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Thread: Port Clinton

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    Default Port Clinton

    Info, questions, comments, experiences (good or bad) regarding - Port Clinton

    Past/Present hikers - what can future hikers expect here? Have any good stories or memories, would you suggest a maildrop here?

    Future hikers - any questions?

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  2. #2
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    The folks at the Port Clinton Hotel were very nice. Rooms are small but clean. Fans and TV in each room. A large bathroom down the hall. Cost is $30.00. NOTE: They do not take charge cards and there is NO phone. There is a laundry in the basement that is available to patrons of the hotel. -- Mr. Breen is a wonderful man who lives two doors down from the hotel in the yellow house next to the candy store. He will take you into the nearby town of Hamburg to the grocery, bank/ATM, fast food, pay phone, etc. -- The is also free camping in the park pavillion. There is a small outfitters on the blue blaze to the park. HH
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    Default Port Clinton

    I found Port Clinton to be somewhat hiker unfriendly. No real supplies to be had in town besides outfitters(very nice people)and hitching to Hamburg (5m) was extremely difficult as only road in town has no redlight or stop sign. The resturant/bar/hotel in town had good food but would not serve you unless you had a shower. You couldn't eat unless you showered, which meant renting a room.Catch 22. Tried sitting at bar to have soda and snacks and was told backpacks not allowed in bar area. Not wishing to risk leaving pack outside on major road was forced to rent room. In retrospect, I should stop at outfitters for limited food supplies and pushed on. Do not reccomend stopping unless you plan to go to Hamberg.

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    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Apparently different people have different experiences in towns such as Port Clinton.

    For what it's worth, in 2001, you did not need a shower before going into the bar, and you could order food there. however, showers were requested prior to sitting in the dinning room.

    The best spot for lunch and breakfast was the diner just north of town on the main road. I forgot the name.

    Mail drops are very popular in Port Clinton because there is no stores to buy resupplies at.

    I'll agree with HH's comments on Port Clinton.

  5. #5

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    Peaks is right about the shower.Only for the Dinning Room. The Bar Chicks were nice to me. They got one of the regulars to take me to an ATM in Hamburg and bring me back. When I told them I was a Veteran, the beer was on the house. Needless to say, I had to take a 0 to recover. Mr. Breem was super. A true Trail Angel. He and his wife invited me to their home, let me use their phone. His wife made an AT Quilt, ask her to show it to you.
    Singletrack

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    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    I saw the quilt. She is very proud of it. HH
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

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    Default Ugh

    I had a terrible, terrible time in Port Clinton. I don't know if Pennsylvania was just wearing us out, or what, but there was nothing, nothing, I remember to be good about this town except for the portion of french fries served at the Port Clinton Hotel bar. No decent places to eat, no decent, inexpensive lodging, no phone to be found anywhere in town except the outfitter who was gracious enough to let hikers use it, and the Union House B&B was the worst $60 bucks I ever spent. It was the only place in town with room when we went through, and for $60 we got a shower in the basement that was dribble of water, and we weren't allowed to have a comforter for our room becuase they didn't "want hikers getting them dirty" and had to leave our packs in a n unlocked basement. We ended up hitching a ride to Enterprise Rent-a-Car from this town and going home to NH for a long weekend to re-evealute whether or not we planned ot saty on the trail or not. Granted, I don't think that had much to do with the town itself, but if it had been more hiker friendly it probably would have helped....just my two cents!
    "It's a dangerous business, going out your door...if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to."-The Hobbit

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    Default Port Clinton

    My description of Port Clinton as " hiker unfriendly " was in no way meant to disparage the people of Port Clinton. Spent a night there and was treated very nicely, especially at the outfitters. My main point was the lack of goods and services to be had there. Except for soda and candy at the outfitters their was nothing. The dining room had great food (Largest serving of french fries in the free world) and the service was excellant. You are correct on one account, shower is needed for dining room only. Maybe I was unclear, but my problem with the bar area was not that I needed a shower, but my backpack was unwelcome. Being from NJ has probably made me a little cynical, but I was not comfortable leaving 1000$ worth of gear outside while eating.I am sure there has been problems in the past with hikers packs bumping into patrons, but thought thought that a town bar/hotel right on the trail would be more sympathetic to this problem. Also, the outfitters will accept and hold packages, and I'm pretty sure he has better hours than the Post Office. PROZAC

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    Many business establishments along the trail do not welcome packs inside, in no small part because they can be very dirty, and store owners don't have a lot of chance to do "clean inspections". One alternative is, if you're hiking with friends, to take turns inside. That's hard to do with a bar, yeah. But there may be other places where you can "check" your bag for a few hours - gas stations, even police departments or fire stations - if you chat with them for a little bit in advance, i.e. don't take anything for granted except that most people enjoy helping.

    The Weasel
    "Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond, For us who are true to the trail..." --- Robert Service

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    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    I left my pack outside many a business establishment along the trail, or in their entrance lobby. Maybe I was concerned at first, but I discovered, or maybe rediscovered, the good in mankind. My pack was never touched, and I became fairly comfortable doing it.

    I think that locals in the trail towns are used to seeing packs sitting in front of stores, restaurants, etc. And they understand how important your pack is to you.

    Now, some places are more scarey than others. Like leaving a pack around Bear Mountain where there are lots of people mulling around. So, like everything else, heed your instincts.

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    A few quick words on Port Clinton:

    Weasel's 100% right----lots of places don't want your backpack inside, especially where food is being served. Packs are frequently, dirty, muddied, wet, nasty-looking, draped with socks and other hiker detritus, and so on. Morover, they all smell like dead cats. A place that asks you to enter packless is NOT a place showing unfriendliness to hikers; it's merely thinking about the rest of its patrons, especially the ones who LIVE in the area and frequent the place more than once, like the hikers. A business has an obligation to its regulars, and several places on the Trail have seen a loss of local patronage as a result of becoming seen as TOO hiker-friendly or TOO much of a hiker place. In other words, hikers shouldn't get bent outta shape if places, especially eateries, have regulations or requests dealing with one's gear, attire, or hygeine level. These places, after all, are businesses, and usually small ones. They simply can't afford to alienate or drive away their immediate neighbors in order to bend over backwards accomodating some fragrant passserby, who in all likelihood, will never be back that way again.

    I've always found the folks at the Port Clinton Hotel to be first class; true, they ask you to clean up a bit if you're going to eat in the dining room (it's a small room, and the locals who go there don't want to sit a foot away from some rank hiker), but there is no dress or cleanliness code in the barroom, where hikers are always welcome, even fresh off the Trail, the staff and other customers are always friendly, and the food is excellent, reasonably priced, and the portions are enormous.

    It's true that facilities are extremely limited in Port Clinton, but what's there is just fine: A great place to eat, drink, or lodge (the Hotel); a great breakfast place (the diner); limited outfitting supplies; FREE lodging at the pavillion; effieciently run Post Office; lots of friendly locals who'll pick you up hitching or shuttle you to a real town like Hamburg, and so on.

    I'm sorry not everyone enjoyed this town, but I've stayed overnight there more than 7 times and have never had a bad experience there, and the motel is absolutely one of the most hiker-friendly restaurant/bars on the entire Trail.

    Whew! More than a few quick words, but it needed saying!

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    I had a pretty good time in Port Clinton passing thru in 01. I arrived there with about $12 and was shocked after finding out there was no ATM...but some fellow hikers spotted me until I could hit the PO in the morning. I didn't care about the shower before dining request cause I just hung in the bar and ate there, and they were very friendly in the bar. Other than not having a grocery it's a pretty decent town.

  13. #13

    Default Poor old restaurant people in Pines Grove

    This talk about Port Clinton and needed showers for dining reminds me of my '95 thru-hike in PA. I stayed at the 501 hostel and thumbed a ride to the town at the bottom of the hill, Pines Grove I think. Anyway, I looked for the restaurant and found it but when trying to open the glass door, it was locked. I saw people dining inside and I banged on the window a few times like a bear looking for food. The patrons motioned me to another entrance. Wheeww, I smelled horrible in retrospect and I nonchalantly dined in the restaurant while my waitress had to hold her breath with a pissed look on her face. So, yeah, taking a shower before dining is a good thing.
    Hike more and learn to reduce gasoline consumption

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    Hammock and Bicycle camping Crash's Avatar
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    Exclamation CABELAS

    Cabelas is now open. Its about 3 miles east (of Port Clinton, at Rte. 78). Its HUGE. Check out their website if you don't know what they are: www.cabelas.com Granted it does not have ultralight equipment but you can get new boots, clothes, sleep bags, etc.
    When the Trail calls you,
    its not on your cellphone!

  15. #15

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    My experience in Port Clinton was excellent considering it was during 2 of the hottest days of my hike. I agee with BJ's remarks above...can't say it any better.

    A plug for the outfitter vs Cabelas. The young proprietor seemed genuinely interested in serving his customers. I believe he said he was in his 3rd year and for his "limited thru-hike season" I thought he made a pretty good attempt to stock what hikers use.

    I stayed at the hotel which had very limited space. I was so grateful for the air conditioning. I could'nt check in upon arrival and left my gear on the front porch unattended for several hours. When I finally checked in I forgot my Treka's and left them on the porch all night. When I packed up in the morning they were gone. I stopped by the pavillion and there they were...a hiker had picked them up. Needless to say I was happy...I would have had to buy new ones.

    Yeah, biggest plate of fries in the world.

    Great candy and nut store...with great AC.

    Restaurant on the edge of town...very friendly and great breakfast.

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    Thumbs up Port Clinton

    Port Clinton gets a "two-thumbs-up" from me. Not sure why some hikers wouldn't have found it to be a great trail town, unless perhaps their expectations were a tad high. After surviving that "controlled fall" into Port Clinton I went straight to the Post Office and had great service. Then it was off to the Port Clinton Hotel, where I had one of the best burgers and no doubt largest plate of french fries I got on the entire trail. Oh yeah ...and did I mention that they had that cold local brew ("Yingling") on tap. Hell, that alone was enough to make me enjoy the town on a hot day. Seriously though, for a very small town I found the people and services to be more than adequate. That new outfitter in town will go out of his way to accomodate hikers needs too. All in all I would put Port Clinton on the list of top 10 towns that the AT actually passes through.
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

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    Default port clinton

    Couldnt agree with Footslogger and Skeemer more (hey guys!).
    Port Clinton was one of my favorite town stops. Vern at the outfitters is one of the nicest guys I met on the trip and he is unfortunately gonna be put out of business by Cabellas because the focus of his store is hunting, fishing, kayaking etc.. all things that Cabellas can out do him in. He gave us some great deals on trail shoes and frogg toggs because we were thru-hikers.
    My friends who stayed at the hotel didn't have great things to say about it, and yea the phone situation is a bummer, but we had an excellent, very large portion of food at the restraunt for a low price.
    We were greeted happily by members of the PC Volunteer firefighting department. Being race car fans they were anticipating the arrival of my friend FLICK who is part of the Kyle and Richard Petty race team. They not only shuttled us to a supermarker but invited us to drink with them at their private bar. I believe I spent maybe a dollar or two and was offered drinks all night long.
    As far as the pavilion being loud (its right under a 4 lane highway) read my last comment re: beer.
    The candy shoppe is cute and functional if you've got a sweet tooth. The trail angel Bag of Tricks oversees the pavilion along with other volunteers who fill water for hikers and provide magazines, info etc.. for use. Its a great free place to stay, wish there were more like it.
    Port Clinton has hardly any services but its an experience you shouldn't miss, just like Duncannon. Somethin about cheap Yuengling that really excites the hikers I guess.
    And the diner on the edge of town is tasty.

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    Default Port Clinton

    Been away from the list (forum) for the past several days. Port Clinton is not really a town, but it is a pretty nifty place. The hotel does have a phone in its hallway (collect calls or credit card calls). The bar is great, but they do want to clean up before eating there. The Double D (I think that is the correct name) could care less if you are clean or not. Big breakafasts (don't know about lunch). Unfortunately they serve only those two meals. The outfitter is a great place, but I don't know if they will be open next year. Cabellas is pretty stiff competition. The Peanut Shop is a great plce to visit. If I shuttle to Port Clinton I make my passengers buy me a bag of peanuts.

    The B&B is a place to avoid. They have had a couple problems with through hikers. They will only take cash from through hikers at this time. Don't know the details.

    Hitchhiking is tough. Hamburg has all of the aminities that a hiker would want. It is a pretty fair hike there. I have shuttled a group of hikers there once, probably won't do it again. I live 45 minutes away and that is too far to drive for a 5 mile shuttle.

    Happy Trails all,

    Grey Owl

  19. #19

    Smile From the horses mouth

    Well let me say I personally have seen more than 2000 thru hikers since my opening. Depending on the person and the day, port clinton can be great or it can stink. If you are coming out of Duncannon dreaming of french fries and get to the hotel on Monday(closed) that stinks. To clarify the phone situation the hotel has one that works about 50% of the time, but you are welcome to use my phone. Now the shower bit, for what it is worth. The hotel will allow anyone(this is a definate) to eat there if you are not showered they don't want you in the dining room(as was mentioned above) real simple I don't think anyone should be offended by that. It truly comes down to your state of mind. If you pumped out 25 miles to get to the p.o. for a drop only to find it was closed any town becomes an eyesore.

    Now for the Cabela's. I will have no problem living in peace and harmony with them. Their prices are higher and if you know good ulta light equipment you would be a fool to shop there. If you are just getting started they will definately going in the wrong direction with their lightest pack weighing in at 5 lbs. For shoes you can get them there without a doubt. Put them on if they feel good take em' as far as anything else not recommended. I appreciate all the support and comments and it is people like you that will keep my business here to serve hikers and help anyway possible. Thanks to evryone who stops in

    God Bless Vern Appalachian Outfitters

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    Default App Outfitters ...

    Yo Vern ...great to see you posting here !!

    Next time you see "Bag of Trix" tell him old Footslogger said HEY
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

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