The Appalachian Trail is not the kind of place you visit hurriedly and leave. Hiking the longest footpath in North America and one of the longest in the world is incredibly pleasurable even for savvy hikers. Thru-hiking the 2200-mile trail takes you through 14 states and often takes around six months to complete. The rugged backcountry footpath passes through magnificent mountains and ridges, making it breathtakingly scenic. Strenuous climbs, occasional rocky footing, and walking in the woods characterize the hiking experience. The Appalachian Trail experience is a perfect immersion into natural adventure and the countryside lifestyle.
If you love hiking and are planning to retreat from the terrific hassles of modern-day life through a hike on the Appalachian Trail, planning for your accommodation well in advance will enable you to have the best hiking experience. There are a variety of great motels, inns, and hostels near the world famous foot trail. The choice of accommodation depends on your preferences for there’s a place for everyone.
Some of the great inns and hostels along the Appalachian Trail include:
1. Hiker Hostel
Hikers, cyclists, mountain bikers and eco-tourists who want to get away to the Northern Mountains of Georgia find Hiker Hostel a suitable accommodation option. It is located in Damascus, Virginia and the Appalachian Trail follows a sidewalk just in front of the hostel. The hostel has private rooms, container cabins and bunks that offer clean, comfortable and affordable temporary accommodation. You can access local shops and restaurants easily since they are a walk distance away from the hostel.
2. Standing Bear Farm
Standing Bear Farm is located inside the Smoky Mountains, two hundred yards from the Appalachian Trail and 3 miles north of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A bunkhouse and cabin sit on the property and that’s where hikers get comfortable after long days of hiking and exploring the Appalachian Trail. Standing Bear Farm is a perfect place to live the old times when rural Appalachia life was the “good life”. It has a simplistic setting which features a farm house, the original homestead, barns and outbuildings. It is the outbuildings that have been converted to a cabin and bunkhouse. You are offered hot outdoor shower and laundry facilities, a phone, free internet, shuttle service, a microwave, gas grill and fire pits. In the company of farm animals that keep running around Standing Bear Farm, you are bound to experience a real step back from the hectic lifestyle of American civilization.
3. Shamrock Village Inn
Located in Dalton, MA, Shamrock Village Inn welcomes you with a warm shower so that you can relax after your epic Appalachian Trail exploration. The motel is just off the trail and is, therefore, very convenient for hikers. Most hikers who’ve stayed at Shamrock Village Inn compliment the staff as being warm and exceptionally friendly. They keep the place clean and make every effort to make it as comfortable as possible. The inn is family owned, a factor that can explain the staff attitude. In addition to clean rooms, customers are provided with laundry service, a computer and printer, and free and fast Wi-Fi.
4. White Wolf Inn
This restaurant has a unique character. It is set in a two-story building with wolf-themed décor and other peculiar details. In addition to being one of the few prominent businesses in Stratton, hikers locate it easily. It is also located at a convenient place, just a few minutes from the Appalachian Trail. From The White Wolf Inn, you can hike to the Cranberry Peak, Mt. Abram, The Bigelow Range, Sugarloaf, and up to 100 other spectacular mountains. Hikers enjoy the company of hunters and snowmobilers as they grab a piece of peanut butter pie, a cup of coffee or have homemade dinner together. They also get a chance to know the Stratton area better by interacting with old-time locals who have weekend breakfasts or night outs and gatherings in the restaurant. White Wolf Inn is a comfortable place to stay and is very hiker-friendly.
Remember that you will need to make arrangements for food as you hike. Pack food and supplies for at least 5 days or use mail drops to get food and supplies while on the trail. When you have a mail drop, you can have items sent to small towns along the trail so that you can pick them when you pass there. Some hostels and restaurants along the Appalachian Trail offer mail drop services. You could consider this factor when considering accommodation in the inns and hostels along the Appalachian Trail.