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  1. #1
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Default Rattle River Hostel, Gorham, NH Closed?

    I just saw a Facebook post dated June 19th saying the Rattle River Hostel closed. I thought that was one of the better run hostels on the AT. Anyone know what happened? I know he had some trouble with a creek off the Rattle River causing flooding, but he did a successful GoFundMe and fixed the issue or at least I thought so.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
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  2. #2

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    They were doing all the right things but in general hostels rarely can cover expenses let alone mortgage payments or major repairs. Unless the prior owner took a major hit on the selling price to the current owner there would have been a hefty mortage. If it does come up for sale, I expect it will be snapped up and will become a private home again. Its going to put a squeeze on thru hiker services in the area. When I drive by earlier this week, all the signage was down.

    The Barn in Gorham is still running but it will fill up quick and they cannot allow tenting. I am unsure if White Birches still has their barebones accommodations and other than commercial campgrounds and local motels, that is about it nearby. Hikers Paradise is now run as a club for ATV folks. Unless a hiker catches a good hitch to and from Walmart a resupply can eat up half day. Most of the motels n town require two day stays on Friday and Saturday nights. Most weekends in the summer through fall, the towns accommodations are really packed with ATV folks.

    Rattle River also did shuttles. Trail Angels in Berlin appears to be open this year. They are commercial for fee shuttle service.

    In the past folks would camp in the woods just past the Centennial Trail on Hogan Road in Shelburne between the road and the river. The woods on Centenntial trail (the AT) are open hardwoods for a mile or so. Between the railroad tracks and the river on the right is small chunk of Leadmine State Forest, I expect some folks might try camping there but there is a large freight train that goes through late at night.

    The other spot at Mascot Pond is no longer really practical for town access since the reroute of the southern end of Mahoosuc trail 20 years ago.

  3. #3
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    Default

    It was well run. Too bad.

  4. #4
    Surveyor & cartographer wyclif's Avatar
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    Default

    There is now a real opportunity for someone to start a good hostel in Gorham. Hostels come and hostels go, but it would be nice to see something with the permanence of, say, Shaw's in Gorham.

    I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.

    ~John Muir

  5. #5
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    This makes me sad. We stayed at Rattle River several nights in 2020 while we filled in missing pieces in that area. It was a welcoming well-run hostel.

  6. #6
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    Erik ran a really clean, well-organized hostel. A few hikers grumbled about the rules (shower first,etc), but most thought it was great. I think the stress of Covid took a lot out of him, as he had to ramp down the operation at times. I took a zero there because it was a relaxing place to hang out.

  7. #7

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    I enjoyed my stay there, as well. Sad to hear it's now closed.

  8. #8

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    It was raining the morning I left. Fortunately they were sold out that night, or I would have been tempted to stay (zero). Agree well run and sad to see it go.

  9. #9
    AT 2005 PCT 2010 Big Daddy D's Avatar
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    Hey I am staying at the Barn..tenting is allowed. I talked to the owner Paul and he told he has been allowing tenting for years.
    The tenting cost is $20 per pop per night. There are 16 beds upstairs and two downstairs and I am staying downstairs. Beds cost $30 per pop. Pickups are at Rt2 Rattle River Trailhead and Pinkham Notch, which is within The White Mountain Complex. Happy

  10. #10

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    The prior owner of the Barn got busted by the town for tenting due to lack of permits. I guess the new owner has decided to ignore local zoning rules.

  11. #11

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    BTW the website is "parked". This was definitely a planned closure.

  12. #12

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    I went by today, the hostel van is still parked next to the building and there was car and van parked in the lot but definitely not a going concern although the sign out back is still up.

    The sign for the hikers hostel at White Birches Campground is still up.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The prior owner of the Barn got busted by the town for tenting due to lack of permits. I guess the new owner has decided to ignore local zoning rules.
    I walked by the Barn last night while killing time until the July 4th fireworks started. Saw 8-10 tents set up in an area behind the building. Can only be seen from the sidewalk and looking in the right direction.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  14. #14
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    According to Realtor.com , it was just sold for $450K
    https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...1_M40393-10946

  15. #15
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    It has to be tough to run a strong, viable hostel over the years. Even if financially feasible, you have to have a really strong sense of service or the inevitable flood of hikers can wear you down, mostly the small percentage who really misbehave, but also another fairly small group who seem to become entitled as they walk. There’s a big upside to interacting with everyone else, though.

  16. #16
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FŽanor View Post
    According to Realtor.com , it was just sold for $450K
    https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...1_M40393-10946
    I checked on realtor.com and the building last sold in 2013 for $240K. Assuming it was Eric who bought at that time, it looks like he walked away with about $210K (less commission and other closing costs). I'm happy for him. At least he has a stake upon which to build his future. Still... It's sad to see one of the better hostels go. I wonder what the new owner will do with the building.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
    Blog - www.tonysadventure.com

  17. #17

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    I think there was an owner between the sale in 2013 and Eric. She had bought it and started it out as a hostel but had to move back home to take care of her elderly mother. I would speculate that she did a private sale or was carrying the mortgage and was renting it to him. A much smaller house on the AT just down the road on North Road in Powerhouse Acres just sold for $424,000. It has been a crazy market of late but back in 2013 the market was much slower. The ATV boom had not happened and the only real game in town were federal prison workers rotating through town. Once they are promoted from a basic guard, the federal government will guarantee to buy a house at the appraised price. Most of the guards move every 3 or 4 years to get promoted. There are quite a few guards that live near the former hostel. They typically buy newer places and hostel would not be covered by the federal house buying guarantee.

  18. #18
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    Unfortunately I'm thinking hostel isn't in the plans after purchasing for $450K. Sad to see it go, I enjoyed my stay very much.
    NoDoz
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th
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    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  19. #19

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    My guess is air B&B to support the booming ATV trade?.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    I checked on realtor.com and the building last sold in 2013 for $240K. Assuming it was Eric who bought at that time, it looks like he walked away with about $210K (less commission and other closing costs). I'm happy for him. At least he has a stake upon which to build his future. Still... It's sad to see one of the better hostels go. I wonder what the new owner will do with the building.
    ...not sure what's instore for the property. If it was me, Id leave it as a residence.. 7 acres of peace and quiet

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