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  1. #1
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    Default 4 Pines Hostel Catawba Virginia

    I am considering a section hike in May. I figure to head to 4 Pines Hostel at Catawba, Va. I will leave the car. Then arrange a shuttle with their assistance to Pearisburg, Va. and hike back. Looks like these folks are pretty great folks. Any experiences I should be aware of?

    Thanks,

    Steady

  2. #2
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    I stayed there a night last May and enjoyed it. The main hostel is in a converted garage, fairly spartan, but lots of folks then (bubble time) and lots of fun. The manager fixed a big pot of spaghetti and actively shuttled hikers to stores. (I think that was Paint Splash.) I'll probably park there this year, when I start at Catawba and head north (also in May).

    As usual, check to make sure a place is open and any changes for a new hiking year.

  3. #3
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Steady,
    That's exactly what I used them for a few years ago.
    No complaints here, would definitely recommend!!

  4. #4

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    Stayed there in 2018 on a section hike from Pearisburg to Damascus. Joe, the owner will shuttle you for a fair price. Very reliable. My only advice is to call ahead as it is quite early in the season.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys!

  6. #6
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    I would not recommend. Washer, no dryer. Caretaker couldn’t stop talking about himself. Substandard bathroom. Mattresses filthy. Donation based as it should be.

    Walked in, mid Sept. 2021.

  7. #7
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    I've only stayed at one hostel and this was it. It's very laid back and rustic. Fans of that like it. Those who aren't, don't. I needed to go to the mini Mart up the road. The owner said I could drive the van. I got in an found the driver's window didn't roll up. I asked "what happens if it rains?" He said "you get wet." The entertainment for the evening was a very drunk homeless man pretending to be a hiker who threw a temper tantrum after getting thrown out. That pretty much sums it up.

  8. #8
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    Stayed there in April '18. It was freezing out with sleet storm so I loved the shelter and warmth. Fellowship with others was great, can cook for yourself on a stove along wall. Somebody had to feed the wood stove every couple hours overnight. It's not clean at all. It's not fancy at all. It is a converted garage behind Joe's residence on a large property. He's a wealth of knowledge and quite funny. Back then Joe would get you where you gotta go. Not sure abour his current situation..

    For me it was a good trail experience/memory but I remember shaking my head as I left. Funny how that works.

    All that to say: its safe, warm, fun, convenient, legendary and not clean....

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by steady123 View Post
    I am considering a section hike in May. I figure to head to 4 Pines Hostel at Catawba, Va. I will leave the car. Then arrange a shuttle with their assistance to Pearisburg, Va. and hike back. Looks like these folks are pretty great folks. Any experiences I should be aware of?

    Thanks,

    Steady
    I remember getting here on my thru-hike, and wanting no part of 4 Pines Hostel (based on the comments in Guthook). So I called a shuttle and spent the night in the nearest town (I believe it was Salem). From what I gather, people either loved the place or hated it. But it sounded like absolutely not my cup of tea.

    On the plus side, it's cheap as dirt.

  10. #10

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    When I passed through in 2015 the garage was nearly full. I could have stayed but itís a very large garage with a lot of cots and old sofas jammed close together. It looked to be somewhat chaotic.

    They also have a barn up the hill that IMO is considerably more quiet and relaxing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  11. #11

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    Loved the stay. Was there June 2021. Caretaker was Sproket, awesome dude. Saw us at the gas station and asked if we needed a place to crash. Sure did!

    If your uptight its not going to be your cup of tea. Like Deacon said.. The barn on the hill is much quieter.
    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." J.R.R. Tolkien
    -=POSSUM=- Rollin..

  12. #12

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    Another option very close is Gittní Pickled via HipCamp on VA620. $40 per night, and right next to the trail. The owner may even let you park at his house.

  13. #13
    Registered User greenpete's Avatar
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    I have not stayed there, so take this with a grain of salt. Last year I hiked over half the A.T., and the most negative comments about a hostel, from other hikers, concerned Four Pines. Supposedly it's donation only, which sounds nice, but this enables them to circumvent health inspections. Heard about dog poop on the floor, two work-for-stay women who refused to smoke their pot outside after politely being asked, accusations of theft and threats of violence by the manager. Heard it's a "party hostel," which might be fine if you love to party, but if not...

    Again, this is only what I heard. But I heard negative reviews from more than one person, so I'm guessing at least some of the above is legitimate. Good luck.


    Wilderness is where things work the way they're supposed to work - Walkin' Jim Stoltz

  14. #14

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    It was the middle of my week-long section when I did the "triple crown" section of the AT. I sent my resupply package there and tented in the yard. I did get a shower, too, but the one tiny bathroom was pretty nasty. The guy who shuttled me that week (not anyone from this hostel) warned me that they charge per mile both ways, while most shuttlers only charge one way. Not sure if this is true now or was true then... but worth looking into if you have a long shuttle.

    Knowing what I know now, I would have either gotten up several hours earlier and hit the trail, or hit the trail after getting resupplied and showered - because McCafee knob is a couple hours (?) north of the hostel and getting a sunrise photo would have been awesome.

    *edit* This section ought to be called the quadruple crown instead of the triple crown because the Audie Murphy memorial was one of the highlights of my week. I was moved more than I expected to be.

  15. #15

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    have also never stayed there, but have read on this site and others of 4 Pines long history with partying, ymmv

  16. #16

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    Yeah, having stayed there for one night, my impression is they allow just about anything and everything.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  17. #17
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    I stayed there on my thru in 2016. I liked that it was free, but unfortunately I missed the only shuttle to the Homeplace restaurant, so that was disappointing. They did shuttle me down to a gas station with some fantastic burgers though. Because it's free, all sorts of people show up. I was with my tramily, so I didn't experience any weirdness, but that doesn't negate the people who have.
    AT '16 GA-NY - 1,378 miles
    AT '22 GA-ME?

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