Onward Hostel

Onward Hostel is the newest hostel on the trail in 2023.

Onward, located on the outskirts of Franklin, NC, is a brand new hostel as of March 2, 2023.

Franklin loves hikers!

Stephen Lewis has always loved the trail and after section hiking and staying in a few hostels, he and his wife, Laura, decided they wanted to open a hostel of their own. 

They shared their thoughts with Chica and Sunsets who have their own popular hostel in Franklin. Stephen and Laura both said Chica and Sunsets were really excited. 

“They said Franklin needed another hostel,” Laura said. “They were super and gave us lots of great advice.”

“I just reached out to them and said, ‘Hey, honestly, this has been a dream of mine for a long time,'” Stephen said. “They were like, ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s so exciting! We need another hostel!'”

The perfect place

When they found the perfect house, they had to check with the local HOA to be sure everyone would be okay with a hostel in the neighborhood. As it turned out, the neighbors were fine with it.

“They just wanted to make sure it was going to be a quiet place, not a party place,” Laura said.

As I’ve come to learn, hiker midnight is 8 p.m., and I’m usually in bed by 7 on the trail. Most hikers are not on the trail to party into the wee hours.

They closed on the house on February 1 and the hostel, named for Stephen’s trail name, opened for business on March 2.

Inside Onward Hostel–it’s a really comfortable, clean space.

Their first guest’s trail name was Heck Yeah, which they took as a good sign for the future of Onward. Their daughter, Ashley, also an avid hiker, helps her parents run the hostel. They offer pick up from Rocky Gap and Winding Stair Gap for free if you’re staying with them. They have ten bunks, a small kitchenette, a desk area, a comfortable indoor seating area, and two porches. The upstairs porch features two swings and a dining table. Another back porch is the perfect location to hang your wet tent.

The upper porch is a restful haven.

A covered back porch is a great place to dry out wet gear.

So, when you’re in the Franklin area and in need of a place to get out of the weather, do a little laundry, and get a shower, be sure to contact Onward Hostel. They’re in the Far Out app, but their contact number is (828) 487-5019.

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