Hiker’s Choice: The Best Hostels on the Appalachian Trail

Hostels are a special part of the Appalachian Trail experience. From renovated farmhouses to uniquely styled bunkhouses to rooms in private homes, each hostel has its own character.

In our 2023 AT Thru-Hiker Survey, we asked hikers to tell us about their favorite hostels along the Appalachian Trail. Here, we’ve put together a detailed list featuring the top 14 responses. If you’re planning a thru-hike, grab a pen and get ready to mark these awesome hiker havens in your guidebook!

Mileages based on AWOL’s 2024 Northbound AT Guide.

1) Shaw’s Hiker Hostel: Monson, ME

Photo courtesy of Shaw’s Hiker Hostel

Mile: 2082, 3.7 miles east of trail crossing at ME 15
Price Range: $30 bunk, $75 private room, $15 tenting

Located on the southern edge of the 100 Mile Wilderness, Shaw’s is a perfect stop for NOBOs and SOBOs alike as they enter or exit this challenging section of the AT. The hostel has been open for more than four decades and is known for its famous breakfast. Along with a variety of rooms, hot showers, laundry, and wifi, Shaw’s also has a full gear shop onsite.

2) The Maine Roadhouse: Stratton, ME

Photo courtesy of The Maine Roadhouse

Mile: 2008.3, 9.7 miles west of trail crossing at ME 27
Price Range: $40 bunk, Private rooms $60+

The Maine Roadhouse was reopened in 2021 by Jenn Kent and Jenn Mastracchio, who “poured their hearts into making a hostel that not only will be convenient to Northern Forest Canoe Trail ‘portagers,’ but also fills a need for Appalachian Trail hikers coming into Stratton.” The hostel offers state-of-the-art bunks with linens, privacy curtains, reading lights and fans, and power outlets, as well as plenty of other amenities.

3) Wood’s Hole Hostel: Pearisburg, VA

Mile: 625.6, 0.5 miles east of trail crossing at Sugar Run Gap
Price Range: $24 heated bunkhouse, $65-85 private room, $30-70 shared room, $15 camping

Photo courtesy of Wood’s Hole Hostel

Located on 100 acres of land with its own organic farm, Wood’s Hole Hostel provides a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors. During your stay, you can enjoy yoga, gardening, and home-cooked, communal meals prepared with food from local suppliers and the hostel’s own farm. AT hikers will find a full resupply, snacks, honor fridge, and hiker box.

4) Hostel Around the Bend: Hiawassee, GA

Photo courtesy of Hostel Around the Bend

Mile: 69.4, 0.6 miles west of Dick’s Creek Gap
Price Range: Bunks in bunkhouse for $50. Private room (sleeps 2) $95. Private room (sleeps 4) $195. Tax not included

This property used to be Top of Georgia Hostel before it was purchased by Gordon and Lisa Simmons, who officially opened Hostel Around the Bend in 2021. Since then, the hostel has established itself as a hiker favorite. With comfortable bunks, all-you-can-eat waffles, and an onsite outfitter, it’s a perfect stop for those journeying on the AT.

5) The Notch Hostel: North Woodstock, NH

Mile: 1807.1, 5 miles east of trail crossing at Kinsman Notch
Price Range: $37-45 bunk

Photo courtesy of The Notch Hostel

This 1890 farmhouse in North Woodstock, NH, was purchased and converted into a 30-guest hostel in 2015. It has been featured in numerous publications and is highly rated as one of the cleanest and most secure hostels guests have ever experienced. Guests have access to the gardens, fire pits, grounds, kitchens, fridges, food storage, living room, dining room, library, and wifi.

6) Boots Off Hostel and Campground: Hampton, TN

Photo via Eric and Hayley (2022)

Mile: 428.7, 0.1 mile west of trail crossing at Shook Branch Road.
Price Range: $15 tenting, $30 bunk, $60 private room +$15 EAP

Since opening Boots Off Hostel and Campground, owner Jim Gregory Jim had a vision of building family friendly, eclectic, comfortable, and well maintained indoor/outdoor spaces where everyone felt welcomed and at home. Just a short walking distance from the AT, Boots Off features camping, glamping, and a bunkhouse styled after a rustic train sleeper car with eight semi-private bunks.

7) Mountain Harbour B&B and Hiker Hostel: Roan Mountain, TN

Photo via Peg Leg (2023)

Mile: 395.5, 0.4 miles west of trail crossing at US 19E
Price Range: $15 tenting, $30 single bunk, $75 private room, $75 treehouse

Designed with AT adventurers in mind, Mountain Harbour is a beautiful place to take a break from hiking. With a cozy, relaxing atmosphere, convenient shuttles, and a World Famous Breakfast, it’s no surprise that this hostel is a hiker favorite.

8) Hostel of Maine: Carrabassett Valley, ME

Mile: 2008.3, 3.4 miles east of trail crossing at ME 27
Price Range: $45 bunk, $145+ private room

Photo courtesy of Hostel of Maine

This cozy lodge sits at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain among countless hiking and biking trails and offers comfortable shared and private accommodations for adventurers. Guests can enjoy incredible mountain views, a delicious continental breakfast, cozy areas to relax, and much more.

9) Hostel at Laughing Heart Lodge: Hot Springs, NC

Mile: 275.1, located along trail
Price Range: Bunks for $30, semi-private rooms for $40, private single for $45, private double $60, tenting for $15, plus $5 each additional person

Laughing Heart Lodge is the first building hikers encounter when heading north into Hot Springs and is just minutes from the downtown area. The lodge is a beautiful, comfortable resting place for hikers; its owners created it to be a place of healing, hope, rest, and renewal. Built in 1974 to accommodate hikers, the hostel area provides seven private rooms, one semi-private room with three twin beds, and two bunk rooms for groups coming for retreats or camps, as well as many other amenities.

10) Angels Rest Hiker’s Haven: Pearisburg, VA

Photo courtesy of Angels Rest

Mile: 636.3, 1.6 miles east of trail crossing at Cross Ave, VA 793
Price Range: $12 tenting, $25 bunk, $50+ private room, $65+ cabin

Sitting at the base of Angels Rest Overlook, this hiker haven is conveniently located behind the Food Lion and within walking distance of everything a hiker could need in Pearisburg. Angels Rest provides overnight guests with a comfortable, family-friendly place to rest and relax and even offers a $7 Day Pass option for hikers who would like to stop in for a while to enjoy the amenities before continuing on.

11) The Broken Fiddle Hostel: Damascus, VA

Photo via Eric and Hayley (2022)

Mile: 472, located alongside trail
Price Range: $40 bunk, $85 private room (up to 2 people), +$10 each additional person

Located right along the trail in Damascus, VA, The Broken Fiddle Hostel has bunks and private rooms, laundry facilities capable of handling down puffies and sleeping bags, a fully equipped kitchen, and more.

12) Green Mountain House: Manchester Center, VT

Photo courtesy of Green Mountain House

Mile: 1656, 6.6 miles west of trail crossing at VT 11 & 30
Price Range: $45 bunk. Private rooms available.

In 2008, Jeff and Regina Taussig opened their home to hikers, giving them the opportunity to rest and resupply before continuing their journeys through Vermont. Incredibly comfortable and clean, the hostel offers shared and private accommodations, special dog-friendly accommodations, sparkling new showers and bathtubs, a fully equipped kitchen, and much, much more.

13) Quarter Way Inn: Ceres, VA

Photo courtesy of Quarter Way Inn

Mile: 556, 0.3 miles west of trail crossing at VA 610
Price Range: $35 bunk, $18 tenting

A hostel in a beautiful farmhouse, a full resupply shop, the “Best Platinum Breakfast on the AT”… who could ask for more? Only 0.3 miles west of the Appalachian Trail at mile 556.1, the Quarter Way Inn is a beautiful, comfortable stop for hikers. A stay includes a shower with towel, soap, shampoo, and conditioner, laundry done for you, loaner clothes, morning coffee, wifi, and the trail’s finest VHS and tabletop game collection. 

14) Above the Clouds Hostel: Suches, GA

Photo courtesy of Above the Clouds Hostel

Mile: 20.6, 1.5 miles west of Woody Gap
Price Range: Bunks for $50

Above the Clouds is the first NOBO and last SOBO hostel on the AT. Owner Matthew “Lucky” Lee transformed this 100-year-old property into a haven for hikers, complete with beautiful bunkrooms and relaxing, peaceful community spaces. The hostel offers community meals, shuttle and slackpacking services, resupply, and more.

READ NEXT – A (Mostly) Complete List of Hostels on the Appalachian Trail

Featured image: Photo courtesy of Shaw’s Hiker Hostel. Graphic design by Chris Helm.

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