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  1. #1
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    Default East Mountain Retreat Center

    Comments, experiences, opinions, related to East Mountain Retreat Center.

  2. #2
    Registered User fancyfeet's Avatar
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    The hostel is very nice, if you can stand a little weirdness. I found it to be very restful. There is a hiker lounge with books, a couch, a bathroom with shower and laundry. The rooms are very peaceful and clean (yes, I said rooms). It wasn't very busy when I was there, so I had my own room. There's even a phone to call for pizza delivery (very good pizza). The only odd note was the woman who runs it, but I happen to find eccentrics along the trail only enhance my experience. Word to the wise - don't go there if you are rowdy, she insists on quiet - it is after all a spiritual retreat... Oh yeah, and you have to be up early. She has you out at 8 am. Have fun.
    If you're in a hurry, why are you walking?

  3. #3

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    Its a great retreat from one of the buggiest places on the AT. The mosqitoes in this area are unbeliveably bad. It was so bad in 2000, that if you opened the door to the retreat center even momentarily, about 20 mosqitoes would fly inside. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  4. #4
    Registered User B Thrash's Avatar
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    My hiking partner and I spent two nights at the East Mountain Retreat waiting out the hurricane. We were given the rules of staying there and we abided by them. This is a silent retreat where you do not speak to the guest, you can nod to them but do not speak. When we wanted to talk to each other we could whisper but no loud talking. My partner and I was caught climbing Roan in 1996 when Hurricane Opal hit and I was glad to be able to get in out of the rain, limbs and trees falling at any shelter on this trip.
    Rigormortis

  5. #5
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Funny you mention staying two nights here. I didn't stay here, however Miles to Go and Goose, trailfriends of mine stayed here and intended to take a zero there spending two nights. The woman who runs the place told them it was customary for hikers to only stay one day and suggested that they move on and continue their journey. They didnt break any rules or anything. I'd move on and take a rest at Upper Goose Pond Cabin, for anyone who may be looking for a break in this area.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  6. #6

    Default Retreat Center

    I stayed here on my hike in 2000. I thought it was wonderful, great stop. I was alone there too, so I had the whole place to myself. I wasn't feeling well either, so (I can't remember her name, I want to say Rev. Rose?) let me sleep late, and then hang around resting and napping until 4:00 the next afternoon, at no extra charge. She let me use her phone a lot too, and even drove me back to the trail that afternoon. On my way there I missed the trail to the center and had to walk along the road a ways before getting a hitch to the center. Cedar Tree

  7. #7
    Registered User B Thrash's Avatar
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    Default East Mountain Retreat

    Quote Originally Posted by A-Train
    Funny you mention staying two nights here. I didn't stay here, however Miles to Go and Goose, trailfriends of mine stayed here and intended to take a zero there spending two nights. The woman who runs the place told them it was customary for hikers to only stay one day and suggested that they move on and continue their journey. They didnt break any rules or anything. I'd move on and take a rest at Upper Goose Pond Cabin, for anyone who may be looking for a break in this area.
    A-Train

    One night is the limit at East Mountain Retreat. The reason that the Rev Lois Love let us stay an extra night was a hurricane was to hit in that part of the country that night, she said if any other hikers come in we would need to be on our way, they would have priority. This is a very decent place to stay, bed, phone, washer and dryer, reading material. Just one thing, this is a silent retreat and you must be quite.
    Rigormortis

  8. #8
    AT, ECT, LT, PCT Thru-hiker JojoSmiley's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Great place to stay

    I stayed here in 2002 and was treated really well. The amenities were great and Rev. Lois was quite helpful and genial. I spent a day off but went into town for a bit during the day. Not speaking to guests was different but ok. I would reccomend the retreat to anyone.
    Savor the Moments!
    Jojo Smiley :)
    Savor the Moments!

  9. #9

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    No one mentioned how far off the trail that retreat is. It is a LONG walk. Once there I was rewarded with a nice stay and the pastor even brought me ice cream back from town. It is a highly structured establishment which could be a bit of a shock for freewheeling thru-hikers though.

  10. #10
    Registered User TakeABreak's Avatar
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    The retreat is a nice place, and she treat well also. One thing about getting there is that up until the srping of 2001 there was a blue blaze off the A.T., about 1/2 past Tom Leonard Lean-to going north. Apparently a ridge runner took upon themselve to enforce the official A.T. rules of no blue blaze trails on the A.T. to private business. I volunteered at the A.T.C. for 2 week in 2000, and contacted perople there abou this and they said they were aware what happened and could not ernterfere since they were simply enforcing the rules. This one of those catch 22 situations, they can not allow one facility to have it's blue blaze trail to it's location and not allow others. Although we all know that some do exist, officially they can not be recognized for fear of lawsuits by those that for one reason or another were not officially recognized.

  11. #11
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    Default Great Place!

    The East Mountain Retreat Center was great. I was there when I got stricken with Ehrlichiosis, my tick disease. Rev. Rose was very kind and helpful, driving me to the hospital, pharmacy etc. She is a very nice lady, you just have to follow her rules! If you don't like a few, easy to follow rules then definitely stay away.

  12. #12
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    I spent two nights there in late may. I had a good time, she has alot of nice books. There wasn't anything too strange going on when I was there. If I were to do it again, I would have zeroed at upper goose pond instead. Make sure you follow the rules.

  13. #13
    Registered User whcobbs's Avatar
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    Stayed at E Mt Retreat Center nites of 14 Jan and again 16 Jan 2006 after a nite at Wilcox S Shelter and a change of plans with weather conditions. Rev Lois Rose is a gem. She picked me up at the bus stop in Great Barrington and gave me a lift there again on my return. The center was clean and comfortable, beautifully situated, and very economical in a somewhat upscale town. Books on Kabbala (Gershon Scholem) and Gnostic Gospels (Elaine Pagels) reflect a decidedly inquiring atmosphere. -- Walt

  14. #14
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    That is where my hike in 2004 came to an end. I got to the center feeling great one day and the the next was in the hospital feeling the effects of a tick-bite. Lois was awesome, she phoned the hospital for me, drove me there, picked me up, took me to the pharmacy, etc, etc. She let me stay for 4 nights I think until I was feeling like I could travel and make my way home.

    She does have rules but she also has a lot of compassion for people who need a little help.
    <A HREF="http://www.jackielbolen.blogspot.com/"TARGET="Jackie's BLOG">http://www.jackielbolen.blogspot.com/</A>

  15. #15

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    We stayed there in early May of 2004 and found it to be a super place to crash as long as you follow the rules. We had a bounce box shipped there and the staff gaves us proper shipping instructions prior to our arrival because of possible ice conditions that may have delayed our package. We were given use of the washer, dryer and phone as long as you have a pnone card. Great shower can't complain.

  16. #16
    avatar= bushwhackin' mount kancamagus nh 5-8-04 neighbor dave's Avatar
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    stayed there once in 2001 and once in 2005. i'll never stay there again.

  17. #17

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    She is definitely into rules. I was there with Don Owen of the AT NPS office. She let us stay two nights in October (it was raining like hell all week) while we did some trail survey stuff between Fernside Rd and Rt 41. Nice place for quiet contemplation (more so than many AT shelters).

    The side trail not only was illegally cut through NPS and Mass State Forest lands, but also through private land too. It did make some geographical sense, as it bypassed a one mile road walk, and a very long driveway to her property. She was really pissed at us for closing it.

    But we really can't have folks just go ahead and make a trail. Who would maintain the trail? Do they have the skills? Who would be liable for injury on the trail, especially if it were not maintained to ATC standards? Does the trail go through areas with rare plant or animal habitat? Who's to say Joe's retreat can have a side trail, but Sam's can't? Trails aren't free, every mile has some costs associated with it. Fortunately for us, the AT has a solid corps of dedicated volunteers who bear a large part of those costs--by dontating their time.

    Cosmo

  18. #18
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    In my Article on Re-Supply/Lodging I wasn't very kind to this place; I believe I said that it didn't enjoy a reputation for friendliness.

    In light of the many positive comments above, I'll be revising that description.

    It now sounds to me that if hikers are aware of what this facility is all about, realize it's not a traditional hostel, and is not a party place, then it seems like a perfectly good spot to spend a night.

    Doesn't sound like my kinda place, but for others it might be just what they need.

  19. #19
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    wow looks like a great place neo

    http://www.eastretreat.org/

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by neighbor dave
    stayed there once in 2001 and once in 2005. i'll never stay there again.
    The best piece of news I've heard in a very long time.

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