View Full Version : Borough Hall

Former Admin
10-19-2002, 13:43
Comments, experiences, opinions, related to the Borough Hall.

Former Admin
10-19-2002, 13:54
From what I understand this place wants too much information from its visitors, including #SS numbers, so that they can do a criminal back ground check on you. This place should be avoided like the plague even if your records squeky clean. Its totally un-ethical and an invasion of privacy. This invasion of privacy should be looked into and challenged in a court of law, this practice is simply wrong, this is America folks and not some 3rd world country. DO NOT SUPPORT THIS PLACE.

No one should be subject to a background check with out resonable just cause (suspision of a crime). So by doing this they are saying that all hikers are suspicious. I sure wouldn't feel comfortable staying in a place where I am under suspision.

12-12-2002, 09:44
I must disagree...I had a great time in Palmerton. All they did in 01 was photocopy your license (public domain information) in case damages occurred at the hostel. Personally I agree with it due to the fact that it's a police facility, and hikers do abuse hostels all the time and get away with it. A police officer can request phote ID at any time, from any person, for any reason they see fit, this is not an injustice by any means. Granted, it's a bit different than what you're typically used to while hiking the AT, but I also never got a tour of a town by a police officer before either. If people have something to hide, or feel uncomfortable with this just keep on walking...but I had a great time in Palmerton and definitely recommend it. Perhaps things have changed there since 01...if that's the case I wouldn't know about current policies.

Lone Wolf
12-12-2002, 10:10
I stayed there this year. It's no longer a police station but still has town offices. They don't take your SSN. When you sign in you get a ziplock with soap, shampoo, tooth brush, toothpaste, 5 minute calling card, post card, first aid stuff, granola bars, etc. You can play basketball indoors too!

12-16-2002, 09:00
Also one of the best showers I've ever used on the trail...it will knock you on your ass!

02-16-2003, 23:09
I love Palmerton! I have to rate the Bourough Hall as one of my favorite hostels ever, though I do agree that the police check-in was a little nerve-wracking. I was a little paranoid about an unpaid speeding ticket, but once the cop showed me in and left, it was great. The janitor there was real cool. It rained for days and nobody cared that I stayed for 4 nights. I had to kick myself out for fear that I'd never leave. The town was really friendly. There were a lot of good places to eat, a good library and a laundrymat right across the street.
As for the hall, the coolest part was having it to ourselves after 5 and for most of the weekend as well. There are great goodie bags from the Girl Scouts, a gym to play basketball or frisbee in and ohhhh, those showers! I have to say it's the best shower I ever had in my AT travels. Those of us who were there even discovered a working kitchen upstairs, though I think it's supposed to be a secret. I had a lot of fun there and I hope that you don't let the red tape stop you (unless of course, you have a warrant...then maybe you should skip it).

01-14-2004, 19:10
I know a few of the Palmerton Policemen, so when I read this thread, I called one of them to check out the real scoop. I was told they have asked for SS#'s in the past and will continue to do so, only when the guest in question has no photo ID for identification purposes. He explained that this was started 2 years ago after a theft had been discovered when some thru-hikers had left the facility. (Sometimes we just ruin things for ourselves.) All in all, this is really a hospitable place. Have the proper ID, act in a respectable manner and I'm quite certain that you'll appreciate the place.

Moon Monster
01-15-2004, 00:34
Several businesses sponsor the goodie bags. I liked the postcard (stamped) of the Hall. The nearest grocery store also gives free apples to hikers. Someone usually comes by to check on the hikers and offer them help nightly as well. They care and they are helpful. Only issue I had, was the bank of phones outside had several that were out of order and none of them accepted incoming calls (there is a nicer phone inside). Otherwise, I thought Palmerton was the friendliest town on the trail.

08-22-2004, 07:16
i stayed here on a section hike in nov 2003,really cool,i checked in at the police station on a sunday afternoon,palmerton pa is a very friendly town,the police officer checked me in,he was very courteous and the next morning one of the city officials gave me a hiker goodie bag,palmerton is the friendliest town on the trail:clap :banana :jump neo

09-14-2004, 17:04
Got this out of the website not to be named.....yeah...we know where. This doesn't sound good for one of the best places to stay on the AT! Sounds like there is a strong possibility they won't be open for 2005.

September 10, 2004

RE: Palmerton Hostel

Dear ..............

I am writing to ask for your advice and assistance in a troubling matter for Palmerton Borough. For over 25 years the Palmerton Borough Hall has been used as a hostel for through hikers on the Appalachian Trail. In recent years the actions of a growing number of a few hikers is jeopardizing our interest in continuing this courtesy. Recognize that we are talking about a minority of hikers, but a minority whose actions may affect 450-500 hikers per year who choose to stay with us for a night. Many fine, wonderful people have become known to us through this outreach, but others appear to have less appreciation for what we have to offer.

Some of the more blatant offensive actions that we do not appreciate are generally associated with immature behavior. We are not a “flop house” for those who choose to over drink and sleep it off the next day. Even more offensive are those individuals who have over drank and used our stairwell and shrubbery as a urinal or place to up-chuck. As repulsive as it sounds, it happens too often. Others feel that they are just too “independent” to have to register with either the police or our office. If their independence is that critical, they should stay at the shelters provided on the trail.

My last item of concern is for those traveling with their pets. Three of the four regular office staff here have house dogs who stay indoors with us at home. The difference is that these house animals are regularly groomed and washed. Last year a hiker’s “friendliest dog in the world” chased one of our residents out of the basement. This is first and foremost a public building where many people come and go on a regular basis. Please don’t ask us to invite pets in, because the answer will be no.

Please offer any thoughts or suggestions you may have, as we have nearly decided that we cannot risk a truly unfortunate circumstance happening. As of this time, there is a 90% probability that we will not open in 2005. We hope you have the answers that will allow us to look forward to meeting many new friends next year.

Rodger P. Danielson
Borough Manager

Happy Feet
09-14-2004, 18:47
Well I hope it doesn't close. Hatman and I had a good stay (and like some others - the BEST shower!) in both '97 and '01. We will stay there again if it's open.

Blue Jay
09-15-2004, 08:19
When ever you hear the words "friendliest dog in the world" back away quickly and get out of there. This is truly yet another sad chapter in the decline of the AT. I used to help out cleaning the church hostel in Manchester VT. The exact same things took that one out. All those who are on the fence about hiking the trail, do it as soon as possible.

Lone Wolf
11-11-2004, 09:40
According to Wingfoot, Borough Hall will stay open for another year with new rules. An absolute 10:00 PM curfew. Those not back to hostel by 10:00 will be locked out and their gear will be taken to the police station where it can be picked up the next morning. Cops will make regular rounds at the hostel looking for drunken behavior. 1 night stay only and no car-assisted hikers will be allowed to stay. Sounds good to me.

Hammock Hanger
11-11-2004, 10:05
I did not get to stay here but only heard good things from those hikers that did. I have no problem showing my license, most hotels ask for it. I would not give out my SS#. Sue/HH

The Solemates
11-11-2004, 19:41
I dont know what you are talking about. Palmerton was great. They gave us all kinds of free stuff, and wanted nothing in return. We gave them no info whatsoever about ourselves other than we were thru-hikers.

Also one of the best showers I've ever used on the trail...it will knock you on your ass!

...or take the skin off of your manhood if you are standing underneath when you turn it on. Man that hurt! :bse So much pressure its like a commerical pressure washer.

11-11-2004, 23:36
Palmerton was fantastic. Home of the second best tavern along the trail; Mugshots. 50 cent drafts and Dead Kennedys on the jukebox! If I didn't drink free at the VFW here in Illinois I would move there myself. Stop in and ask for a Chilly Willy...

Alas, with a tavern like this hikers are tempted to overindulge and disrespect the kindness of a hostel. Please pee in the toilets once in town, and never vomit anywhere. Not only is it in bad taste, but a waste of valuable calories. Don't give us alco-hikers a bad name by excreting your filth where it isn't acceptable.

11-12-2004, 09:33
Palmerton was one of the finest towns. Easy access to everything and friendly people providing us with a place to spend the night. I can't believe people have the audacity to misbehave in such a hiker-friendly place.