AT trail

Hostels Welcome Haven For Weary AT Thru-Hikers

Hiker hostels provide a welcome respite from the rigors of the Appalachian Trail (AT). Think about it. How many days would you want to hike without changing your underwear or taking a shower?

The AT extends about 2,193 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Much of the trail consists of rocky paths and hilly terrain. Thru-Hikers – those who try to complete the entire trail in a 12-month period – can only hike so many days in a row before they need to resupply, get some needed rest and some hearty meals. Often they carry only enough food for four or five days at a time.

Hiker Hostels Abound Along The AT

Luckily there are numerous places along the way, most not far from the trail itself, where hikers can get a bunk, take a shower, do their laundry, and in many cases get shuttled to and from the trail or to places where they can restock their food and gear supplies. Having outlets to recharge phones and other devices is important too, and Wi-Fi is a welcome benefit of many of the hostels.

How many hostels are located near the Appalachian Trail? We don’t have an exact number, but The Trek lists more than 120 of them. Generally, hikers call ahead for reservations. Prices can range from about $20, including a bunk, shower, and towel, to around $100. It’s much cheaper than staying in hotels when you come off the trail. Hostels also offer a good opportunity to exchange trail information with other hikers and to relate tales of your adventures.

Tracking AT Thru-Hiker Number 2 Pencil

At American Outdoor Guide Boundless, we continue to follow the progress of the AT thru-hiker with the trail name Number 2 Pencil in his quest to hike the entire length of the trail. About 3,000 hikers attempt to complete the trail each year, but only about one in four succeed. Number 2 Pencil has posted 70 videos to date on his YouTube channel, The Heard Hiker.

Spotlight On Boots Off

In Episode 43 his video journal, Number 2 Pencil walks us through the Boots Off Camp in Hampton, Tennessee. Boots Off has a bunkhouse with eight semi-private bunks, as well as tiny cabins, canvas outfitter (glamping) tents, and regular campsites.

Follow Number 2 Pencil

Click on the video below to see The Heard Hiker Number 2 Pencil as he gives us a complete tour of Boots Off and for links to all his videos. And be sure to check AmericanOutdoor.Guide for more great outdoor adventures and how-to resources.

(Lead photo credit: Jon Bilous /



Wanna follow the progress of the AT thru-hiker dubbed Number 2 Pencil? Click here to read how AT Thru-Hiker is Dressed for Success.

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