Worst place I stayed at was the Port Clinton Hotel. Food was great, room sucked.

RockDoc
04-07-2015, 17:24
We had a particularly filthy room at Uncle Johnny's in Erwin, TN last October. Smelled like dog. Years of clutter piled up in the room...
On the same trip we had a genuinely bad experience at The Place in Damascus, another unclean pit IMO. We paid for lodging and were then kicked out by an evil Boy Scout troop leader from Kentucky, who "reserved the whole place", and said "you can't sleep in the same room as little boys", (implying that people other than Boy Scout Troop leaders might sexually victimize Boy Scouts--read the news).
In addition, the Howard Johnson in Atkins, VA seemed to have taken a bad 3rd world turn, in terms of filth and everything being broken...
I also had a bad impression of Elmer's in Hot Springs, and would never stay there again.

However, there are places that are so clean and nice that they almost make up for the pits.
Mountain Harbour was spotless and classy, for example. On the more rustic side, Woods Hole did it right.

elray
04-07-2015, 18:01
Ah the Doyle! I remember staying there for the first time in 2006 and spreading newspaper on the bed to protect my bag. The second stay a few years later was after an entire week of rainy weather and it seemed like heaven! I guess it's all perception! Long live the Doyle Hotel!

Praha4
04-07-2015, 19:45
1. the Autumn Inn, in Bennington, VT had to rank as the absolute worst motel I have ever seen on the AT. It made AT shelters look like a Hampton Inn. Dirt and mold were an understatement, probably Legionaires disease from the mold in the window A/C unit that didn't blow any cold air....along with the trashy locals that seem to crash there. Still can't believe it's in the AT Guide books.

2. I've never been a big fan of Uncle Johnny's hostel in Erwin, TN either, though some seem to like his charming personality. Seems quite a coincidence that noravirus seems to break out near that hostel almost every year during thru hiker season. Hope it's not again this year.

3. Smokies shelters are great now...anyone complaining about them now should've seen the old style with the chain-link fencing on the front of the shelters.

have not really experienced a bad hostel on the trail yet, but haven't hiked PA yet either

Trance
04-07-2015, 20:59
Not only is Uncle Johnny's disgusting, unless you are tenting, and even then it smelled like piss..... but one of the workers there... Chief or something, big guy with a giant gut, tried to swindle me on a shuttle to a trailhead. Would avoid.....

Crazy Larry #1
04-07-2015, 20:59
Elmers?
come on, Elmer's had a music room with all kinds of instruments , a big room full of antique furniture, comfy bed and a great meal...
What's so bad about that?
and as scrabbler pointed out, we mostly stink to high heaven when we get there!
the Doyle was pretty rough, like me after a week in the woods! But I ran into Baltimore Jack and Box of Tricks there at the bar who turned me on to some crooks and the breakfast across the road was great.....
ha! Spellcheck at its worst! That was meant to read Croks!
Hike on my friends!
If you're tired enough, you'll sleep anywhere......
You talking about Bag of Trix?

dudeijuststarted
04-07-2015, 22:44
Port Clinton Hotel. I have absolutely no standards and that place was unacceptable.

Donde
04-08-2015, 02:29
I also don't understand why Elmer's was mentioned in this. It is not really my style, I liked Laughing Heart hostel better (except for the extra distance to the town), but I certainly appreciated it when I was there.

It was mentioned because I stayed at Elmer's on my first thru and avoided on my second, and will continue to avoid it in the future. I noted in the post that my opinion is perhaps not widely held and YMMV, but I found Elmer's very unpleasent, and would/will never go back.

full conditions
04-08-2015, 07:57
It was mentioned because I stayed at Elmer's on my first thru and avoided on my second, and will continue to avoid it in the future. I noted in the post that my opinion is perhaps not widely held and YMMV, but I found Elmer's very unpleasent, and would/will never go back.
I've never stayed there myself - what was the problem?

Starchild
04-08-2015, 11:16
It was mentioned because I stayed at Elmer's on my first thru and avoided on my second, and will continue to avoid it in the future. I noted in the post that my opinion is perhaps not widely held and YMMV, but I found Elmer's very unpleasent, and would/will never go back.

I guess I am trying to understand is the reason it was unpleasant because it was 'dirty' or was it something else? As I did see some things there that I could see taken as understandably unpleasant to some people, such as Elmer seems very selective on who he decides is a real thru hiker and what that really means, any only wants real thru hikers to sign his book. This could make some people feel bad, not just those who are excluded, but those who emphasis with them and can lead to a unpleasant expernce that has nothing to do with it being dirty.

Donde
04-08-2015, 12:06
I guess I am trying to understand is the reason it was unpleasant because it was 'dirty' or was it something else? As I did see some things there that I could see taken as understandably unpleasant to some people, such as Elmer seems very selective on who he decides is a real thru hiker and what that really means, any only wants real thru hikers to sign his book. This could make some people feel bad, not just those who are excluded, but those who emphasis with them and can lead to a unpleasant expernce that has nothing to do with it being dirty.

In my original post I noted that I found the dirty part and the to be avoided part to be different matters. So sorry if I was unclear, I do not recall Elmer's as being dirty. I do recall the place being dirty, but that it is not why I avoid it; I avoid it due to the other guests, not the nice parrish trying to be kind. As for Elmer's I simply think if you are going start dinner table conversations about subjects not best discussed at a dinner table, you should try not to act like a dick when not everyone shares your worldview; additionally I can not abide a man and his hippie lackeys giving me a condecending lecture about places and things I have first hand experience with and they do not. That being said Elmer has done right by many hikers and I know many folks who call his place a must stay. So perhaps the advice I would give is if you have a 214 do not go to Elmer's, if you don't know what that is you will probably have a great time there.

tim.hiker
04-08-2015, 12:10
The worst I ever seen is someone come into a shelter that smells like dog and cat pee combined, just because you are hiking don't mean you have to be that nasty....:rolleyes:

Lyle
04-08-2015, 12:37
In my original post I noted that I found the dirty part and the to be avoided part to be different matters. So sorry if I was unclear, I do not recall Elmer's as being dirty. I do recall the place being dirty, but that it is not why I avoid it; I avoid it due to the other guests, not the nice parrish trying to be kind. As for Elmer's I simply think if you are going start dinner table conversations about subjects not best discussed at a dinner table, you should try not to act like a dick when not everyone shares your worldview; additionally I can not abide a man and his hippie lackeys giving me a condecending lecture about places and things I have first hand experience with and they do not. That being said Elmer has done right by many hikers and I know many folks who call his place a must stay. So perhaps the advice I would give is if you have a 214 do not go to Elmer's, if you don't know what that is you will probably have a great time there.

I enjoyed my stay at Elmer's several years ago. We were there late in the season, so Elmer wasn't there. The caretaker was a young, ex thru hiker who was very pleasant, but unobtrusive. We stayed for two nights, had the place to ourselves both nights, so no dinner or breakfast was served. We also had the pleasure of viewing and photographing some night-blooming flowers while there.

I will say, I probably would not enjoy the forced conversation with dinner - had that experience elsewhere - not my cup of tea.

Crazy Larry #1
04-09-2015, 08:03
I love reading reviews on nasty places from people who haven't showered , done laundry, or slept in a bed for weeks. :-)Exactly..............

Colter
04-09-2015, 09:15
I love reading reviews on nasty places from people who haven't showered , done laundry, or slept in a bed for weeks. :-)

When I get showered and my laundry is done, I don't want to sleep around someone else's filth. I think most hikers feel the same.

Similarly there's a considerable difference between putting on my dirty clothes and putting on someone else's.

Jeff
04-09-2015, 09:49
1. the Autumn Inn, in Bennington, VT had to rank as the absolute worst motel I have ever seen on the AT. It made AT shelters look like a Hampton Inn. Dirt and mold were an understatement, probably Legionaires disease from the mold in the window A/C unit that didn't blow any cold air....along with the trashy locals that seem to crash there. Still can't believe it's in the AT Guide books.

Everyone I talk to says the same about Autumn Inn. Because it is closest to the trail, it gets listed first in The AT Guide. I spoke with AWOL and this year he lists Catamount Motel first for Bennington, VT. They are reasonably clean and very hiker friendly.

Grampie
04-09-2015, 10:25
One of the laments of being a thru-hiker is the lower standard of cleanliness you have to tolerate. Dirt and grime are everywhere. Learning how to tolerate it is something that goes hand and hand with becoming a thru hiker.
I would often think on myself as a traveler in the 1800s. The grime dirt and filth of daily living was a part of life at that time. While thru-hiking you have to keep focused on the good and learn to except the bad.
During my thru-hiked I visited quite a few places that have been mentioned. I took my stated approach and enjoyed many of them. I even enjoyed the Doyle.

Jack Tarlin
04-10-2015, 10:14
Sorry to see Elray's post (#11), above. Contrary to what he wrote, we treat everyone the same here at Neel Gap, and the majority of hikers don't need or don't purchase major pieces of new gear, nor is anyone pressured into buying anything they don't want. Gear prices, by the way, are all at MSRP, i.e the manufacturer's suggested retail price, i.e. not jacked or over-raised. But there's obviously no pleasing everybody.

moytoy
04-15-2015, 02:40
Too many want the Ritz for $10. I don't really get the point in a thread like this.

Crazy Larry #1
04-15-2015, 07:31
Too many want the Ritz for $10. I don't really get the point in a thread like this.
There are a few that have come thru my doors nitpicking me to death, I usually will give them whatever money is owed back to them and show them the door. This has produced some negative results for me but I am okay with that and since I am the only one doing my job I sometimes do not get everything completely clean for the next hiker coming thru the door, I will not let them sleep in a slept in bed though, they will have to wait til I have a clean set of linen. I want only those who are comfortable in a lived in house because I live here too and the majority are just that.

Walkintom
04-15-2015, 08:48
Sorry to see Elray's post (#11), above. Contrary to what he wrote, we treat everyone the same here at Neel Gap, and the majority of hikers don't need or don't purchase major pieces of new gear, nor is anyone pressured into buying anything they don't want. Gear prices, by the way, are all at MSRP, i.e the manufacturer's suggested retail price, i.e. not jacked or over-raised. But there's obviously no pleasing everybody.


I was quite pleased with our treatment when we came through in 2013. I pre-purchased some fuel from you guys over a month in advance and it was sitting there waiting for me with my name on it; no small feat in a place that can get so busy so quickly. And none of the prices were outrageous. Quite in line as I recall. We didn't need any gear; just restocked on food and picked up our fuel and we were treated just as well as people who were looking for major gear.

I've noticed that some people are offended by MSRP. It seems to be the way of the world.

Patrickjd9
04-18-2015, 13:55
And none of the prices were outrageous. Quite in line as I recall. We didn't need any gear; just restocked on food and picked up our fuel and we were treated just as well as people who were looking for major gear.

I've noticed that some people are offended by MSRP. It seems to be the way of the world.

MSRP seems reasonable enough for gear tailored to the long-distance hiker, delivered with good service, in a place that they pretty much walk through. All of this provided exactly when they realize that they aren't going to get through North Carolina with the gear they bought back home.

Praha4
04-18-2015, 18:51
Everyone I talk to says the same about Autumn Inn. Because it is closest to the trail, it gets listed first in The AT Guide. I spoke with AWOL and this year he lists Catamount Motel first for Bennington, VT. They are reasonably clean and very hiker friendly.

thanks Jeff! Next LT hike I do, I will try Catamount, have heard good things on them from other hikers, and they are reasonably priced for hikers. The VT Health Dept should do an inspection at the Autumn Inn.... disgusting place!

joshuasdad
04-18-2015, 19:13
Rendezvous Motel in Pearisburg was the worst for me -- not too dirty, but everything (including hot water) appeared to be broken. I might have been the last hiker to stay there (it burned down shortly thereafter).

I'm guessing I got a decent room at the Doyle, and cold beer helps me sleep well...

I'm pretty sure the worst hotel on the trail is at Rockfish Gap south of SNP, the reviews on that hotel are downright scary... http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g58295-d252505-Reviews-The_Inn_at_Afton-Waynesboro_Virginia.html#photos

BAG "o" TRICKS
04-18-2015, 19:38
Agree with may of the places mentioned. btw I'm at The Doyle now with smelly weekend hiker friends and we're all having a great time and staying the night, $26 a rm. Pat, Vickey, John & I say hello to everyone.

Donde
04-18-2015, 20:03
Agree with may of the places mentioned. btw I'm at The Doyle now with smelly weekend hiker friends and we're all having a great time and staying the night, $26 a rm. Pat, Vickey, John & I say hello to everyone.

I have had the pleasure of closing that bar down with you once in 2010.

The Doyle is a dump, but it is the most charming welcoming dump around. Not to be missed

earlyriser26
04-18-2015, 22:19
I have stayed there three times. A dump? Yes. But I did stay there three times. Sorry that it burned down. Too few motels right on the trail.

Donde
04-18-2015, 23:27
I have stayed there three times. A dump? Yes. But I did stay there three times. Sorry that it burned down. Too few motels right on the trail.

burned down? *** are you talking about? also to clarify I meant not to be misssed as in a must stop I have stayed there twice, and I adore Pat & Vicki

gollwoods
04-19-2015, 07:17
In order of disgusting Damascus, whiteblsze, the section from springer to kahtadin

elray
04-19-2015, 14:07
Sorry to see Elray's post (#11), above. Contrary to what he wrote, we treat everyone the same here at Neel Gap, and the majority of hikers don't need or don't purchase major pieces of new gear, nor is anyone pressured into buying anything they don't want. Gear prices, by the way, are all at MSRP, i.e the manufacturer's suggested retail price, i.e. not jacked or over-raised. But there's obviously no pleasing everybody.

You know Jack maybe my post was a little hasty and let me say right up front that we were not mistreated or cheated, again it's all perception. We arrived on one of the first nice Saturday's in April and the place was packed with "road warriors" and hikers, there was impending rain and our feet were already feeling the miles. Then there was a terrific car crash right up into the parking lot that we barely avoided being part of and an old couple involved in the accident lost their pet dog in the aftermath which was even more upsetting. It was a warm and stuffy night in the hostel and the women's privy was out of order, the shower looked like a landfill and I'm sorry if we expected more, it is after all the fabled first stop on the AT. Looking back we should have hiked on after re-supplying and tented away from the mayhem.

MuddyWaters
04-19-2015, 14:29
Its mostly about expectations.
You are hiking a trail, in the woods.
Be thankful there are places you can get off trail for cheap.
If you couldnt, most wouldnt be able to afford to hike.

The good clean cheap places are to be appreciated, not expected.

Ive slept in many places where i slept on top of bed, fully clothed, at $60/night.

Ive stayed in a place that offshore workers stay at waiting to go out, or getting back spend night at, that makes anything along AT look like a palace.

Lyle
04-19-2015, 14:50
I'm rather ashamed to see this thread. Many of the folks mentioned on the thread are small-time operators who offer a service for greatly reduced cost to hikers. While yes, some are cleaner than others, I consider this entire tread to be about bashing the folks who offer these services. Nothing says you have to accept the hospitality or services. If you are not satisfied, I would suggest moving on and not recommending the facilities. I feel it is bad form to go online to bad mouth our supporters.

Astro
04-19-2015, 15:34
I'm pretty sure the worst hotel on the trail is at Rockfish Gap south of SNP, the reviews on that hotel are downright scary... http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g58295-d252505-Reviews-The_Inn_at_Afton-Waynesboro_Virginia.html#photos

You make it sound like the extra mile walk to the Colony House is worth it.

Violent Green
04-19-2015, 18:38
I'm rather ashamed to see this thread. Many of the folks mentioned on the thread are small-time operators who offer a service for greatly reduced cost to hikers. While yes, some are cleaner than others, I consider this entire tread to be about bashing the folks who offer these services. Nothing says you have to accept the hospitality or services. If you are not satisfied, I would suggest moving on and not recommending the facilities. I feel it is bad form to go online to bad mouth our supporters.

They're not our supporters, they're business owners. Hikers are their supporters as long as there is payment involved - no matter what the cost. Businesses earn whatever their reputation is, good or bad.

Ryan

Drybones
04-19-2015, 18:41
I find this thread kind of funny, folks who, after a few weeks, will eat food dropped in the dirt and enjoy it and smell like the south end of a north bound skunk and they want to know about dirty places....they're anywhere a thru hikers resides...just ask town folk.

earlyriser26
04-19-2015, 21:37
burned down? *** are you talking about? also to clarify I meant not to be misssed as in a must stop I have stayed there twice, and I adore Pat & Vicki

Rendezvous motel.

rmitchell
04-19-2015, 21:48
I have stayed in several at GSMNP and found them to be clean and well taken care of, there must be a group that does this. But I have not been to any outside of there to compare...

Volunteers. Smoky Mountain Hiking Club

joshuasdad
04-19-2015, 22:18
I was definitely referring to the Rendezvous Motel -- I love the Doyle, and would stay there again.

http://www.wdbj7.com/news/local/pearisburg-business-leaving-a-stink/26625872

(I stayed there in early January, it burned later that month.)

Freak on a Leash
04-20-2015, 23:45
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g58295-d252505-Reviews-The_Inn_at_Afton-Waynesboro_Virginia.html#photos[/URL]


The 'Inn' at Afton! :eek: That place is still alive? Someone should put it out of it's misery.:datz I stayed there in 2006 with my daughter when we attended a Jeep Jamboree about 20 miles away. It was the closest hotel. I wish I'd stayed in Charlottesville.. What a horrible place..I made a reservation to stay there sight unseen and couldn't believe it when I got there. I'd driven by that place in the '90s when it was an old Howard Johnson and thought it burned down. It should've been condemned. I stayed there 3 horrible days at $75/night and it was literally crumbling and falling apart. Moldy carpets, peeling paint/wallpaper, dirty, smelly..my daughter wouldn't even swim in the pool. Our shower sprung a leak and was gushing water out of the faucet and I had to actually go out to my Jeep and get my own tools to fix it because the staff or owner couldn't be bothered and said they had no tools and to "just let it run". And what was I supposed to do when the bathtub overflowed?

I was told by the staff that the owner was letting it run to the ground because he wanted to sell it and not put any money into it. Looking at the reviews I'm amazed it's still there. I've traveled all over and never have I stayed in a hotel that bad.

Lyle
04-21-2015, 00:20
They're not our supporters, they're business owners. Hikers are their supporters as long as there is payment involved - no matter what the cost. Businesses earn whatever their reputation is, good or bad.

Ryan

Bull. Very few of the hostels are making any money, at MOST they offset some of the cost. This is why there are so many problems with the attitude of hikers of late, they think if they pay $20 for a room, a kitchen, a laundry, a shuttle or two to town, and a shuttle back to the trail, that they are somehow a paying customer who can be demanding and cop an attitude if the owner doesn't allow them to openly drink their booze and smoke their weed.

Most of the motels give hiker discounts and offer additional services such as laundry or free shuttles, they are indeed supporting the hikers. Just knowingly allowing these filthy dirty, smelly patrons into their rooms, and cleaning up after them, constitutes supporting the hikers, especially when they allow 4 or 5 of these unrelated patrons to occupy the same room and supply extra towels to them.

Starchild
04-21-2015, 07:41
I was quite pleased with our treatment when we came through in 2013. I pre-purchased some fuel from you guys over a month in advance and it was sitting there waiting for me with my name on it; no small feat in a place that can get so busy so quickly. And none of the prices were outrageous. Quite in line as I recall. We didn't need any gear; just restocked on food and picked up our fuel and we were treated just as well as people who were looking for major gear.

I've noticed that some people are offended by MSRP. It seems to be the way of the world.
I have good feeling from my stay at Mountain Crossings, truly a special place. There was no pressure to upgrade and prices seems OK for a outfitter. My gear was pretty good at this point and I didn't do the shakedown as I didn't need to and I knew that from experience. But many starting thru's don't have that experience and really need that help.

As Splash was leaving me to driving back home I and 2 other thru hikers had the opportunity to slack the 10 miles as she dropped our packs off at Mountain Crossing. It is a very nice service to offer that they ask nothing for (the other 2 hiked on, not buying anything).

It was also my first hostel night on the trail and a church group made us all grilled burgers.

jimmyjam
04-21-2015, 18:12
The 'Inn' at Afton! :eek: That place is still alive? Someone should put it out of it's misery.:datz I stayed there in 2006 with my daughter when we attended a Jeep Jamboree about 20 miles away. It was the closest hotel. I wish I'd stayed in Charlottesville.. What a horrible place..I made a reservation to stay there sight unseen and couldn't believe it when I got there. I'd driven by that place in the '90s when it was an old Howard Johnson and thought it burned down. It should've been condemned. I stayed there 3 horrible days at $75/night and it was literally crumbling and falling apart. Moldy carpets, peeling paint/wallpaper, dirty, smelly..my daughter wouldn't even swim in the pool. Our shower sprung a leak and was gushing water out of the faucet and I had to actually go out to my Jeep and get my own tools to fix it because the staff or owner couldn't be bothered and said they had no tools and to "just let it run". And what was I supposed to do when the bathtub overflowed?

I was told by the staff that the owner was letting it run to the ground because he wanted to sell it and not put any money into it. Looking at the reviews I'm amazed it's still there. I've traveled all over and never have I stayed in a hotel that bad.


No the Afton is closed. You can still park in their parking lot.

RED-DOG
04-21-2015, 18:20
The filthiest hostels In my opinion are, kincora, Dave's place, greasy creek friendly, Holly Hell hostel in Pearisburg VA, church of the Mountains.

RED-DOG
04-21-2015, 18:28
There was a shelter just north of the roller coaster that we spent a long afternoon and night in that smelt badly of urine. Despite laying out or tyvek sheet the smell managed to permeate everything before we left. We arrived in a heavy downpour and I wished later that we'd just trudged on. I even wound up washing my pack in a hotel bathtub on 2 different occasions after that trying to get the smell out.

Doyle was great; we liked Elmers as well despite my non-vegetarian leanings.
I think your talking about the old Devil's Racecourse Shelter I stayed their in 06 and it smelled like Vomit to me.

Mother Natures Son
04-21-2015, 19:06
What about Pine Grove Hostel? (Pine Grove S.P., PA) I heard it's gone "upscale" and is much better place then when A.Y.H. owned it. I stayed there years ago and A.Y.H. ran it into the ground. What a dump it was!

Violent Green
04-21-2015, 19:35
Bull. Very few of the hostels are making any money, at MOST they offset some of the cost. This is why there are so many problems with the attitude of hikers of late, they think if they pay $20 for a room, a kitchen, a laundry, a shuttle or two to town, and a shuttle back to the trail, that they are somehow a paying customer who can be demanding and cop an attitude if the owner doesn't allow them to openly drink their booze and smoke their weed.

Most of the motels give hiker discounts and offer additional services such as laundry or free shuttles, they are indeed supporting the hikers. Just knowingly allowing these filthy dirty, smelly patrons into their rooms, and cleaning up after them, constitutes supporting the hikers, especially when they allow 4 or 5 of these unrelated patrons to occupy the same room and supply extra towels to them.

We can agree to disagree, but you're being naive if you think most hostels & motels are losing money. Getting rich - no. But, you think people are giving their money away? Come on, that's not sustainable. For many it's something to do to make a little money after retirement, etc. Obviously situations will vary. Motels give discounts because $20 is better than an empty room, and there's no demand in these little mountain towns. They want the business because they are business owners. Hikers don't owe them anything & they don't owe hikers - until money is involved.

Also, I don't recall people in this thread saying "Avoid Hostel X because they won't let me smoke weed". Seems like most of the criticism was due to places being unclean. There is nothing wrong with expecting a business establishment to be somewhat clean if they're taking your money.

Ryan

4shot
04-21-2015, 19:55
Agree with may of the places mentioned. btw I'm at The Doyle now with smelly weekend hiker friends and we're all having a great time and staying the night, $26 a rm. Pat, Vickey, John & I say hello to everyone.


bag o tricks......wow...we met back on my thru in 2010 near or at the Doyle. You provided me with a chew, which was hard to come by up there, and a beer.

One thing I loved about my thru hike...I learned I could function and enjoy places where I wouldn't/ couldn't before. Coming out of palmerton at the jail, It was well over 100 degrees so i journeyed up a side road that paralleled the lehigh (?) ridge because of the creek that was there. Got into Winding? Windy? Wind? Gap about 20 miles up the road to a little hotel there. It was $35 per night for the room. i wanted a shower and there was no shampoo...so I went to the little office. the people there didn't speak a great deal of English but i finally got through....the proprietress came back with a small bottle of the hotel shampoo....which was opened and half gone. i gladly used the remainder. A thru does change one's perspective.

P.S. to Bag O'...you refused payment for the beer and chew. So i walked back to your truck and left a $20 on the dash. Hope you got it. It was a real pleasure to meet you..and to have a burger and beer at the Doyle during the world cup. One of the highlights of "Rocksylvania" to me.

soilman
04-21-2015, 22:14
I think this post is funny, hikers calling out "dirty" places. What I take exception to is hikers complaining about the cleanliness of not-for-profit hostels and shelters. How many times have you seen a hiker help clean up any of these places? Many shelters have brooms, but I seldom see a hiker use them.

firesign
04-22-2015, 05:08
Trent's Grocery Campsite facilities at VA-606 - Great burgers at the shop but avoid the nearby campsite.
Dolye Hotel - but great bar, great food, run by great people.
Uncle Johnny's in Erwin - absolutely filthy. Wipe your feet on the way out.
Basement under Palmerton Court House (now closed) - just stunk like Jeffrey Dahmer's refrigerator

A Big thank you to the majority of owners that look after hikers and ensure that basic standards are met. :)

Crazy Larry #1
04-22-2015, 06:58
Agree with may of the places mentioned. btw I'm at The Doyle now with smelly weekend hiker friends and we're all having a great time and staying the night, $26 a rm. Pat, Vickey, John & I say hello to everyone.
You have risen from the dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crazy Larry #1
04-22-2015, 06:59
In order of disgusting Damascus, whiteblsze, the section from springer to kahtadin
What's up with Damascus?

Crazy Larry #1
04-22-2015, 07:07
I'm rather ashamed to see this thread. Many of the folks mentioned on the thread are small-time operators who offer a service for greatly reduced cost to hikers. While yes, some are cleaner than others, I consider this entire tread to be about bashing the folks who offer these services. Nothing says you have to accept the hospitality or services. If you are not satisfied, I would suggest moving on and not recommending the facilities. I feel it is bad form to go online to bad mouth our supporters.Good point. Most of the time whoever wants to stay with me stays but every so often-and it will begin to happen with the bubble- there will be that particular hiker that comes along and if he-it's usually a he-will find something to use against you to come down on your price. Like guilt maybe-"I heard this and this about you, or there's a cobweb, or there's no hot water I hear" and the most infamous one is "I am a thru hiker and I want a discount!" Like we are expected to pay for their vacation..........

I think this year I am going to begin keeping a log of what people do and say to get reduced prices....

I been told by folks that stay that they would have to pay $60-$120 for the same thing I do here at a B&B............

Crazy Larry #1
04-22-2015, 07:16
They're not our supporters, they're business owners. Hikers are their supporters as long as there is payment involved - no matter what the cost. Businesses earn whatever their reputation is, good or bad.

RyanAnd another good point, true that..........

Crazy Larry #1
04-22-2015, 07:21
Bull. Very few of the hostels are making any money, at MOST they offset some of the cost. This is why there are so many problems with the attitude of hikers of late, they think if they pay $20 for a room, a kitchen, a laundry, a shuttle or two to town, and a shuttle back to the trail, that they are somehow a paying customer who can be demanding and cop an attitude if the owner doesn't allow them to openly drink their booze and smoke their weed.

Most of the motels give hiker discounts and offer additional services such as laundry or free shuttles, they are indeed supporting the hikers. Just knowingly allowing these filthy dirty, smelly patrons into their rooms, and cleaning up after them, constitutes supporting the hikers, especially when they allow 4 or 5 of these unrelated patrons to occupy the same room and supply extra towels to them.And another good point and I agree..........

Crazy Larry #1
04-22-2015, 07:24
We can agree to disagree, but you're being naive if you think most hostels & motels are losing money. Getting rich - no. But, you think people are giving their money away? Come on, that's not sustainable. For many it's something to do to make a little money after retirement, etc. Obviously situations will vary. Motels give discounts because $20 is better than an empty room, and there's no demand in these little mountain towns. They want the business because they are business owners. Hikers don't owe them anything & they don't owe hikers - until money is involved.

Also, I don't recall people in this thread saying "Avoid Hostel X because they won't let me smoke weed". Seems like most of the criticism was due to places being unclean. There is nothing wrong with expecting a business establishment to be somewhat clean if they're taking your money.

RyanI agree with both sides of this argument!

Crazy Larry #1
04-22-2015, 07:28
Whoopie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:banana

LuckyMan
04-22-2015, 09:26
The showers at the Neals Gap store were cramped, ancient, dirty and nasty last time I was there.

firesign
04-22-2015, 11:09
The showers at the Neals Gap store were cramped, ancient, dirty and nasty last time I was there.

Neels Gap provide a service which people pay for, and it should be clean. However, with the facilities being the first encountered by NoBos and the volume of hikers using the facilities, it begs the question, what should we really expect?

Most owners know that hikers talk amongst themselves and reputation are everything and this helps us to some extent when we decide where to stay.

I am surprised that with the popularity of the AT that someone hasn't created a Trip Advisor type website to enable hikers to post their reviews. Just a thought.

Violent Green
04-22-2015, 13:08
I agree with both sides of this argument!

Ha! Like with most things reality is probably somewhere in between. I probably don't give enough credit to trail vendors, but I manage a Customer Service department so I have high expectations of people who take my money.

Ryan

Crazy Larry #1
04-23-2015, 11:07
Ha! Like with most things reality is probably somewhere in between. I probably don't give enough credit to trail vendors, but I manage a Customer Service department so I have high expectations of people who take my money.

RyanI agree with that. Had a good friend of mine from Dubai who has stayed in hostels all over the world tell me the best hostels he has stayed at were not spectacularly clean but they were clean enough for comfort and felt homey and that is why he likes to stay with me. He said "I don't care if you charge $5 or more your customers deserve clean sheets, bathrooms & towels, and so forth". I agree, clean and comfortable.....

Jeff
04-23-2015, 14:30
The trend on the AT is definitely going upscale. There seems to be 3 or 4 new hostels every year and most have amenities hikers are looking for.

Uriah
04-23-2015, 16:04
The trend on the AT is definitely going upscale. There seems to be 3 or 4 new hostels every year and most have amenities hikers are looking for.

True. And to an extent that's how Benton McKaye originally saw things...like-minded communities linked via trail. Only now these ostensible communities require payment and good behavior. The AT was never really "a wilderness path," and it's certainly not going to be in the future.

Trish
04-23-2015, 18:28
Oh dang, I remember that place-we stayed there last year!