View Full Version : Four Pines Hostel-Catawba Va.

09-11-2002, 08:03
I don't know first hand, but the hikers I've talked to that have stayed here give it and the owners very high marks.

09-11-2002, 08:37
:) Hi yes the Four Pines Hostel in Catawba Va. is a very good stop over.
The owners Joe and Wanda are very nice people and make you feel at home and they really go out of their way to help the Hiker.If you arrive between Wed.-Thru when the Home Place is open they will shuttle you there for free. The Home Place is an AYCE and the food is great.I stayed there this year and highly recommend this hostel as well as the Home Place.

Hammock Hanger
09-11-2002, 13:55
It was a nice stop for the night after my first 18 miler of the season. HH

01-17-2003, 11:17
Does anyone know if Four Pines Hostel is open again for the 03 season?? Anyone have a phone # ??

01-17-2003, 14:30

Go to Trail Jpournals. There was a link to the Four Pines web site where you'll find a number posted.

01-17-2003, 22:37
One warning, the owner of the hostels language is decidedly ungenerous toward ethnic groups. Being an opinionated pc little bastard I believe I may avoid this hostel in 03.

Jack Tarlin
02-06-2003, 14:36

Please provide more details/corroboration for this; this is the first negative thing I've heard about this place, and it seems somewhat unfair to make statements such as yours without details, facts, etc. Was this something you personally witnessed? Were others present? Or was it merely something you heard about from others later on?

While we're on the subject, I respectfully suggest that if anyone is going to be critical about a trail facility, service-provider, business, whatever, I think, in the interest of fairness, that we make an effort to provide complete, detailed, fair descriptions of these events, and we should make it clear whether or not it was something that we personally witnessed or merely heard about thru the Trail grapevine.

Redbeard---I'm NOT saying I doubt you, that you're wrong, or that you made this up----all I'm saying is that in the interest of fairness, it would be better if statements like yours were only presented along with details, etc.

All I can say about this hostel is that I found it efficiently run, informal and friendly, that it treated everyone well while I was there, and I neither heard nor read anything negative about the place either during my 2002 thru-hike, or after it. Unless I hear very strong evidence to the contrary, I think this is a good place, I intend to visit again in 2003, and I'd encourage others to do likewise.

02-07-2003, 10:23
I found Four Pines hostel very hospitable, clean and freindly. The gentleman in question, the owner of the hostel, was also very hospitable and freindly. I believe it was a weekend night, beer was present, and lips were loose. The usual "shop talk" ensued( it was, in fact, a garage.) It is much to my chagrin that I did not simply mention that language demeaning to minorities is offensive to me. However, I am still apalled that the nefarious "N" word can still be blithely stated in a derogatory fashion. It was in poor taste to post such when apparently I was either to tired or didn't have the cojones at the time to say as much.

02-07-2003, 10:42
having never visited there ..I have no personal experience..but if folks are drinking beer and talking about N-gg--rs in a derogatory fashion, then the question about minority hikers being scarce on the trail may be answered.

Hammock Hanger
02-13-2003, 10:07
I found them to be very nice folk. Of course I only spent one night but he didn't seem like that. mmmmmmmmmmmm HH

Kozmic Zian
02-19-2004, 14:44
Yea.....Predjudice.....Sorry to hear you were embarrased like that, Redbeard. That kind o' thing should'nt be tolerated by hikers. Don't think I'll be a stayin' there!

Jack Tarlin
02-19-2004, 19:27
I'm amazed that this thread has been revived after being dormant for almost exactly a year.

I think 4 Pines is a great place; I think Joe Mitchell is a great guy; if the hostel is open this year, I would recommend that folks stay there. This is obviously something that folks will figure out for themselves, but the overwhelming majority of people who stayed there this past hiker season had a wonderful time.

02-19-2004, 21:21
I'm amazed that this thread has been revived after being dormant for almost exactly a year.

I think 4 Pines is a great place; I think Joe Mitchell is a great guy; if the hostel is open this year, I would recommend that folks stay there. This is obviously something that folks will figure out for themselves, but the overwhelming majority of people who stayed there this past hiker season had a wonderful time.

I think one of the differences between this site and certain others is that most topics are allowed to be discussed. It is the difference in opinions that make it a strong site. The fact that you like a place doesn't mean that others might not like the same place, and both of you have the right to say what you think.

As you both did. What's wrong with that, I ask.

02-20-2004, 11:13
Well said Frosty. This thread is located in the Hostels and Lodging section so periodically folks may return to this thread to garner information as needed. Also, KZ has been a member for only a few months.

Other notes, while Jack provides anecdotal evidence of the majority of hikers having a "wonderful time" there was the issue of a hiker on hiker assault at this hostel, the details are located in a separate thread on this site. The interested reader can make their own determination as to whether this incident should reflect on the establishment. In my opinion, it should not.

Further, my own experience with Joe Mitchell was very positive. I was doing a section hike of that area last year around this time. Upon completion, I was further removed from my vehicle than I expected, having shuttled with a trail shuttler in a snowstorm, I realized that I had parked in the wrong parking area 6 or so miles further up the trail. Joe was kind enough to stop and offer me a lift to my vehicle, before I had even put out my thumb to hitch. It was a much appreciated ride.

Jack Tarlin
02-20-2004, 17:27
Alligator mentions the hiker "assault' that took place this summer. Not to re-hash this sad story, but it was an isolated case that resulted from a hiker making the perhaps justified, and perhaps questionable mistake of antagonizing a drunk hiker. This is NOT to blame the victim, by the way; what happened there was wrong and there was no excuse for it. All I'm saying is that this was one isolated incident that was blown way out of proportion by folks who knew little or nothing about the incident in question. I arrived at 4 Pines the morning after the incident in question and spoke at length with many eyewitnesses; much of what was reported here at Whiteblaze and elsewhere was either wrong or grossly exaggerated, and in the proces, some very unkind things were said about Joe and his place.

Yes, there was inded a very ugly incident at this hostel, but I think it's very unfair to Joe and his place to judge them by one bizarre incident; hundreds of folks enjoyed Joe's hospitality this past summer, he's an incredibly nice guy. I have no doubt that he'll be tightening things up this year to prevent similar occurences, and it'd be a shame if anyone used this deplorable and singular incident to pre-judge Joe Mitchell or the fine place he runs.

02-20-2004, 18:21
I thought that it was a great place. I definitely enjoyed my stay there, as well as the meal at the Homeplace. I do not agree with racist statements, but realize the unfortunate fact that many in Southern Appalachia do not hold progressive views. It is not San Francisco

Mountain Dew
04-15-2004, 06:06
I stayed at 4 Pines Hostel in 2003 on my thru-hike. Joe Mitchell was a very nice host and I consider that hostel a very good place to stay. I also found the location of the hostel excellent.

04-15-2004, 10:18
I likewise had a good experience at 4 Pines on my thru-hike last year. Hiked in with about 5 minutes to spare before the "Home Place" restaurant closed and Joe's son immediately offered us a ride. We got there just in the nick of time and had an unbelievable feast ...even by non non thru-hiker standards.

The hostel is really a huge multi-bay garage with mattresses on the floor. There are grounds surrounding the hostel where hikers can pitch a tent if they prefer. We arrived just ahead of a huge rain storm and were quite happy to grab a mattress inside and stay warm/dry for the evening.

I met and spoke with the owner (Joe) but not his wife. Joe seemed genuinely interested in providing a good service to hikers and I was unaware of any ethnic or minority bad-mouthing during my one night's stay.


04-15-2004, 11:08
We ended a slack there, no overnighter, but did get to spend 30 mins talking with Joe and watching his son due acrobatics on a 4-wheeler... all I got was positive vibes from them both and offers to help us in any way on our next section.

05-22-2004, 09:11
what about drive-ins?

Anyone ever use the 4 P's as a starting point? I'm interested in starting my section hike there or near there, and would need a place to park/sleep.

Gambit McCrae
08-09-2016, 08:06
Did a quick search for four pines on Google after my recent stay and saw this old review thread.

After an awesome 20 mile day myself and some trail made friends arrived at the hostel. Joe was more the helpful, he has electrolyte popsicles and drove us to the gas station for pizza and beer. Place is still run by donation only so I have ZERO complaints. Could use a bug bomb every once in a while but so could the trail. Joes smile brightens up the room and makes everyone feel better after a long day. He had funny stories and generosity for the trail. This is a "party friendly" hostel that on our particular night did not turn the lights out until 12am. I was fine with this although I was the one that turned them out, when I did the night owls didn't mind. I would recommend this hostel to the social type, beer friendly person who is not overly concerned with a regimented sleeping schedule. I would say some tenting is allowed in a more quiet spot if you ask.

Odd Man Out
08-09-2016, 20:04
When I was there Joe offered to wash laundry for anyone who could beat him cornhole. No one did.