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Praha4
11-05-2011, 15:45
living closer to the AT is my next goal, I've been stuck in Florida long enough. The summer heat, humidity, and bugs are too much for me after too many years here. Forget about hiking down here anytime in the summer unless you enjoy misery in the heat and being food for chiggers, ticks and mosquitos. We should have let Spain keep this miserable swamp and alligator infested state.

I'd like to hear WB members' suggestions on good towns/cities to live in ...within a half day's drive of the AT, where housing costs are fairly reasonable < $750/month (rental- apartment, condo, small house) for 2 people. My objective is to find a small 1BR apartment, condo or a small house that would be a nice base camp for hiking trips.

My selection criteria are in this order:

1. distance to AT
2. cost of living/housing
3. distance to major city/transportation hub

I'm open to just about any state along the trail, new england, mid atlantic, southern mountains. I've been looking at Asheville, NC area, Erwin, TN, Dahlonega, GA, Roanoke, VA, and Boston, MA. trouble with Boston is I think cost of housing is going to be way over my budget.

Bloomer
11-05-2011, 15:54
Look in the area around PA. The area around where I am now Lebanon / Jonestown is cheap and with pleny of rentals. harrisburg, PA is the closest major city (20 miles). Southern PA around the AT is expensive and not many rental. although, any small town in the state will offer you reasonal cost of living (cheaper rent). Central PA seams to be the cheapest. Great hub to travel any where on the east coast. I live 5 miles from the AT and I81.

chief
11-05-2011, 16:07
living closer to the AT is my next goal, I've been stuck in Florida long enough. The summer heat, humidity, and bugs are too much for me after too many years here. Forget about hiking down here anytime in the summer unless you enjoy misery in the heat and being food for chiggers, ticks and mosquitos. We should have let Spain keep this miserable swamp and alligator infested state.Oh good, one less whiner on the Gulf Coast. See ya!

Lone Wolf
11-05-2011, 16:13
Damascus, Va.,,,,,,,,,,

Slo-go'en
11-05-2011, 16:25
Berlin, NH - just don't expect to find a job around here..(but I guess that's true of most anywhere now days)

Serial 07
11-05-2011, 17:06
base camp for hiking trips? damascus should rank right up there...i rent a 3 bedroom house for $550...

DeerPath
11-05-2011, 17:25
Take a look at Linden, VA. and the Front Royal, Va area. The AT is just a couple miles away and the Shenandoah River passes thru Front Royal the "Canoe Capital of VA". Shenandoah Nat. Park-Skyline Drive, Geo. Washington Nat. Park, G.Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area, Great Meadows Park and a few others are close by. And Harpers Ferry, Home of ATC is about 25 miles.

It's a great area, and I travel there a few time a year to see my sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

10-K
11-05-2011, 18:30
Unicoi County, TN - anywhere.

Every day I wake up and can't believe how fortunate I am to live here. I live in downtown Erwin and I can walk a side trail up the mountain and be standing on the AT in one hour.

Asheville is 1 hour south, Johnson City is 20 minutes north. There are about 1,645 AT trailheads you can drive to within 2 hours. This is an AMAZING place to live, I'm telling you.


Then there are Pisgah National Forest and Cherokee National Forests which have more trails than you can shake a trekking pole at.

Home prices are very, very reasonable (we moved here from a beach town), county taxes are low, and TN does not have a state income tax.

If you need a local realtor recommendation I can hook you up. The guy we used coordinated finding homes within our specs, setting up viewings, etc. while we were living 400 miles away - great guy to work with.

Praha4
11-05-2011, 19:07
Oh good, one less whiner on the Gulf Coast. See ya!

actually the winters down here aren't bad (Nov-Feb), it's the other 8 months of the year I can't stand anymore after 31 years down here in this cesspool.

after that comment, I'll be rooting for LSU tonight! :D

The Cleaner
11-05-2011, 19:15
Greeneville TN...Home of former US President Andrew Johnson...17 miles to Allen Gap,about 30 miles to either Erwin TN or Hot Springs NC....several NPS sites of Andrew Johnson in town..2 USFS campgrounds in the county&connector trails up to the AT plus about 60 miles of trails in the Cherokee National Forest in Greene Co. also.....

SawnieRobertson
11-05-2011, 19:40
Sugar Grove, Virginia , , , perfection!--Kinnickinic

mikec
11-05-2011, 19:48
I live in Manassas, VA. We're about 55 miles east from where the AT crosses VA55 at Linden. Lots of places to live and there are jobs to be had thanks to Washington, DC and the federal government being about 30 more miles to the east. I used to live in Front Royal, VA (3.5 miles east of the AT) and commuted to DC. You live well but the commute is hell.

Cookerhiker
11-05-2011, 19:57
Western Maryland - about 2 hours from the AT, closer to Monangahela National Forest in WV with great hiking, cool summers, good winter sports e.g. cross country skiing. Cumberland was recently named one of the top 10 small towns for retirement when considering housing affordability. It lies between two long-distance cycling trails - Great Allegheny Passage to Pittsburgh, C&O Canal to DC. Far enough from cities so that traffic, noise, crime, congestion etc. not an issue but DC is 3 hours in one direction, Pittsburgh less than 2 hours in another for airports and other big city amenities. AMTRAK service in Cumberland. Frostburg State University in Frostburg has cultural events e.g. concerts, plays as does the Allegheny Arts Council. Other hiking trails nearby: Allegheny Trail, Laurel Highlands Trail, Tuscarora Trail plus smaller ones.

If it sounds like I miss it, that's because I do.

Cedar Tree
11-05-2011, 20:01
I have a house for sale or rent in Marion, VA.

http://www.royaloakrealty.com/?p=1430

It is inside Hungry Mother State Park.

http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/hun.shtml

It is about 10 miles from the Trail Crossings at Atkins (81) and Mount Rogers Ranger Station (16).

As for transportation hub, there is Tri-Cities Airport near Bristol about an hour away, and Roanoke about 1.5 hours away.

Twenty miles from Damascus and the Creeper Trail.

Cedar Tree

Spirit Walker
11-05-2011, 20:14
Pennsylvania is a good option. We moved here a year ago. Housing in Chambersburg or Shippensburg is very inexpensive, especially compared to NY, Virginia and Maryland. (Gettysburg, State College or Philadelpha is higher, but western PA is even cheaper.) Weather is good, with four full seasons. You can hike year around, which is a necessity for me. You can reach all of the AT in PA in less than 3 hours and it's only about 2-3 hours from here to the Shenandoahs. There are a lot of really nice backpacking trails in northern and central PA - Donut Hole, Black Forest, Quehanna, Susquehanna, West Rim, etc.

Smooth & Wasabi
11-05-2011, 21:05
Do you need to work and how close you need to be to how big a city? Do you want serious winter? New England has a higher cost of living even before you add some of the extra costs like heat and snowtires/4x4. But I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the AT corridor, I love the seasons and winter activities. I live about 45 minutes from the AT near Rutland, 1 hr 45 min to the ADK high peaks, 3 hours to the Whites. I am a little far from transportation hubs, an hour and a half gets me to Burlington VT or Albany NY. My mortgage for a small house on ten acres overlooking the Green Mountains and Long Trail is in your price range. It is certainly possible to find a similar situation Somewhere in Maine or NH as well just expect the housing prices to go up going south or in the popular resort communities. Of course real work is tough to find and you have to deal with the relative distance to major towns and cities. If you don't want or need 5 months of winter I'd go with 10Ks advice

Praha4
11-06-2011, 19:20
I'm reading all the responses and really want to thank everyone who has responded so far, some great towns and great advice from all of you, and a lot to look over and think about. I may be in touch with some of you with questions on your areas mentioned here. A couple questions always come to the top in the search, how big a city to live near, how far from a city, and how much real winter is tolerable, like you get in New England. A search like this really requires some "boots on the ground" research, meaning some travel to these areas, there's a limit how much can be done on the internet looking at chamber of commerce webites and real estate agent websites.... I really wanted to hear from hikers here at WB, much appreciated, any other tips are welcome.

Bearpaw
11-06-2011, 21:07
You can get a house dirt cheap in Hampton, TN, with Dennis Cove and the Watauga Lake portions of the AT within 10 minutes away (and a 1-mile blue-blaze to the AT within town limits). You won't find much work, and the town seems to be losing another business or two each year, but you'd have a 10-minute commute to Elizabethton or 30 minutes to Johnson City. Just a thought. And one my wife and I have considered seriously.

peakbagger
11-07-2011, 08:46
Are you looking to work or retire? Berlin/Gorham NH has lots of rentals and small houses can be bought cheap. The job market is tight currently especially for your age due to past layoffs by local employers which left a group of 55 to 65 year old folks trying to string together jobs until they can retire. There is major construction project that will ramp up next spring which could impact rents somewhat but generally landlords are looking for long term renters versus construction folks. There is always seasonal tourist work, but its low pay. Many of the local unemployed would rather collect unemployment and work under the table than to do seasonal work. The local newspaper is on line berlindailysun.com. When looking at rents make sure to facotor in if they are heated, it can be a considerable cost as the building stock is older and poorly insulated, although there is a firm that is guttting older buildings in Berlin and rebuilding them to the latest energy standards. There are no sales taxes or income taxes in NH, although there is a room and meals tax on restaurant meals and hotel rooms.

From Gorham you have access to the Mahoosucs in the "backyard"and the whites and you can walk to the AT. The area has major services, like a hospital and a Sup[er Walmart, although the food selection at Walmart is lousy. The closest major city/transportation hub is Portland Me which is 90 miles. North Conway/Jackson/Bartlett area is 35 miles south. The only public transport is a bus route that connects up the area to Manchester NH and Boston.
There are four seasons and from late October to April there can be snow on the ground. If you dont like winter sports, like snow showing, cross country skiing, down hill skiing or snowmachining, its not your place. There is a bug season that usually lasts a month and the local black flies during this period can be legendary. Another issue to consider is the length of daylight. The area is around 45 degree latitude, therefore the daylight during different times of the year changes significantly, In the dead of winter, there isnt much more than 8 hours of daylight versus summer we can get close to 18 hours. Some folks have a touhg time getting usefd to the shorter daylight in winter.

Monkeywrench
11-07-2011, 11:01
... trouble with Boston is I think cost of housing is going to be way over my budget.

Yeah, when I saw "< $750/month" for housing and "Boston" in the same sentence, I almost choked laughing. The average studio apartment here costs $1000 - $1400 per month. The upside is, it makes life on the trail seem awfully cheap!

Crazy Larry #1
11-07-2011, 14:21
living closer to the AT is my next goal, I've been stuck in Florida long enough. The summer heat, humidity, and bugs are too much for me after too many years here. Forget about hiking down here anytime in the summer unless you enjoy misery in the heat and being food for chiggers, ticks and mosquitos. We should have let Spain keep this miserable swamp and alligator infested state.

I'd like to hear WB members' suggestions on good towns/cities to live in ...within a half day's drive of the AT, where housing costs are fairly reasonable < $750/month (rental- apartment, condo, small house) for 2 people. My objective is to find a small 1BR apartment, condo or a small house that would be a nice base camp for hiking trips.

My selection criteria are in this order:

1. distance to AT
2. cost of living/housing
3. distance to major city/transportation hub

I'm open to just about any state along the trail, new england, mid atlantic, southern mountains. I've been looking at Asheville, NC area, Erwin, TN, Dahlonega, GA, Roanoke, VA, and Boston, MA. trouble with Boston is I think cost of housing is going to be way over my budget.There are only three towns that I think are best; Hot Springs, NC., Damascus, Va., or Duncannon, Pa.

Damaged
11-07-2011, 16:25
Take a look at Linden, VA. and the Front Royal, Va area. The AT is just a couple miles away and the Shenandoah River passes thru Front Royal the "Canoe Capital of VA". Shenandoah Nat. Park-Skyline Drive, Geo. Washington Nat. Park, G.Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area, Great Meadows Park and a few others are close by. And Harpers Ferry, Home of ATC is about 25 miles.

It's a great area, and I travel there a few time a year to see my sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I 2nd the Linden/Front Royal Virginia area. The AT crosses Route 55 at Linden and it crosses Route 522 about 2 miles South of Front Royal. The DC metro area is just 50 miles away, but as mentioned the commute can be unbearable if you plan on working in that area. Unfortunately, that is were all the jobs are. I don't have any personal experience on rent, but my sister was renting a 2 bedroom townhouse in the town of Front Royal a year ago for $630 a month.


Good Luck

ki0eh
11-07-2011, 18:24
The I-81 corridor from maybe Winchester, VA north to Allentown, PA (yes I know that's I-78) seems to be a relative sweet spot for lower cost of living and lower unemployment. The warehouses around here always seem to be hiring off shift help, and there are warehouses here due to lower cost of doing business than the big Northeast cities. It's also midway on the A.T. therefore easier to reach any area from here.

brandonholt
03-17-2012, 10:58
I concur with greeneville tn. I live in the extreme southwest of the county and can be at allens gap in 10 minutes. Hot springs in 25 minutes. No state tax, can be in Knoxville at the airport in 1.5 hours, and decent shopping and dining in Johnson city in an hour. Erwin is great too, but not as many jobs

d.o.c
03-17-2012, 11:33
daleville troutville area is within 10-15 min of downtown roanoke the trail surrounds the area lots of beautiful walking with in 20 mins of troutville mcfee knob for example.. o trail walks right thru town and lets just say BOCO is one of the nicer areas in this part of Va

Maddog
03-17-2012, 11:44
Warner Robins, Ga...3hrs from Springer Mt!:cool:

Skid.
03-17-2012, 20:34
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area of Northeast Pa meets your criteria. One hour from the AT at Delaware Water Gap, an hour in the other direction to Bake Oven Knob. Two hours from Phila, two from NYC.

trucker2015
03-17-2012, 21:48
living closer to the AT is my next goal, I've been stuck in Florida long enough. The summer heat, humidity, and bugs are too much for me after too many years here. Forget about hiking down here anytime in the summer unless you enjoy misery in the heat and being food for chiggers, ticks and mosquitos. We should have let Spain keep this miserable swamp and alligator infested state.

I'd like to hear WB members' suggestions on good towns/cities to live in ...within a half day's drive of the AT, where housing costs are fairly reasonable < $750/month (rental- apartment, condo, small house) for 2 people. My objective is to find a small 1BR apartment, condo or a small house that would be a nice base camp for hiking trips.

My selection criteria are in this order:

1. distance to AT
2. cost of living/housing
3. distance to major city/transportation hub

I'm open to just about any state along the trail, new england, mid atlantic, southern mountains. I've been looking at Asheville, NC area, Erwin, TN, Dahlonega, GA, Roanoke, VA, and Boston, MA. trouble with Boston is I think cost of housing is going to be way over my budget.

It's nice here in Dawsonville GA I live 7 minutes from the approach trail and 1 hour from Atlanta average rent on a 3b2b is 750

P-Train
03-17-2012, 22:54
Maryville, TN. 20 mins. from GSMNP and once you're there it's five hard miles to the AT. Not far from Fontana Dam. The economy here didn't get hit like many other cities.

Terry7
03-18-2012, 07:33
I moved from Fort Lauderdale to Damascus 5 years ago after my first A.T. hike.

sterling98
03-22-2012, 20:12
Charlottesville is about 25 minutes from the blue ridge parkway and skyline drive. I live in c'ville. Its pretty nice, university town, you can find something not too expensive, just not downtown.

Wise Old Owl
03-22-2012, 21:12
Uhhh a second vote Damascus VA!

docllamacoy
03-23-2012, 08:27
Portland, Maine is only about an hour and a half from the trail. I live in North Conway, NH which is right near the trail. Job market is tough here, though. My husband and I both work 2 jobs to make ends meet. It's nice living in the Whites, though. Portland is a nice, smaller city with jobs and close proximity to the trail.

T.S.Kobzol
03-23-2012, 08:50
Try Portland, ME for double whammy - great access to hiking and great sea kayaking/camping hub. There is even a small community that can translate your nickname 'natively' ;-)






living closer to the AT is my next goal, I've been stuck in Florida long enough. The summer heat, humidity, and bugs are too much for me after too many years here. Forget about hiking down here anytime in the summer unless you enjoy misery in the heat and being food for chiggers, ticks and mosquitos. We should have let Spain keep this miserable swamp and alligator infested state.

I'd like to hear WB members' suggestions on good towns/cities to live in ...within a half day's drive of the AT, where housing costs are fairly reasonable < $750/month (rental- apartment, condo, small house) for 2 people. My objective is to find a small 1BR apartment, condo or a small house that would be a nice base camp for hiking trips.

My selection criteria are in this order:

1. distance to AT
2. cost of living/housing
3. distance to major city/transportation hub

I'm open to just about any state along the trail, new england, mid atlantic, southern mountains. I've been looking at Asheville, NC area, Erwin, TN, Dahlonega, GA, Roanoke, VA, and Boston, MA. trouble with Boston is I think cost of housing is going to be way over my budget.

Not Sunshine
03-23-2012, 09:27
I second the option of TN/NC or VA. I'm in VA after failed attempts to find a job near Asheville - Asheville is an amazing town (so much to do, so many laid back people, so many outdoorsy people) - but the cost of living is definitely higher.

VA has 500 miles of the AT, and there are so many decent-sized towns that are within 2 hours of the trail. Plus, it's not a state - it's a commonwealth. I still don't know what that means - they collect taxes and require car inspections and the such....

Roanoke is a great town - big enough to have an airport (albeit not a major one), and close to the trail. There are a lot of little towns further down 81-S, which would offer lower rental costs (lots of trailers/trailer parks - woot!)...

I kid you not, I found my current job/home by looking at this map and scrolling up from NC - looking at nearby towns and google-ing them for hospitals; and checking those websites for job offers. Worked for me. Maybe it was just meant to be - personally I believe it was God's plan.

http://web.eecs.utk.edu/~dunigan/at/googleat.php?lat=39.8&lon=-77.48&scale=6 (http://web.eecs.utk.edu/%7Edunigan/at/googleat.php?lat=39.8&lon=-77.48&scale=6)

Good luck!

Not Sunshine
03-23-2012, 09:27
Plus, the winters in TN/NC are more along your FL liking.

Mrs Baggins
03-23-2012, 09:42
We came back to Frederick, Maryland in part (a large part) because of it's proximity to the AT (and plenty of other great trails) in Maryland, VA, WV, and PA. It was very important to us to have such ease of access to the trail after spending 18 mos in South Carolina and being hours from any decent trail (for that matter hours away from anything decent - period.) There are 4 REIs within an hour's drive of here, a local outfitter downtown, and when you feel like going into "the big city" you've got DC, Columbia, and Baltimore, all an hour's drive away.

warren doyle
03-23-2012, 10:40
I live ten miles from Damascus in Laurel Bloomery, TN where I am starting the Appalachian Folk School. There is a lovely, fairly-new log-paneled home with vaulted ceilings and five bedrooms on the property that we want to sell so we can use the proceeds to finish our building projects at the folk school. I can be reached at warrendance@gmail.com.

Hairball
03-23-2012, 13:23
I have to heap praise upon my home area of Augusta County Virginia. It's in Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, the AT crosses thru in Waynesboro, there is the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, and more historical sites, parks, lakes, and sites than I can list. The people are incredible, the county schools are fantastic, a low crime rate and a very reasonable cost of living. If you have any questions I will be happy to try and answer them for you. Staunton is a nice little city. It's about 10 miles or so west of Waynesboro. If you want really small town, Grottoes is amazing. I grew up there.
Sent from my R800x using Tapatalk

Hairball
03-23-2012, 13:34
I forgot to include airport info. There were two small airports in the Valley, Shenandoah Regional Airport in Weyers Cave, and Eagles Nest in Bridgwater. charlottesville is about an hour away. The weather is great. Props to VDOT for keeping the roads clear in the winter. DC is 90 miles/2 hours away. VA Beach is about 4 hours. The wild beauty of West Virginia is in your backyard. I love my Shenandoah Valley.

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map man
03-23-2012, 22:54
Does it have to be the AT? Bend, Oregon is a place I have my eye on for when I retire. Very close to the PCT and other trails, on the edge of a national forest, real close to Three Sisters Wilderness and not a real long drive from Crater Lake NP. It's an active lifestyle kind of place from all I hear. Climate is more temperate than where I am from in the middle of the country. It's far enough from the coast to not have tons of rain but not far enough east in the state to be in the desert.

Skid.
03-24-2012, 07:12
Does it have to be the AT? Bend, Oregon is a place I have my eye on for when I retire. Very close to the PCT and other trails, on the edge of a national forest, real close to Three Sisters Wilderness and not a real long drive from Crater Lake NP. It's an active lifestyle kind of place from all I hear. Climate is more temperate than where I am from in the middle of the country. It's far enough from the coast to not have tons of rain but not far enough east in the state to be in the desert.

Praha was looking for $750 or less in rent - can you get that in Bend? If so, let me know where, because it's my favorite little town. Ski shuttle from downtown, and mountain bike right out your front door. Tons of restaurants.

Lauriep
03-24-2012, 13:20
Harpers Ferry is really beautiful and has more trails for day-hiking in around this small town than any other town of its size, anywhere, that I know of. (I keep making this claim and no one yet has stepped forward to prove me wrong). Within Harpers Ferry, there are numerous overlooks. There are flat river walks, battlefield walks on open ridges, and lots of stairways (some carved into rock, as in downtown historic Harpers Ferry, some built by volunteers for hiking trails). Within couple of miles of town there are strenuous hikes that people use to train for the Grand Canyon (Maryland Heights), a nice one-mile hike on the A.T. to Weverton Cliffs, with one of the best views on the A.T. in the mid-Altantic. The A.T. to the south has a nice thousand-foot climb, but because it's fairly narrow and rugged--typical A.T.--it's never crowded. There are a ton of tourists in the historic district in summer, but probably 95% never leave a quarter-mile area, and up the half-mile hill at ATC, we see almost none of them.

There are two rivers (the Potomac and Shenandoah) for rafting, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. The C&O Towpath offers great biking and the town is taking a lot of steps to be more bike-friendly.

Residents are a mix of native West Virginians who've been here for generations with an eclectic mix of folks from all over, so just about anyone can feel at home here.

We have a restored train station with commuter service into DC, as well as Amtrack 7 days a week.

$750/month would get you modest accommodations (not a house) right here in town, but if you go further west you could do better.

We're an hour's drive from Shenandoah National Park and an hour from Bethesda, MD if you need a culture fix or something like a Mac store. The fairly cosmopolitan but not too big city of Frederick, MD is 20 miles away.

Harpers Ferry is very safe, as we have both the town police and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park police right here. The worst crime in recent years was done by hoodlums who painted the sacred Jefferson Rock red. Believe it or not, they were caught red-handed by local police.

And this doesn't even take into account history or the A.T. For more about Harpers Ferry, see www.historicharpersferry.org and www.nps.gov/hafe.

Laurie P.

Canyonero
03-24-2012, 13:50
+1 on Harpers Ferry for just about everything you say. Hopefully I can find a job nearby when I finish school!

ki0eh
03-24-2012, 21:42
I forgot to include airport info. There were two small airports in the Valley, Shenandoah Regional Airport in Weyers Cave * * *

An airport in a cave? Sounds like James Bond or something. :D

Seriously, I've always had an attraction to Augusta County, though I've never lived there I keep asking my wife to check into transferring to her company's facility, visible from the A.T.

lunchbx
03-25-2012, 04:07
I lived in a place called Easton, Pennsylvania for about a year. It is about a 25 minute drive from wind gap, pa on the AT. I got a pretty nice 1Br place in a complex called rock street gardens for 560 a month.

Maggs
03-25-2012, 06:25
PLENTY of places in ME that fit your criteria, except State. I live in Carrabassett Valley , Maine, right at the base of Bigelow Mtn., we have several AT access points and section hikes with beautiful views and lots of lean to access. Hope it helps. Theres always seasonal rentals as well.:)

d.o.c
03-25-2012, 11:09
oregon the place of constant rain enjoy the rainforest rains every year !!

MyName1sMud
04-04-2012, 11:03
So many great places named here.

Just a Hiker
04-07-2012, 21:44
Praha,

I finally found a house outside of Hampton, TN just a few miles from the trail, and I couldn't be happier. I was spending the Winters in Maine after "hiking season", so I knew I could never afford the taxes if I found a house I could actually afford near the trail in New England; so the NE Tennessee, SW Virginia area might be a good option for you financially speaking. The Tri-Cities area has everything one might need, and if you're a Veteran, the VA Hospital in Johnson City is really good....they've treated me really well since I moved here. Also, there are great opportunities to get involved with trail maintenance, and there are many hiking clubs around here as well. Good luck with your search. Just Jim

Pony
04-09-2012, 18:19
I too have been considering a move closer to the trail. Right now I am looking at Harpers Ferry/Northern Virginia. After some reading Front Royal looks nice as well. My biggest concern is employment. Since I have a ton of restaurant experience it would probably be pretty easy for me to slide into a bartending or serving position. I am concerned though that business would be tough during the winter months. Is business steady year round in this area, or is it more of a seasonal thing?

Damaged
04-11-2012, 10:09
There are quite a number of quaint restaurants in and around the Front Royal area. Business is of course greater during Spring, Summer and Fall; however, most stay busy during Winter as well do to being in such close proximity to the DC metro area. Unless we get a really bad snowfall, there are still quite a few of Winter travellers just looking for the weekend get away to cure the Winter blues. Good luck in your endeavor.




I too have been considering a move closer to the trail. Right now I am looking at Harpers Ferry/Northern Virginia. After some reading Front Royal looks nice as well. My biggest concern is employment. Since I have a ton of restaurant experience it would probably be pretty easy for me to slide into a bartending or serving position. I am concerned though that business would be tough during the winter months. Is business steady year round in this area, or is it more of a seasonal thing?

ki0eh
04-11-2012, 13:48
I too have been considering a move closer to the trail. Right now I am looking at Harpers Ferry/Northern Virginia. After some reading Front Royal looks nice as well. My biggest concern is employment. Since I have a ton of restaurant experience it would probably be pretty easy for me to slide into a bartending or serving position. I am concerned though that business would be tough during the winter months. Is business steady year round in this area, or is it more of a seasonal thing?

Harrisburg (including Hershey and Carlisle in the metro) could be worth considering, there are plenty of restaurants for truckers and tourists and relatively low cost of living. Hershey is about a three season destination anymore and not totally closed even in winter (conventions and such). Pine Grove (not Pine Grove Furnace, Pine Grove) and Duncannon both have a number of commuters to Hershey area. Duncannon, Carlisle, Mechanicsburg, and even Boiling Springs (I once lived in a cheap apartment right in B.S.) are commutable to Harrisburg or Carlisle. Newport is a nearby cheap alternative to Duncannon which is of course pretty cheap itself.

jersey joe
04-11-2012, 14:54
Lincoln, NH.

perrymk
04-11-2012, 15:27
Harpers Ferry is really beautiful and has more trails for day-hiking in around this small town than any other town of its size, anywhere, that I know of. (I keep making this claim and no one yet has stepped forward to prove me wrong).

Not that it's a competition, but I live near Tallahassee, FL and maintain a yahoo forum listing local hiking trails. So far I have 32 day hiking trails and areas in and around Tallahassee and I'm sure I don't know them all. Most are actual trails, some are areas of forest criss-crossed with limited-vehicle-access forest roads, one is a dry lakebed. The Florida Trail is not too far, maybe an hour away.


I think about relocating when I retire just to experience something different. Harpers Ferry sounds like a great place to live.

Here is the Harpers Ferry stat that really caught my eye ;):

"Females outnumbered males by 174 to 141."
http://www.historicharpersferry.org/more/town.php

CrumbSnatcher
04-12-2012, 10:53
my family is going to relocate near the appalachian trail very soon from nebraska, more than likely somewhere between the smokies and roanoke. i have been a bricklayer for 24 years, i actually like what i do,have been trying to run my own business for the last two years, but with the economy down, but mostly the builders driving the prices down by using illegals and destroying the trade. its time for a change! i will probably bring a small portion of my equipment with me to do side jobs or whatever, but have no problem just doing whatever work i need to do, this country is being overrun by the illegals from the south,i know some are trying to escape the violence from the drug cartells and some just want a better life in america, i get that! but theres a legal way of getting here! i mostly blame the builders though in the residental trade, they do absolutely nothing and are making a killing. no matter what they pay you they turn around and double the price on the home owner. sorry just venting a little, trust me i am not a racist, and it could actually be a blessing in disguise, i have a 4 year old daughter and have been wanting to raise her in an area that is very special to me, and think it would be great to spend alot more time in the outdoor world with her and my family! and will do any type of work to keep us rolling,it ain't about the money but about livin'

Waynesboro
09-03-2012, 09:42
Gotta put in a word for my city, Waynesboro, Virginia. I think it is the largest city (22,500 people) that is practically ON the A.T. (you can trip on the A.T. at Rockfish Gap and tumble down the mountain into Waynesboro ;-)

I moved here at the turn-of-the-century, after living in Colorado for most of my life. I found a beautiful small town with friendly people, a surprising amount of conveniences, TWO regional telecom headquarters (nTelos & Lumos Networks), a fantastic outdoor shop (Rockfish Gap Outfitters) and more trails and outdoor resources than you can count.

The southern entrance to Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive (at Rockfish Gap) are just up the hill from the city. Rockfish Gap is a multiple crossroads. Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Trail, US-250 and I-64 all come together (with a couple of overpasses keeping them safely apart) in one spot.

Charlottesville is a half-hour to the east, with the big University of Virginia and lots of culture and restaurants. Staunton is to the west, with Mary Baldwin College, the Shakespearean Blackfriar's Theater and more good restaurants, and the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley is all around us. Modest housing prices, good employment opportunities, a very good symphony orchestra, great Internet speeds, and more than a few great-looking women! This place is heavenly.

I do have one correction of Hairball's post.

I forgot to include airport info. There were two small airports in the Valley, Shenandoah Regional Airport in Weyers Cave, and Eagles Nest in Bridgwater.
Eagle's Nest airport is actually on the western edge of Waynesboro (on the Augusta County side of the city limit). Bridgewater is miles away from Eagles Nest. It is a private airport with a relatively short runway, but if you have the cash, then you can buy a house with a hangar and basically taxi from your front door and commute to a half-dozen major east-coast cities.

Waynesboro was designated as an Appalachian Trail Community this summer, and has a long-standing Trail Angel volunteer group that provides free rides into the city from Rockfish Gap. There is free camping in the city near the YMCA where showers are available for hikers. A nearby church runs a seasonal hiker hostel that is very popular, and the local post office is a frequent resupply point for AT hikers. [The lobby is not open on Saturdays, but hikers can come to the back loading dock and get their general delivery packages.]

Anyway, I could go on for a while, so I will be merciful and stop here. Waynesboro is one cool little city.

Greg