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  1. #1
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    Default Review of the NOC

    Holed up at the NOC due to Mother Nature getting ugly. $46 dollars for the basic bunk and another $3.00 for a towel. I would think for that price a towel would be included. A little steep but supply and demand rules. BTW food was good! I was told over the phone that checkin was 1:00 by a gentleman named Matthew. At the desk upon arrival, he was not there, it was now 3:00 with no exception. The floor of the bunk room was dirtier and stickier than the worse shelter floor and obviously not been mopped recently. The fire extinguisher in the unit was also discharged. I spoke to the general store clerk voicing concerns and got a “sorry”. I realize we have choices, but I was a little disappointed. Happy trails!

  2. #2
    Registered User cneill13's Avatar
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    07-14-2015
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    NOC takes advantage of their location to "stick it" to customers any way they can. I avoid it at all costs because it certainly will cost you.

    I made reservations with NOC for a white water raft trip for two this past summer. When I got my confirmation, it was for 3. I have no idea what happened.

    I immediately called NOC and they said tough luck. Be more careful in the future. There will be no future with me and NOC.

  3. #3

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    On my September hike from Springer to Damascus I stopped at the NOC for lunch. Hadn’t been there in quite a few years. The “outfitters” has turned in to a gift shop with very limited resupply or gear. I was shocked that they built a bar on the river to keep the masses entertained after raft trips. It’s really become a mini Disney World and not an Outdoor Center.

  4. #4
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Having hiked thru the NOC on two occasions, my take is the opposite.... It was a very good stop and refresh both times, all the services a hiker needs, reasonable cost, good food at the river restaurant, good variety of beer at the shop, etc.

    I put it in the top half of hiker stops along the AT, though no where near the top.

    Just another opinion.

  5. #5

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    It's been a few years but I paid $20 for a bunk. Did you ask for the hiker rate or has the price gone up over double?

    While neither had a big selection, between the outfitter and the general store, there was enough to get to Fontana a couple of days later. The restaurant is good. You could always get a burger to go and carry it up the hill to Sassafras shelter.

    But then, being there in May during the peak hiker season might be a different experience then in late October when there is probably a lot less hiker traffic. Their main business are the rafters.

    While there are other options in the area, there not going to be any less expensive and are much less convenient.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  6. #6
    Registered User jigsaw's Avatar
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    10-15-2002
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    Default

    i stayed there last year and if memory serves me i paid 27 bucks for the bunkhouse.
    food was hot and the beer was cold.wasnt the cleanest place but not much different than any other hostel.

  7. #7
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    They ought to smarten up. A visit from the State Fire Marshall to evaluate life safety conditions at NOC might be most unpleasant.
    Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other.
    —M. C. Richards

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefiepoo View Post
    They ought to smarten up. A visit from the State Fire Marshall to evaluate life safety conditions at NOC might be most unpleasant.
    please elaborate

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Having hiked thru the NOC on two occasions, my take is the opposite.... It was a very good stop and refresh both times, all the services a hiker needs, reasonable cost, good food at the river restaurant, good variety of beer at the shop, etc.

    I put it in the top half of hiker stops along the AT, though no where near the top.

    Just another opinion.
    I'm in the same camp. I've been there a number of times and enjoy the whole vibe of the place.
    The older I get, the faster I hiked.

  10. #10
    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dsccwells View Post
    ... I was shocked that they built a bar on the river to keep the masses entertained after raft trips...
    I'm actually fine with a bar overlooking the river, so this doesn't dissuade me.
    "Waning Gibbous" would be a great trail name.

  11. #11
    Registered User ScottTrip's Avatar
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    07-30-2013
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    I have been to NOC many occasions on my Thru hike and paddling the Nanny. I love the place the vipe, food, and people are great.

  12. #12
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    Overall, I'd say the NOC was OK. Not on my list of favorite places to stay along the AT, but also not on my "never again" list. I think a lot of hikers dislike it because it's more oriented toward rafters and tourists, but you can't its convenience, being right on the trail.
    It's all good in the woods.

  13. #13
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    I have to give it a thumbs down. The "vibe" I got was similar to being in AMC territory or passing through Hot Springs; did not feel welcome as a thru hiker when compared to other places. My impression was, as others have mentioned, rafting is their focus. I was glad to get out of there. Looked for some needed gear and the sales people could not have been more disinterested. I guess you can't blame them. Business is about the dollars and thru hikers don't provide a lot of those. Handy for a food drop, but that is about it.

  14. #14

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    Yep, if you need to feel special because you're out for a walk, it's not a great place.

    If you like good food, good craft beer, friendly service, numerous lodging options, cool people enjoying the outdoors in various ways, great scenery; Well, it ain't bad.
    The older I get, the faster I hiked.

  15. #15
    Registered User HeartFire's Avatar
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    First, the NOC is under new management in the past few years, and yes, prices have gone up. Second, the NOC is not there for the AT thru hiker - it is there for the locale, the rafting, kayaking , river sports and the general public. It's a business, if you don't want to pay - don't stay, simple as that.

  16. #16

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    Really great for me to have a good place to eat right on the trail!
    Bunkhouse and shower didn't seem that bad, but that was 7 years ago so things might have changed. And the best thing about spending the night for me was getting both a fresh dinner and breakfast prepared by someone else.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    Really great for me to have a good place to eat right on the trail!
    Bunkhouse and shower didn't seem that bad, but that was 7 years ago so things might have changed. And the best thing about spending the night for me was getting both a fresh dinner and breakfast prepared by someone else.
    Yeah, hot meal right on the trail, can't pass that up

    Easy enough to blow by NOC if you stay at A. Rufus Morgan shelter the night before. Just stop long enough for a meal and picking up a few things to get you to Fontana. If you stopped in Franklin, that was just a few days ago. Kind of depends on if it's been raining the last 3 days or not.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  18. #18
    Registered User evyck da fleet's Avatar
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    Default

    Yep, they make their money off rafters. Seven years ago on my they I showed up on a weekend and could see who spent money and who didn’t. Great place to get s hot meal in a thru or weekend hike. As far as a hostel well...

  19. #19
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    Default

    I had an overall pleasant time at the NOC overnight during my 2013 Thru. When I arrived it appeared that all the men's bunkrooms were taken so they gave me a bunk in the overflow bunk house. It was basically the same as the rest, but the furthest uphill and on a dirt trail, not the paved paths. As I was leaving for the bunkroom I head a manager say flip the girl's bunkhouse to guys. This has the effect of having any guy come in getting into this massive bunk building, which meant that I had my overflow bunk room all to myself which would normally sleep 4. IIRC the cost was about $20. The outfitter was pretty well stocked and had some interesting stuff to look at and the restaurant was also good.

    But if they are up to $46 for a basic bunk, I'd skip it.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by HeartFire View Post
    First, the NOC is under new management in the past few years, and yes, prices have gone up. Second, the NOC is not there for the AT thru hiker - it is there for the locale, the rafting, kayaking , river sports and the general public. It's a business, if you don't want to pay - don't stay, simple as that.
    That's what i was thinking. I was there in 2015 on a section hike and had a totally different experience from the OP. Great food, great beer, friendly service and very reasonable prices. I guess all good things must come to an end...

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