View Full Version : Rainbow Springs

SGT Rock
09-07-2002, 19:25
Rainbow Springs has a bunk house, showers, laundry, and a store. For ya'll that have read "A Walk in the Woods" they are not the rat infested shiesters the book tries to portray them as.

Right beside the river with a nice front porch to dry your stuff under while you do laundry and eat a pizza, they are conviently located 1 mile from the trail.

Of course it is a bunkouse, not a Hilton, so don't expect room service and hot tubs.

The Weasel
09-07-2002, 20:38
I thought about not doing this post. Honest I did. Over and over. I'll probably regret it, but this is the first - I hope the only - time that Rock and I differ significantly.

My recommendation: When you come to the road, go the OTHER way to the VERY nice (and cheap) national forest campground (nice sites, water, showers). I detested Rainbow Springs, and so you know I'm not parroting "A Walk in the Woods", I couldn't even remember the book when I got there.

I arrived around 5 pm. Foolishly, I set my pack on the porch, not noticing the sign "NO PACKS ON PORCH". Told politely to move it, I did, and felt a little sheepish. Signed up for the bunkhouse, went down, and watched (with the others in the bunkhouse) the mice run along the string that went along the top of the window. One actually did a "trapeeze swing" on it. Tried to bear with it. Walked back to office, ordered some of the "famous chili". Out of the fridge they took a 4 oz. jelly jar, top off, into the nuker and charged me a couple-three bucks, as I recall. Tasted right out of the can...Heinz or Manwich, couldn't decide which. Back to the bunkhouse for a shower. Counted 13 "DO NOT" or "NO" signs between the office and the bunkhouse. Another dozen "DON'T DO THIS OR WE WILL KILL YOU LIKE A RAT IN THE ROAD" type of signs in the bunkhouse. Strange, I thought. On to the showerhouse. More "DON'T" signs at every sink (I don't mean ONE sign for multiple sinks. I mean the SAME sign in front of EVERY sink.) Decide to take a dump; close the sign, and there is another "DON'T" sign. Damn. Now I know what these people do with their spare time. Finally get clean (more signs in shower about not doing something, whatever) and back to the bunkhouse. Mice are having a carnival. I figured for the money, I wasn't staying in Mouse Hollow Shelter, but a paying bunkhouse. Went up to the main building, and the office was closed. Three or four more "DO NOT GO TO MAIN HOUSE EXCEPT IN EMERGENCY" or some such signs notwithstanding, I figured having mice run all over my face in a shelter WAS an emergency. Very grumpy owner gave me two mousetraps (no cheese, that was my lookout). Set the traps, up to wash clothes. More "DON'T" signs in that room too. (I'm not exagerating, folks!). Come out (about 9) onto the porch and see a young female thruhiker in tears since she had tried to register after hours and been told "the rules". Finally go to bed.

Next morning I need to go to Franklin for a mail drop. I'm at the office when the truck is going to leave to take people back to the trailhead, which is a right turn and about a mile drive. I ask if I can come along, and get a lift the other direction (after they drop off at the trailhead) about a mile to the main road to Franklin. "NO. We only give rides to the trailhead. You should know that." OK. I walk the mile.

Friendly people in Franklin.

Returned, and spent another night due to difficulty getting out of Franklin. Spent my evening counting how many signs said "DO NOT.." or "NO..." or "PROHIBITED..." or the like. Didn't go in the women's latrine, so my count stopped somewhere around 110.

All along the trail, in both 'volunteer' type hostels (Blueberry Patch, The Place) and 'commercial' ones (Uncle Johnny's, Laurel Creek) I found warm and good people. Many make something of a living out of their efforts, and charged real (but fair) prices. All made me feel welcome, fairly treated, and respected.

Except Rainbow Springs.

The Weasel

SGT Rock
09-07-2002, 20:45
I noticed the don't signs, but I'm used to those LOL. In the military if you don't put up a sign that says "Do not pry the dryer door open with ANYTHING while in operation" Joe will do just that because he forgot a sock, so wants it in despite the fact the dryer locks shut once starting. As a First Sergeant I'm constantly supprised at the things I have to tell people not to do. I can see how that could be considered unfriendly, but I just assumed that they had to put a sign up that said don't flush trash down the john because some people had, and a sign that said please clean up after yourself because many people hadn't.

As for the mice, never saw any, and I had a long time awake. I couldn't fall asleep on the bunk after many comfortable nights in a hammock.

I never asked for a ride, so maybe I would have gotten the same response. As for food, two cokes and a frozen pizza were plenty for me!

I guess this goes to show how to sane people can get different opnions of the same place.

Former Admin
09-07-2002, 22:07
I found nothing wrong with Rainbow Springs, in fact, I enjoyed my stay there. I also found Jensine and Buddy to be friendly people.
Sgt. Rock is right, Bryson started a lot of the bashing in his book.
Also you need to remember that they deal with more thru-hikers than any other hostel on the trail since they are only a 100 miles from Springer, in fact this is the place a lot of hikers drop out. Also they have to put up with a lot of attitude, since hikers are not in shape yet, have blisters, did a 13 mile day since the last shelter, etc....... these all play into this. They were also robbed by a hiker this year and have had other problems with hikers. We should just feel lucky they still let us stay there. Their main buisness is not hikers in the first place, its campers.

09-07-2002, 22:25
On my way home from the vacation with the grandkids in Virginia I was cruising down US 64 west of Franklin and decided to make the little yellow blaze up Old Murphy Highway to Rainbow Springs Campground and visit with Buddy and Jensine, so I did.

It was late Monday afternoon (Labor Day) and things were slow around the ole campground, so I was able to pass a most pleasant 45 minutes chatting with Jensine and Buddy, talking about shuttling, running a campground in rural North Carolina, visiting grandkids, and all kinds of groovy stuff....well, ya know what? they are both very pleasant, articulate, knowledgable, and VERY experienced in the ways of the modern Appalachian Trail Hiker.

The only signs I saw directed the unknowing, labeled the various receptacles, and in the toilets tried to enlighten the unknowing of a few of the pitfalls of running a public restroom/bathhouse on a septic tank system.

After 18 years at Rainbow Springs I imagine the amount of negative information signage you see is proportional to the number of problems they've had with the issue in question.

I must admit, on my first visit to the camp store I had to be told to leave my pack at the picnic tables, too, and I felt sheepish too!
And, I guess I'd get kind of fed up after a while telling people the same thing over and over after they've walked by the sign I put up to tell them how it works up front.

I like Rainbow Springs.

I Like the Crossmans.

I can deal with minimalist conditions, knowing what providers have to go through to keep up even a minimalist facility.


09-08-2002, 06:34
I stopped there on a cool and damp day this spring. I showered, bought resupplies, and had their chili for lunch. I sat and talked with the Crossmans.

I read the sign before I took off my pack. I didn't ask for a ride back up to the trail. I understand that their main business is car campers, not thru-hikers.

Didn't check out the bunkhouse because I didn't plan to stay there.

No complaints from me. I'd stop there again for shower and resupply.

Strange how different people have different experiences at the same places. Many people bad mouth Uncle Johnny. They were fine by me, and I have no complaints about his hostel.

09-08-2002, 11:49
Thanks to all who had good things to say about us. And to the one who didn't, in our 18 yrs. of business we've learned no matter what we do we can't please everyone.If you come in with an attitude, you will probably leave with one. Weasel, you must have saved your message from ATML three years ago, as it was practically word for word
the same. The signs are there because of idiots who don't use common sense. We don't like the signs either, but you learn over time that folks must me told what to do. As for the no packs on porch. Hell, it's not that we don't like your packs, we provide a covered area for your pack. But remember we are also a local store and it's difficult for other customers to get on the porch if it is blocked by
backpacks. As for the bunkhouse mice, if hikers don't use the broom and dust pan provided to clean up after repacking their food, the mice
will come in to get your trash. And now for the last frigging time
my chili is homemade from scratch, and again it is a 16 oz. bowl or
jar, served with crackers for $2.75. Again Weasel, you must have saved your ATML post. As I've stated on other forums and will now do
so here: "We've never hiked a mile in your boots and therefore have no right to condem you. You've never worked a day in our establishment so please don't condem us."www.dnet.net/rainbowsprings (http://www.dnet.net/rainbowsprings)

09-08-2002, 15:39
The Crossmans are right on with their reply. Thank you.

Ever wonder why some businesses get a bad impression of thru-hikers? And go out of business? Probably 99% of the thru-hikers that stop in are great. All it takes is a few inconsiderate ones to ruin it for all of us.

I'm sure that their customers don't want to step across packs and gear in order to get into the office/store. Their porch isn't that big for us to spread out on. As noted, they do provide a couple of covered tables nearby for our use.

Signs? Jensine said it very well. I guess some people's minds just go to mush when they come off the trail.

Mice? We just need to do a better job of cleaning up after ourselves. I didn't do a formal survey, but it's my impression that mice in shelters is more of a problem down south than up north. Maybe because of the higher number of hikers.

We didn't even talk about beer. That frequently leads to problems for hostel owners.

Dogs, well that's another topic.

I hope that the Crossmans continue to contribute to this forum, and that other hostel owners join them.

SGT Rock
09-08-2002, 16:19
Peaks has a good point. Maybe unter trail concerns or something we could have a thread about what hikers (not just thru-hikes) do that adversly affects the hostle/service providers along the trail. The Crossmans could certainly contribute. I can just imagine the work during the peak season cleaning up the showers and the bunkhouse, pluss all the cabins, ceeping the drives clean, the laundry room clean, keep the septic tank from overflowing, and the routine building maintenance. Dealing with vendors, complaints from guests, and some of the self centered people that they must deal with reagularly must tax anyone. I would also guess that since most thru hikers have little hostel experience at that point, they are probably expecting a lot of service at that point.

Peaks also hits another good point about varmints. I think the shelter mouse problem has a few reasons, but there is a primary that has little to do with the south - plain poor food discipline. I was at a non-AT shelter down south, in Texas to be specific, and there were absolutly ZERO critter problems even in the high summer. The reason is this: there are very few travelers to the site, and there wasn't any food left laying around from poor habits. Southern shelters get the highest traffic for sure, but even in the ones further north I was used to seeing bits of ramen noodles, uneaten food in the fire pit, and other things like food wrappers left laying around. The mice don't go for the shelters, they go for the food. Sure they get into bags and packs, but that is because something drew them there in the first place. I have even seen destructive mice at the regular camping sites that do not have shelters - the worse attack I ever got was at Blackwell Creek. If you lived in your house the same way you would have ants, roaches, and maybe even mice. Unfortunately I doubt the problem is fixable. Who is going to go through the trouble to clean up all the ramen bits after making noodles?

Sory, thread degredation has set in.

Hammock Hanger
09-08-2002, 17:26
I have to say that this place gets a lot of controversy. First let me say that yes, Jensine can rub you the wrong way if you do not know her, but she really is there for the hiker. Second let me say that I will always defend this place as they have become good friends of mine over the years. Before I could even think of thru-hiking I did many section hikes. Buddy & Jensine made these hikes possible for me. They have also helped me when times were tough, ie: after 3 days of hiking in GA my partner wanted to bail and Buddy came and got us, when there were tornadoes touching down all over the place and I wanted to bail, Buddy came and got me. The place has a very clean bath-house and grounds. Some of the STUPID signs are for STUPID HIKERS. There is a good source of supplies here, enough to get you to the next supply point. There is, pizza, chili, other nukable foods, sodas, juice, candy, an INTERNET connection, etc., etc. They ask you not to drink on the grounds as they have had problems with drunk and disorderly types. The bunkhouse is a bunkhouse. Last year Jensine got all new covers for the mattresses. I have seen fancier, but I've seen much worse.... (I talk with a hike who used one in NJ where he had to use a soda bottle & ziplock for nature calls!!) ANyway, to stop my rambling I tell all hikers, if that is a convient stop for you go check it out and MAKE YOUR OWN OPINION. By the way, I think Franklin is a crappy place to get off, just my opinion. HH

The Weasel
09-08-2002, 20:45
Well, and now a word from the man in the crosshairs:

First of all, I'm pleased that Jensine saw my post and responds. And I'm also pleased that others had better experiences than I did. Mine was not good. That's obvious.

I wish there was a little more understanding on the Crossman's part: The similarity to my post (on another forum) and this one is an example of the intensity of how I felt I was treated in my two days at Rainbow Springs. I arrived at Rainbow Springs happy - as I think I always do - and was greeted with a diatribe about Bill Bryson and a lecture. (Which was humorous, since I arrived WITH Bill Bryson...an AT trail maintainer from Maryland, in his 70s, who had the misfortune to have the same name.) I treated - again, as I always strive to - my hosts and others there with courtesy and consideration.

I do not have strong feelings - and the kind of memory that is regrettably indelible - about Rainbow Springs because of being asked to do things that anyone opening their home or facility has a right to ask of others. Mice are everywhere, for instance, and that is not my current concern, but rather being treated with hostility when I asked if there were traps so that I could help improve the bunkhouse. But - and perhaps it was simply a bad day or two for Mr. and Mrs. Crossman - the fact remains that for the only time on the Trail, I was made to feel essentially like I had to prove my 'worthiness' to stay somewhere, and I quickly felt hikers were viewed with suspicion and, being one, that I was not entirely welcome.

It gives me no pleasure to have a bad memory, just as I'm sure it gives Mr. and Mrs. Crossman no pleasure to have an unhappy customer. Perhaps things have changed, or, as I say, perhaps it was a bad day for them.

BUT. And it's a big "but". I say this to both parts of the AT hiking community: Hikers - thru or section - have an absolute obligation to protect the trail they use, not only in the way they hike but in the way they act around others. Acting like 'hiker trash', whether on the trail, in hostels or in towns, is inexcusable. Irresponsible behavior by hikers makes community support for the AT harder and harder, and hurts us all; Mrs. Crossman is wrong when she says she has "no right to condemn you". Of course she - and anyone else in the myriad of trail towns from Hiawassee north - does, when hikers take the freedom of the trail as a license to act like the "idiots" she DOES (rightly) condemn. Rudeness, drug/alcohol abuse (or, where not allowed use of anykind), filthy living, indecent language and other such actions deserve condemnation and, I hope, will get it.

But I think it only fair to say that to the extent that we, as "users" of the AT, act with the kind of courtesy and respect that should be second-nature (and, I think, usually is), those who advertise to provide goods and services to us owe a reciprocal obligation to not treat us routinely as "idiots" or with suspicion when we pay, without dispute or disagreement, the charges you have set as reasonable for that which you provide. Thruhikers are not entitled to be treated specially, but we ARE entitled to be treated with respect rather than suspicion.

All here - but me - speak well of Rainbow Springs, and I would be glad to be wrong, although in 2000 I was not alone in my opinion. Perhaps it's time for me to visit the Crossmans again, and start over. And perhaps they might reflect on some of the things I have said as a way of making Rainbow Springs even more welcoming. I would be glad to have them as the kind of friends others have obviously found them to be, and to have them be a part of my fond memories of those who are glad to be a part of the AT community. If I were welcome, I would enjoy making amends.

By the way, Jensine...maybe I just got there when stocks were low; my chili wasn't 16 oz. I'll bring the makeup flowers, if you'll let me buy a FULL pint this time.

The Weasel

Hammock Hanger
09-08-2002, 22:08
Weasel: Sorry to hear you have such a bad memory and that you had such a bad stay. I truly feel that is not the norm. Maybe it was the whole Bill Bryson thing, I really don't know. I can only say that all of my experiences dealing with the Crossman's and Rainbow Springs have been enjoyable. All of the hikers that stayed when I thru-hiked were glad they had stopped in.

Maybe another stay is warranted. Sue /HH

09-09-2002, 10:10
The Bill Bryson that Weasel speaks of when he was here is
a fine gentleman. He stayed two days due to tent problems. His daughter from Atlanta came and picked him up and got him a new tent.
We had a riot with this "Bill Bryson", when he registered, I jokingly told him that he couldn't stay here. All laughed. He wanted his picture taken with Buddy and me. He even stayed two more days in his 2001 AT thru hike attempt. I remember his visits fondly. He wore all green. Twice we have met his daughter and grandaughter.
I don't want this to keep going on and on. I do have one point to make, if Weasel had such a terrible time here, why did he go into Franklin, get his mail drop and then come back and stay in this wretched, miserable place with nasty hosts??? He said he had a hard time getting out of Franklin, so why didn't he just stay there??? And no we were not running low on supplies, please don't bring me flowers,
bring a measuring cup and I'll be sure to sell you exactly 16oz. of
chili. For those of you that know me, you know I like to check out facts. Well, I just got out the 2000 Hikers register. Bill Bryson arrived on 4/22/00, stayed until 4/25/00. Weasel signed the register 4/26/00. All entries before, around, and after Weasel are very complimentary towards us, his merely says "Nice to Stop". But just as
I thought, it was raining. It's always rough on any hostel when the weather is bad. It was also Easter, guess Weasel forgot the free hard cooked colored eggs we gave out, and the free candy we give to hikers every year on Easter. Oh well, we can't please them all. all of the time. THE END

The Weasel
09-09-2002, 12:53
Gosh. Maybe I stayed at the "other" Rainbow Springs, and that could be the problem! Such different recollections.

Bill Bryson - the "real one" - is a story of his own. A great guy, he and I hiked together off and on from before Hiawassee, when we met at a motel in Helen, GA. Perhaps Bill and I wrote mistaken dates as we registered, or perhaps someone else got it wrong. Gorgeous weather, too, with no rain, and as for Easter eggs, well, gee...I would have loved them, but Easter for me was 40 miles back, when Gary (of the Blueberry Patch) took me to Sunrise Services on the hilltop in Hiawassee, one of my most memorable moments. I sort of doubt that there were any Easter eggs or candy left by the time I got to Rainbow Springs a few days later, knowing how thruhikers will gobble almost anything free! And it would have been awkward staying in Franklin when my pack was still at Rainbow Springs, and RS would have legitimately expected me to pay for a bunk - even if unused - if my pack was occupying it.

What makes truly feel bad is that Jensine is attributing words to me that I haven't said. I re-read my original message here, and I've said nothing to indicate that Rainbow Springs is "wretched" or "miserable", or that she or her husband are "nasty". RS is neither wretched nor miserable; it is a well maintained campground with good facilities. Nor did I see anything to indicate the Crossmans are "nasty" (although my reactions then as well as now tell me that they don't understand that they can - as someone else put it - "rub you the wrong way" and that not everyone has the time go get to know them well enough to recognize their kinder aspects). What I did say was that I felt that other hostels on the Trail "made me feel welcome, fairly treated, and respected. Except Rainbow Springs."

I suppose the thing that makes me feel the worst is offering an olive branch and having it spurned.

SGT Rock
09-09-2002, 13:15
It was obvious to me that you were trying to apologize and make peace Weasel. Sorry it could not be reciprocated.

09-09-2002, 21:52
Enough. Let it lay.

The Weasel
09-09-2002, 22:28

10-09-2002, 03:22
enjoyed rainbow springs. no complaints at all.

Milton & Tamara
10-17-2002, 20:01
My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting Jensine and Buddy this month during our hike from Deep Gap to NOC. We left our wheels at Rainbow Springs and Buddy shuttled us to Deep Gap, Wallace Gap, then picked us up at NOC on very short notice after our hike was completed. We found them courteous, considerate and always punctual. They are doing a great job in a very difficult business,often dealing with demanding, unreasonable people. Thanks Jensine & Buddy.
Humbug & Ladybug.

10-29-2002, 13:58
Debated whether to post this info here, and have decided to do so as it's posted and being hashed and rehashed on AT-L. Sun. a.m. I received an email from John O, editor of the Companion. All it said was " If I receive one more complaint about your place, you will be
removed from the 2003 Companion."
My reply was please tell me who, what and when these complaints were made. All I wanted was a chance to rebutt. But so far I have not heard a word back from John O. However, I also contacted our area ALDHA field rep, and he replied immediately, that he was not aware of this action being taken, and that he had not had any complaints.
I'm not suprised at Bluebearee's (sp) experience at UJ's. I've heard many similar expeiences. But then I've also heard a few good experiences.
Before you contact ALDHA re: a complaint, for the sake of the Trail and trail providers please make sure your complaint is a valid one.
Not just one that you felt your butt wasn't kissed enough by the proprietor's. Please DO report any malicious, dishonest, etc. complaints, this is important.

The Weasel
10-29-2002, 14:40
Jensine's post lets me feel that I have her implied permission to post a Private Message I sent her at almost the same moment she was posting her message above. My post (and a few more comments) are below:

"Jensine, you and I have had some "issues" about Rainbow Springs, but my feeling has been "tell people about what I don't like and let them make their own decision." But there's no doubt you provide a facility that a lot of people like (and I'd like, too, if you ever want to have a discussion about them!)

"But I was shocked to see that the AT Mailing List is having a debate about how it sounds like the ALDHA is considering "delisting" you for the coming year. If you didn't know about this, obviously you should. I think that's wrong (and no, I'm not being inconsistent).

"If you didn't know about it, you should get copies of these posts from the ATML and learn more. If it really is happening, I think that a post here to suggest that people write the ALDHA in your support would be appropriate, and I'd be glad to be the one to put that post up here, by copying this post, with your permission. My position to ALDHA would be just as I said above: I don't agree with how RSCG does some of its things, but I know of many others who like it and respect its owners and how they operate, and it should NOT be 'delisted.'


If you read my original post, you'll see that I don't agree with some of the things that Rainbow Springs did (and may or may not still do). But while I don't think the Companion should simply be a AAA Guide that lists any damn place along the trail that exists, no matter how noxious, that's not what this is about: Even if I'm right (and there was a big debate about THAT!), the essence of my post was that RS was not, in '00, what I considered "hiker friendly".

But I never thought that was a criterion for listing in either the Companion or the Guide: Grocery stores and other suppliers are listed that may or may not be "friendly" to hikers; many simply accept all customers and may not go out of their way to make life for a thruhiker "welcome and respected". But they are still listed. And they should be.

So I do strongly suggest that positive comments from people about RS be issued, NOW, to the ALDHA (and, yes, to Wingfoot), if that is how you feel. It would be wrong for Rainbow Springs - or, for that matter, Uncle Johnny's - to be dropped.

The Weasel

10-29-2002, 15:11
Sorry Weasel, I haven't seen your private post yet. First, I NEVER mentioned ATML or WF, that is not at issue here. What I did say I received an email from John O, editor of the Companion stating he was going to remove us from the Companion if he got one more complaint.
But, he never stated what the complaints were, who made them or when they were made. It seems pretty ironic to me that the majority of thru hikers we see are here in Mar. Apr. and May, why did he notify me at the end of Oct. It's also alittle ironic that this was sent to me at 9:02 a.m. Sunday morning, just after the Gathering. The Companion is not the hiker bible. All info in it and other guide books is at least one year old when the new addition comes out. And
should be relied on only as it's title suggest, "it's a GUIDE",
nothing written in stone.
Thanks for offering your assistance, right now I'm just not doing anything except waiting for a reply from John O.

10-29-2002, 20:21
here's a notation i made in my journal on april 17th. 2000, after i and my partner, "bones", stayed a night at rainbow springs.

"Stayed overnight at Rainbow Springs Campground. Supplemented our food supply. Our little cabin was very rustic, very tiny, and very clean. Contrary to what we heard, we found the management to be really nice and their prices fair. I think some hikers want everything for nothing and when they don't get it, they give the establishment a bad rap".

the only complaints i heard in 2000 were about money, so i stand by my assessment. as i remember it, there were a couple of injured hikers staying that night and the proprietors bent over backwards to help them out. i'll probably go back in 2003, if it works out.

The Weasel
10-29-2002, 20:41
Chief --- Then you might ask Jensine if she'd like a "praise" letter to ALDHA. It would be wrong for RS to be delisted by them.

The Weasel

10-29-2002, 20:51
Chief, the Weasel make a great suggestion. Don't let one bad apple ruin the whole lot.

12-30-2002, 13:11
I spent the month of april 2000 at rainbow springs ..I had some problems and some good times ...I was ready to leave at the end of the month.

My main gripe was I had hiked south for the yearly ga trail club southern sweep clean-up ..I started at deep gap and meet bilbo at plum orchard shelter...she was strugggling and we talked and I told her about rainbow springs campground and that I would meet her there in a few days ..also told her that she could stay in my Airstream until I got back...she didn't she rented a cabin( which supplied $$ to rainbow springs) bilbo left a message in the office that she was there and I went to see her ..we went to Fontana the next day ( I had a truck)...took the scenic route (as she was going to miss this section) going by wesser bald and then to NOC and up 28 to Fontana..where we had dinner ...a great day we had ..the next day when I saw jenisine she told me she Knew that I took bilbo to fontana and that I could not do that ...couldn't do what ...spend a day with a friend that I meet on the trail in a different state??? Maybe buddy wanted to take bilbo to lunch.. I will not be staying there again!

I have other incidents ( buffalo soldier) too that I will not take the time to go into.

02-21-2005, 23:09
I've not seen Rainbow Springs discussed in a while. Anyone know the story this spring (2005) for sure? Will they open or are they closed for the migration?

02-21-2005, 23:11
It's history. Only bulldozers and condo builders will be there.

02-22-2005, 08:35
It's history. Only bulldozers and condo builders will be there.

I'm glad I got to spend a night there before it vanished. It was just last March.
Fortunately, the memories will remain.

It was never a really great place, but Bryson's book made it an important stop on the pilgrimage.

02-22-2005, 19:21
Just an update as to what we know is going on. No, NO bulldozers, etc. We
knew that would never happen, since we knew the lay of the land for 18 yrs.
Not enough usable land to build on. But, they have either sold or donated all
the store furnishing, got rid of the woodstove in the old bunkhouse, sold the
picnic tables and firerings on the campsites. The place looks like a dump and
I almost cry everytime we go by. Last we heard the 3 owners will divide the
land and possibly each build them a home. Oh, they are trying to sell all the
new as of 2003, low flush toilets they bought!!! What a dumb thing to purchse when you have hikers who haven't had a "good one" since Dick's Creek or before. LOL!!

02-22-2005, 19:28
Just an update as to what we know is going on. No, NO bulldozers, etc. We
knew that would never happen, since we knew the lay of the land for 18 yrs.
Not enough usable land to build on. But, they have either sold or donated all
the store furnishing, got rid of the woodstove in the old bunkhouse, sold the
picnic tables and firerings on the campsites. The place looks like a dump and
I almost cry everytime we go by. Last we heard the 3 owners will divide the
land and possibly each build them a home. Oh, they are trying to sell all the
new as of 2003, low flush toilets they bought!!! What a dumb thing to purchse when you have hikers who haven't had a "good one" since Dick's Creek or before. LOL!!

Hey Jensine. How's your buddy Bryson doing? he he

Little Bear
GA-ME 2000

02-22-2005, 19:54
[QUOTE=flyfisher]I'm glad I got to spend a night there before it vanished.
I second that !! Had a memorable night there in 2003 with the gang ...Nemo, T-Bird, Tank, Cuz, Swampass and Semi-sweet, just to name a few.

AT 2003

Jack Tarlin
02-22-2005, 20:37
I am sorry to hear about RS being gone; an awful lot of hikers stayed there over the years.

Questions for Lone Wolf, as he knows this area of the Trail as well as anyone:

With RS being closed, it looks like a lot of hikers will be heading into Franklin this year for re-supply and other things. I've only been into Franklin a couple of times, and it wasn't recently. In your opinion:

*What is the best (i.e.most-hiker friendly and affordable) place to stay in Franklin? Is there any motel you particularly recommend? If so, why?

*Where's the best place to eat? (I.e. best food/best value)

*Do you know which motels (if any) have laundry facilities?

*If one stays at the Microtel near K-Mart, how long a walk is this from the Post Office?

*Thanx for any input

Lone Wolf
02-22-2005, 21:25
The only motel I've ever stayed at in 18 years is The Franklin Motel. It's located right across the street from a laundromat, Ingles grocery and 2 damn good diners. The PO is a mile away and a Western Sizzler AYCE is .4 of a mile away. In the motel office is a phone # list of folks willing to shuttle you back to the trail for a donation. These are trail maintainers mostly.

02-22-2005, 21:27
I had a good time at Rainbow Springs as well. I am sad to hear it is gone.

Thanks for your hospitality Jensine.

02-22-2005, 21:35
*Where's the best place to eat? (I.e. best food/best value)

There is a joint called the Motor Car Grill in Franklin. The place is like an old timey Diner, and has nice burgers, fries, and great milkshakes. I have stopped there several times in the last year while passing through Franklin, and I HIGHLY recommend it!

Here's a photo from the gallery;


02-22-2005, 22:42
*What is the best (i.e.most-hiker friendly and affordable) place to stay in Franklin? Is there any motel you particularly recommend? If so, why?

*Where's the best place to eat? (I.e. best food/best value)

*Do you know which motels (if any) have laundry facilities?
I've stayed at the Microtel twice during hikes through the Franklin area. Folks who operate the place seemed very eager to cater to thru-hikers. At my suggestion they placed a log book at the front desk where hikers could sign in and leave messages for other hikers. They do have on-site laundry facilities. There is an outfitter in easy walking distance (3 Eagles ...I think it's called). Never did need the Post Office when I was in Franklin so I can't say exactly how close it is but I'm pretty sure it's at the other end of town. Last but not least ...there is a Pizza Hut and another family style restaurant very close to the Microtel. As you mentioned Jack ...the K-Mart is walkable and in that same shopping center there is an AYCE oriental restaurant and a laundramat.

Hope that helps ...


02-22-2005, 23:16
While in Franklin, consider a visit to Fat Buddies BBQ, and go for the ribs. It is in the KMart shopping center.

Microtel has a great reputation, especially with proximity of the Shoney's. But the Franklin Motel and the nearby diners are classic places to stay and visit. It is a shame that Franklin is so far from the trail.

And Franklin is your first major "wet" trail town.

Lone Wolf
02-22-2005, 23:18
Helen and Hiawassee, before Franklin, are "wet" too.

02-22-2005, 23:26
I wouldn't dream of going to a Flatlander Touristy town like Helen, and I'd never consider going wet while staying at the Blueberry Patch - maybe the Holiday Inn, but not the BP.

But by the time you reach Franklin, all bets are off. Jamisons would be my flavor.

02-23-2005, 00:09
While in Franklin, consider a visit to Fat Buddies BBQ, and go for the ribs. It is in the KMart shopping center.

Every time I am in Franklin I go to Fat buddies. Great food.

07-13-2005, 13:38
Hi. I was searching the web for info about Rainbow Springs campground and came upon this forum. The telephone numbers listed elsewhere on the web are disconnected, and when I was in the area around the first of May, there was a chain across the road, the place was deserted. The deal is, my daughter is getting married at the little Ascension Chapel up Old Murphy Hwy. (her dream since she first saw it, when she was tiny) in Sept. 2006. Thought the campground would be a good place for the "gathering" as we will be coming from all points -- it seems like it's our kind of place (rats and all). Anyhow, we could always camp at Standing Indian, but will have some transportation issues as the place isn't really vehicle friendly -- actually that's the biggest part of it's appeal. Does anyone know how to get in touch? Thanks so much. Peace and love.:sun

Lone Wolf
07-13-2005, 13:45
It was sold and is closed.

04-24-2006, 08:56
anybody know what happened to the yurt?

11-11-2012, 04:35
Do they have Wi-fi there?

Lone Wolf
11-11-2012, 08:15
Do they have Wi-fi there?

dude. the place no longer exists

11-11-2012, 08:16
Do they have Wi-fi there?
WI-FI would indicate that there is a business there. I don't think anybody ever reopened the camp ground after the owners sold it.

11-11-2012, 08:19
dude. the place no longer exists
yea...what LW said:)