View Full Version : Holy Family Hostel: Pearisburg, VA

SGT Rock
09-03-2002, 21:27
This hostel in Pearisburg is located a few miles from the AT, but there are blue blazes when you reach town that direct you from the grocery stores on the south side of the New River Bridge. It is hosted by the Catholic church in Pearisburg.

The hostel has all the standard stuff like a pay phone, a shower, kitchen, and a loft for sleeping. There is also a nice yard for pitching a tent and a pavilion for eating outside. It is run from contributions and Bill tends it with help from the hikers staying there.

Rules include no alcohol (it is a church), giving a contribution, and a two day limit on stays. Things to consider are that there isn't laundry facilities at the hostel, but there are some in town. Super Wal-Mart is visible across a large field, and a good grocery store is about 1 mile walk from the hostel.

Bill offers rides and you can find his phone number at the pay phones where the trail crosses by town.

Hammock Hanger
09-04-2002, 19:07
I have stayed at this hostel many many times. I used it when I was sectioning with Bills help as a shuttle and I used it to wait for my husband to rescue me when I was hurt during my thru hike.

I personally support this hostel every year, as I think they are great. However, the hostel just wouldn't be the hostel without Bill G. HE is a wonderful man. Yes he is X-army. He is also in his late 70's and works his tail off for that shelter and the hikers that stay there.

He shuttles, builds, cleans, helps out hikers, etc...

NOTE: One night while I was there the hostel was full to capacity and there must have been at least 9 tents. I was staying there another day with another injured hiker. Bill came in after everyone else had left. When he opened the DONATION BOX, there was $20., two tens,mine and the other guy there. So where were the donations from all of the other hikers that had stayed there the night before???? WHo do you think supplies the electricity, water, heat, soap, TP, etc.

Remember to leave a donation no matter how small at all hostels.



09-11-2002, 08:25
Mr. Bill rocks in my book. This is a very nice clean place to spend the night.

But don't plan on having a party or tearing up things, I wouldn't want to be starring up at Mr. Bill first thing in the morning.

10-10-2002, 19:00
Bill G. is a good guy but hikers need to pitch in to help the hostel. It is in decrepid shape. Needs cleaning and some repairs. Don't know if they still have a payphone on the side. Can anyone confirm whether it does or doesn't?

Hikers using the hostel have been cheap at times skipping out w/o leaving a few dollars for the hostel. I'd leave at least three dollars per a stay in the donation box. You get a shower and a roof and kitchen use there, so isn't that worth a few dollars. The place can overcrowd in peak season which is a downer because it is already claustrophobic in there. If the place gets too crowded, I think you are allowed to pitch a tent on the lawn however.

10-11-2002, 07:14
I think I heard that the phone got taken out because of the charge by Ma Bell to keep it there.

Hammock Hanger
10-11-2002, 16:39
It always amazes me on how differently we as hikers see and feel things on the same trail. I hiked thru Pearisburg during major thru-hiker time. All the mattresses up in the loft were full and there were about 10 tents out in the yard, yet I never felt that it was crowded. There is a nice outside porch, a gazebo and lots and lots of lawn.

We had a catholic priest traveling with us in 2001 (Parypinoy) and he was able to conduct a hikers mass. It was very nice.

The phone is GONE. Verizon wanted to much money to keep it there and Bill had to let it go.

There is one down the road a piece at the gas station and across the field at the Walmart.

Hammock Hanger

10-13-2002, 12:40
Just to present a dissenting opinion, we didn't saty here (if you can spring for the $35$ Holiday Motor Lodge in town, I highly reccommend it) but we had several friends who did and couldn't stop talking about what a terrible hostel this was. One friend of ours was injured with an ankle sprain, and was actaully told "I don't care if you're injured or not, it's time for you to go" after a two night stay, another couple we were hiking with went to Walmart and bought a toilet seat to replace the one that was falling off the hinges from lack of maintenance, and according to friends, the caretaker would not let up about the lack of "appropriate contributions" left in the donation box. We spent two zero days in Pearisburg, and most of the time were letting other thru-hikers crash with us on our hotel floro becuase they were so unhappy with the hostel. granted, we didn't stay here,so it's all based on what freidns had said, but thought I'd show the other side of the coin....

10-13-2002, 16:25
Jumpstart mentions a good point about contributions.

It costs money to maintain a hostel. There are always repairs to be made, painting, electric bills, and the list just goes on and on. Church hostels, and a few others are run as part of a church's outreach program. I'm sure that there's not one of them that makes a dime off hikers. So, when they ask for a suggested donation, the responsible hikers know to leave at least that much in the box.

Could go on, but enough said. You get the message I hope.

03-13-2008, 12:50
Is $5. a reasonable amount to give or should it be closer to $10.?
The few hostels i have stayed in so far had a fixed rate.

08-24-2019, 23:52
Bill G. Is an old Sargent major from WWII and Korea. Saw action. There's a new building next to hostel, not as nicely secluded as once. Nice small cemetery right by included a doctor who was with Lee and CSA throughout that war. Pearisburg is really fine. Hostel a long walk. Nice library. But woodshole is so awesome many miss it.

08-25-2019, 00:09
Talked to Bill one memorial day he said American soldier just as mean as any ..difference was the noncom officers. I think he's a purple heart.

08-25-2019, 09:57
Talked to Bill one memorial day he said American soldier just as mean as any ..difference was the noncom officers. I think he's a purple heart.

Pretty old thread. Bill Gautier passed away a number of years ago. Not a lot of WWII veterans are with us anymore.