Thursday, January 31, 2008

Services we liked on the Trail - Virginia to Massachusetts

"Church Hostel" - Delaware Water Gap, PA

Virginia - Part B

Since we were close to home and also did this section with my husband at other times, we did not use the services. But we have heard of some excellent services along the way to Harper's Ferry that you might consider.

Blue Ridge Parkway - many hikers rave about the Dutch Haus B&B that offered a free lunch to hikers last year and reasonable rates.

Waynesboro - Most services available to hikers including a large supermarket for resupply. Rockfish Gap Outfitters is, I believe, the best outfitter on the trail. Superior service, will help with warranty issues and has all the gear selection you need without the yuppy stuff. And a great AYCE Chinese Buiffet place. Church hostel is available here in season.

Shenandoah National Park - the waysides are overpriced but if you are starving or you need resupply, you can get it at various locations.

Northern VA - one of the best hostels that past hikers have loved is Bears Den hostel. They have a hiker special that combines the hostel rate with food. I have seen the place and it looks like it has everything (shower, Internet, phone, among other thigns) but I have never stayed there.

West Virginia

Harpers Ferry - home of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Be sure to stop in and get your picture taken. They can help with your questions, etc. There is an outfitter here but when I was there a few years back, it looked kind of small. Did sell some backpacking food like noodles, tuna packets, etc. Check here for accomodations.


US Rt 30 - turn left and walk down the road for some great pizza at Taormina's. Hiker friendly.
Caledonia State Park - nice restrooms and water. Pool only open on weekends in late May.

The shelters in early PA are great. Courtesy of the PATC
Pine Grove Furnace State Park - store offers ice cream for the famous ice cream challenge, but if you aren't used to lots of fat, don't do it for your stomach's sake. We stayed at the Ironmasters Hostel. Okay place, but with no AC in the summer it was HOT and the women stay on the top floor. Not fun. But the caretaker was very nice. Accepts maildrops. Has showers and laundry.
Boiling Springs - we skipped this town but did stop at at the ATC office to use the restroom and get water.

US 11 - head left for motels and restaurants by the Interstate. The Super 8 where we stayed was not very helpful and pricey. But the diner across the street had good food.
Duncannon - small little town. Port Clinton Hotel, okay for the rate, no AC, has laundry and shared shower. We got Internet access at an Internet place down the street. PO. Small places to eat. Evening shuttle from the hotel to a grocery store. No phone in town except near the bar.
Port Clinton - be forewarned, the lady working the day shift at the PO was not hiker friendly and quite mean. We hitched a ride and stayed at the Microtel across from Cabelas. Nice place if you can split the room with other hikers. Has laundry, no Internet. Cabelas had what we needed for gear. Fast food places nearby.

Eckville Shelter - the bunks are infested with chiggers or mites or something. I was bitten all night. The caretaker is not very nice. No food. Has showers.
501 Shelter - cold shower, enclosed bunkhouse, active mice. You can order pizza here. Noisy roof when it rains.
Lehigh Gap - we stayed in Palmerton at the Jailhouse hostel. Free and had showers. Everything is centrally located with laundry, library for Internet across the street and IGA. People were very friendly. Just a bear of a town to get out of, try to get a ride from someone in town back to the trail as the road is four lane and very busy.
Delaware Water Gap - church hostel near the trail, donations, nice place. No laundry or Internet. PO down the street. Recommend mail drop here. No grocery store except for convenience stores near the Interstate. Good diner.
Mohican Trail Center - good stop. Great pizza to order (best I had on the trail, IMO). We had the hiker bunkhouse to ourselves and it was BIG.

Unionville, NY - we did not stay here but did use it for a mail drop which worked out well. The mayor is hiker friendly and we hear he now allows hikers to stayovernight at his house. Might check that out.

NJ 94, Vernon - Nice hiker hostel here at a church with laundry, Internet and showers. Fast food places. Get a ride from someone to Vernon at the Heaven Hill farmer's market to the left of the trail. No hitchhiking permitted in NJ.

New York
Bear Mtn State Park - has restrooms, water. Don't know about PO. Inn was closed. The people there in the picnic area did not know what to make of hikers. Wildlife exhibits interesting.

Graymoor - basically a shelter (picnic shelter) where we tented, but you can order pizza and they deliver. Has a cold shower. We had rowdies roll in with pick-up trucks at 2 AM, so be warned and keep your guard up.

Enjoy the delis in NY but their prices for hiker food is very high. Great hot dog stand at NY 22, on the left at a pullover on the road, just after you pass the AT train station.


Kent - we did not stay here, but stayed with friends. Did use PO for a mail drop. The outfitter was basically a yuppy one and fairly useless (no fuel canisters or Aquamira).
Falls Village - we did not stay here, but it sure was a friendly little town. Many people said hello to us. We got water from an outside spigot at the high school during a bad thunderstorm.
Salisbury - again, we did not stay here but it has good eateries, a good grocery store, and the PO. The people were rather classy and not sure what to do with hikers, but we had a few talk to us as we were drying out gear. No pay phones and cell coverage spotty at best.


South Egremont - I only menton it because we stayed at the Inn here. They were very friendly to us and shuttled us back and forth to the trail. Do not try to stay on weekends - pricey and usually booked. Good convenience store with good sandwiches down the road, but that's about all to this town.

Great Barrington - we did not stay here but ended up here waiting for my f-i-l to pick us up during an intense heat wave. Has everything you need but is spread out.

Dalton - again, we did not stay here but Tom's place looks great (nice guy) and it looks like a good hiker town for a stay.

Cheshire - we stayed at the church hostel, free to hikers. A new outfitter there wants to cater to hikers. PO across the street.
MA 2 - turn left for a great supermarket to welcome you to Vermont. We did not stay in this area though. Too pricey.

No comments: