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Walessp
09-26-2007, 06:21
Anyone ever stayed at this hostel in Unionville NY (it's on the border of NJ along Lott Rd.)? What was it like and is it still open?

Sky Rider

Lone Wolf
09-26-2007, 07:20
it's small and cramped. not really a hostel. just a storage room. sucks in the a.m. cuz there's nowhere to relieve yourself. i had to take a dump in the dumpster

mrc237
09-26-2007, 07:36
As far as I know its open year round. The Inn is a fine establishment, good friendly folks, cold beverage and good food. Arrived at Happy Hour 1/2 price drinks and free buffet. Like LW said small cramped sleeping area but dry and cozy. However, make sure you take a dump before Inn closes. BTW no Dumpster Diving at the Back Track!

Appalachian Tater
09-26-2007, 11:11
The "secret shelter" is a short walk from Unionville and is a great place to shelter or tent.

The general store there makes great sandwiches and burgers, too.

Lone Wolf
09-26-2007, 14:54
The "secret shelter" is a short walk from Unionville and is a great place to shelter or tent.


why's it so secret? i hear it's for "thru-hikers only" more elitist BS

Appalachian Tater
09-26-2007, 15:03
why's it so secret? i hear it's for "thru-hikers only" more elitist BS

Yeah, if a non-thru hiker stays there, the donkey brothers start a verbal protest.

Lone Wolf
09-26-2007, 15:06
Yeah, if a non-thru hiker stays there, the donkey brothers start a verbal protest.

wingfoot's book says "thru-hikers" only.

the goat
09-26-2007, 15:10
wingfoot's book says "thru-hikers" only. jim murray the owner sounds like an elitist bunghole.

nah, he's pretty cool.

he's just tryin' to keep people from coming up there to throw parties.

Appalachian Tater
09-26-2007, 15:11
Actually, I talked to Mr. Murray for 10 or 15 minutes this summer: he was there mowing the grass. He's a really nice guy. I was glad I got to thank him in person for such a beautiful place to stay and learned a lot about how the present set-up relates to what was there when he bought the place. The opportunity to camp there was one of the reasons I chose the exact route I took this summer. Definitely a not-to-be-missed spot on the trail.

mrc237
09-26-2007, 15:12
I think its "secret" because Jim the owner dosn't want it in any guides. No problem with section hikers as far as I know. Never asked never told! BTW Jim is a standup guy!

Lone Wolf
09-26-2007, 15:14
Actually, I talked to Mr. Murray for 10 or 15 minutes this summer: he was there mowing the grass. He's a really nice guy. I was glad I got to thank him in person for such a beautiful place to stay and learned a lot about how the present set-up relates to what was there when he bought the place. The opportunity to camp there was one of the reasons I chose the exact route I took this summer. Definitely a not-to-be-missed spot on the trail.

well then he should allow any and all hikers. not just thru-hikers.

Lone Wolf
09-26-2007, 15:14
I think its "secret" because Jim the owner dosn't want it in any guides. No problem with section hikers as far as I know. Never asked never told! BTW Jim is a standup guy!

it's in both guides

Flush2wice
09-26-2007, 15:15
I stopped there when it was called Unionville Inn and Hostel. I was almost broke so I sat at the bar and drank about 4 or 5 ice teas before I realized refills weren't free. Paid for the "bunk house" but it was too hot so I ended up sleping out back in the grass. Friendly folks though.

Appalachian Tater
09-26-2007, 15:17
it's in both guides

The Companion says "long-distance hikers".

Appalachian Tater
09-26-2007, 15:19
I stopped there when it was called Unionville Inn and Hostel. I was almost broke so I sat at the bar and drank about 4 or 5 ice teas before I realized refills weren't free. Paid for the "bunk house" but it was too hot so I ended up sleping out back in the grass. Friendly folks though.

You have to watch that above the Mason-Dixon line. Sometimes refills on coffee aren't free, either. Your're lucky they even HAD iced tea, and I bet you twenty bucks it wasn't pre-sweetened. ;)

Johnny Thunder
09-26-2007, 15:20
well then he should allow any and all hikers. not just thru-hikers.


To echo what someone else said...when I met him this summer he was a chill individual who just wanted to keep people from coming up there to party. Maybe in his mind the idea of calling it "thru-hikers only" might deflect some of those caste. I agree though, maybe "respectful hikers only" would be better.

His concern was warranted as you could access the site by walking less than .5 miles by trail or .25 miles by road.

mrc237
09-26-2007, 15:22
Well the guide I used DIDN'T HAVE IT. :p

Lone Wolf
09-26-2007, 15:22
To echo what someone else said...when I met him this summer he was a chill individual who just wanted to keep people from coming up there to party. Maybe in his mind the idea of calling it "thru-hikers only" might deflect some of those caste. I agree though, maybe "respectful hikers only" would be better.

His concern was warranted as you could access the site by walking less than .5 miles by trail or .25 miles by road.

i'm just ventin'. the last few years i've come across too much "for thru-hiker only" crap.

Flush2wice
09-26-2007, 15:25
You have to watch that above the Mason-Dixon line. Sometimes refills on coffee aren't free, either. Your're lucky they even HAD iced tea, and I bet you twenty bucks it wasn't pre-sweetened. ;)
No it wasn't but the ice was cold and the lemons were tasty. They had sugar in the little packets.
That reminds me of this little quirk that I bet happens to lots of hikers: After a couple hundred miles I started putting cream and sugar in my coffee. Before that I drank it black my whole life. It took me 2 years after the hike to quit the cream and another 2 or 3 to quit the sugar.

Appalachian Tater
09-26-2007, 15:29
Bottom line, Walessp, is that you might rather eat in town at the inn or general store and stay at Jim Murray's. There's an outhouse, a sink where you can wash clothes, a sleeping loft, a pack scale, a cold shower, good drinking water, clotheslines, heat, and maybe even a fan in the cabin, plus plenty of nice grassy tenting area. It's right off the trail. There is a shortcut from there to town, shorter than the route on the trail, and there's a detailed map in the little cabin. Plus the donkeys are pretty cool.

Appalachian Tater
09-26-2007, 15:31
No it wasn't but the ice was cold and the lemons were tasty. They had sugar in the little packets.
That reminds me of this little quirk that I bet happens to lots of hikers: After a couple hundred miles I started putting cream and sugar in my coffee. Before that I drank it black my whole life. It took me 2 years after the hike to quit the cream and another 2 or 3 to quit the sugar.

I was drinking a half-gallon of chocolate milk every time I hit town, hadn't had any in years. It's weird how your body creates these strange cravings when it's in calorie deficit.

rafe
09-26-2007, 15:34
I spoke with Jim (Murray) at length when I passed through last year. He struck me as a very decent fellow. I can understand that he'd rather not have local kids partying at his place.

Johnny Thunder
09-26-2007, 15:52
i'm just ventin'. the last few years i've come across too much "for thru-hiker only" crap.


I hear you. My impression of the guy was that he wasn't the exclusive type. And I'm betting he probably doesn't get asked every year how he wants to portray his location. Guessing, I guess...I was probably one guide book printed it that way...then the next...10 years later he looks like an elitist with two donkeys that like to hump. I mean, the donkeys do like to hump, he's just not an elitist.

Walessp
09-27-2007, 11:09
Thanks to all for the speedy and varied responses. As a hiker who's been on the trail for a number of years (off and on in short bursts, weekends etc.), I'm still amazed at the remarkable kindness of "strangers" in the long-distance hiking community. You're the best!

walessp

horicon
09-27-2007, 15:55
No, I have not. I did not know it was there.

Slo-go'en
08-08-2008, 21:01
If your passing through Unionville, the place to stay is the Mayor's house. He has been taking in hikers, be they section or thru, for 3 years now. I stayed there couple of weeks ago. There is no charge, (though donations are accepted). He feeds you dinner and breakfist, showers are manitory, free use of washer and dryer, ect. Slack packs can also be arranged. 300+ hikers had passed through his house so far this year by the time I got there. He is a bit excentric and has some simple and uinque house rules but he goes out of his way to help hikers and meet thier needs. My take is that he was getting lonely after his wife passed away and gets a kick out of having all these hiker house guests all summer.

All in all, one the highlights of the DWG to Lee, Mass section hike which I just finished yesterday.

mooseboy
06-02-2009, 21:29
i'm just ventin'. the last few years i've come across too much "for thru-hiker only" crap.

As a long-time section hiker, I've fortunately found that the "thru-hiker only" restrictions on many things are not meant to be taken literally... at least not as literally as we do here on WhiteBlaze. (Though I have not hiked in the South...)

Granted, I've only hiked in the mid-Atlantic and southern New England, but generally if you're hiking for more than 3 days, you're considered a "real" hiker by most hostels, stores, etc., and will be invited to partake. For instance, as long as you're not hiking with a car-- if you arrived on foot with a pack, and are leaving on foot with a pack, and/or are intimately familiar with the AT, and are only passing through that one time, you are welcome.

I always tell people I'm a sectioner-- I have never pretended to be a thru-hiker to get any favors or trail magic, but people still offer them. Though I try to make sure thru-hikers get first crack at anything...

I think most folks just want to weed out the day hikers, weekend warriors, and bona fide derelicts. I'd heard of Murray's Secret Shelter since my first section hike 6 years ago, and may finally be hiking that part of NJ this summer... so I hope to stop in. I'll let the thrus have the space if it gets full, and tent out, but I can't imagine I'd be asked to leave just because I'm a section-hiker... that kind of goes against the inclusive spirit of the AT and long distance hiking in general.

Lone Wolf
06-02-2009, 23:17
Though I try to make sure thru-hikers get first crack at anything...


why? what makes one better than you?

mooseboy
06-03-2009, 00:59
why? what makes one better than you?

While I don't think of thru-hikers as inherently "better", I do respect their effort and determination. I believe they are doing something very difficult which deserves at least some recognition.

That said, I still consider myself, and other section hikers, worthy of hiker resources as well... I don't think of thrus as the only ones worthy of a nice hostel or a free can of soda from a Trail Angel... but they do have a lot harder, longer trek than I do, and if there's only 1 Gatorade left in the cooler and 5 miles to the next water source, I'm just saying I'd let them have it. (though to be honest, most thru-hikers I've met are very considerate, and would offer to split it. In fact, they're probably taking pity on me because I'm not as conditioned as they've become.)

This is trickier to answer than I thought... Ultimately I think everyone has their own philosophy about this.

For example, I still think of shelters as "first come, first served", so it's not like I'm going to give up my spot just because someone's hiking farther than me. On the other hand, when I see people just out for one night overrunning a shelter, I'll admit I think of that as bad form. (LW, I know you're not a Shelter fan anyway; I'm just using an example--;))

rich5665
10-05-2012, 19:00
Is Murray's still open and if not where's a good place to stay in Greenwood Lake? I'll be ending my section hike in Greenwood and would like to rest up before heading home.

Sly
10-05-2012, 21:59
Is Murray's still open and if not where's a good place to stay in Greenwood Lake? I'll be ending my section hike in Greenwood and would like to rest up before heading home.

He's still in the Companion. (I'm sure the number of years he's been hosting hikers is off)

Trail to Jim Murray Property (0.4 mile north of Goodrich Road)—West 0.2 mile to
well water. For the past 13 years, Jim Murray (AT ’89), (845) 986-0942, <[email protected]
warwick.net>, has cordially allowed long-distance hikers year-round use of a
heated hiker cabin, with outdoor shower and privy, on his property adjacent to the
Trail; no groups. Tenting allowed. Follow the “well water” sign. Th is is a privately
owned cabin. Be responsible, and please do not abuse this privilege.

If you find his contact info has changed, please let me now and I'll get it updated.

Sarcasm the elf
10-05-2012, 23:40
Is Murray's still open and if not where's a good place to stay in Greenwood Lake? I'll be ending my section hike in Greenwood and would like to rest up before heading home.

I stayed at Jim Murray's cabin in May 2011, as far as I know it is still open.

As other people have said, his sign specifies that "long distance hikers" are welcome to use the cabin. In reality I think that it's his way of saying that he wants to help people who are focused on hiking rather than partying.

The evening that I stayed there he stopped by as he was driving by and said hello. He was a genuinely nice guy, when he asked how our hike was going we were honest about the fact that we were only out for two weeks and he didn't seem to mind. We were respectful and left the place as clean or cleaner than we found it, I got the feeling that was all he was looking for.

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/2/6/4/6/5/jim_murray_2_thumb.jpg (http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=53535)

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/2/6/4/6/5/jim_murray_1_thumb.jpg (http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=53534)

rich5665
10-06-2012, 08:03
That's good to know. I know 80 miles may not be long distance to some. But it's going to my first hike over that's over 20 miles and more than 2 days. I'll check the contact information and post any updates. I sent an email to the address (Jim Murray (AT ’89), (845) 986-0942, <[email protected]>) supplied by Sly, I'll post a response to that as well should I receive one. Thank you both (Sarcasm the Elf and Sly) for your quick responses to my inquiry.

rich5665
10-06-2012, 09:45
I received a response from Jim Murray this morning, the cabin is still there and his contact info email at least is good. Thanks again for the feed back

Sly
10-06-2012, 12:20
I received a response from Jim Murray this morning, the cabin is still there and his contact info email at least is good. Thanks again for the feed back

Thanks. I'll email him to see if he wants anything changed.

A journey starts with a single step. Have a great hike!

rich5665
10-28-2012, 13:52
I had the opportunity stop by the shelter, it is a beautifil loking place with great views. It was nice to be able get out of the rain and eat lunch.

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