One of the more "upscale" places to spend a night at on the AT is in a Hostel near (or slightly near) the trail. For $25 or so one can get a roof over your head, a bunk bed to sleep on, sometimes a shower (hot shower were optional!) and depending on the hostel, a dinner and many times breakfast. These are welcomed breaks from sleeping on the ground or the wood floor of a shelter....but the "uniqueness" of these establishments (and the people that run them and/or the hikers that stay there) was also a key allure, as you will see on this page:


Owned and operated by retired school teachers Bob and Roberta from Michigan (they even knew where Swartz Creek was: home of the dragons!)

A fine breakfast of Toast and Jam!....and milk for MacGyver.

This hiker stayed for free at this hostel.

Outhouse in the back, showers and laundry to the left, bunkhouse in the middle. The building on the


Owned and operated by "Mongo", former thru hiker. Very cool place. An old church probably from the 50's turned into a hostel. Mongo was out hiking but he had some very good friends that helped him and us out (Mariette and Valerie). At night I swear we could hear the ghosts of the church choir singing.

MacGyver made a friend with one of the "caretakers"

Woods Hole Hostel

A great hostel that happen to be an organic farm.Stayed one night for a good night sleep and great breakfast!

Even got to practice my guitar.

And what a breakfast indeed....compared to our normal instant carnation drink!!

4 Pines Hostel

This hostel, a converted garage, was a key stop off spot for many including  MacGyver and I to pick up food re-supply, and the outside surrounding evironment is impressive with wide open great views and a pleasant surrounding feel. The inside........certainly a "unique" lived in look and feel.

You can fix your equipment and cook a meal at the same time.

Bunk Bed haven.

Does the movie "Animal House" ring a bell?

But we did have our first cheese burger and fries on the hike this year at a local convenience store/gas station...and it tasted great!!!

Joe the owner of 4 Pines, a quiet and unassuming man of few words that cares about hikers.....and the best corn hole player I have ever seen.

Stayed in the bunkhouse at Middle Creek Campground one night. MacGyver looking for water with 2 "very energetic" 4-legged companions. It was hard to curb their enthusiasm.


Stayed at Stanimals in Glasgow, VA and what a treat. The Manager, Charlie (trail name "Pilgrim" is a 2019 thru hiker, a Navy veteran and a great host, shuttle driver,  specializing in his great breakfasts AND desserts! Those of you hiking thru Glasgow needing a place to stay, try Stanimals.

This is Charlie ("Pilgrim"). One other story about Charlie. MacGyver was having real problems with his backpack and had ordered some parts to be sent to Stanimals for him to pick them up. Well, Charlie had heard that we were staying at a shelter some miles away the previous night (and thought the parts may be important) he drove and hiked out there to deliver the parts! at 9:00pm at night. Now that is going the extra mile....literally!