English Français Español Italiano Deutsch 日本語 Português

HI - Harpers Ferry Hostel & Campground

Check all of the
booking sites at once!
 
Description & Photos

Hostelz.com's Review
HI - Harpers Ferry Hostel & Campground is rural retreat across the river from historic Harpers Ferry in a pretty location on the Appalachian Trail, overlooking the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers below.

The Location

The hostel is well positioned for hiking and bike rides. From Harpers Ferry and the train station, it is around a two-mile walk along the river and then up a short, hilly road. The majority of the scenic walk is flat but unpaved and if you are arriving on foot and after dark, be warned that there is no light on the route (it is primarily a cycle path sandwiched between the river on one side and a canal/railroad tracks on the other) and there is no legitimate place to cross onto the road. The hostel advises that you cross over the railway tracks with caution (though there is a sign that states trespassing is prohibited); the alternative is to walk several miles around. There is a decent-sized car park for those driving.

Those traveling without a vehicle and hoping to cook at the hostel should come with plenty of supplies, as the only stores within easy reach are a garage and a tiny local shop which seems to open sporadically and sell very little other than beer (which is not permitted at the hostel anyway).

Rooms and Bathrooms

There are basic dorms (single sex and co-ed) as well as a couple of private rooms; during our stay in late fall, these were a little cold and musty and definitely appear to be in need of a good vacuuming (there are lots of dead stinkbugs knocking around!). The bathrooms are functional and clean and consist of cubicle-style showers with just curtains for privacy. There is also a free-for-all basket with left-behind shampoos, which is handy.

Common Spaces

The communal lounge/kitchen area is cosy and has a well-fueled log burner during chilly nights, a book swap area, and a good selection of board games. The kitchen is fully equipped with all the necessary items and there is a free, cook-your-own pancake breakfast every day. The hostel sells soft drinks and a few snacks, but nothing more substantial than packets of noodles. There is a rather lengthy lockout between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., which seems a little excessive.

The grounds of the hostel (which double up as a campground) are one of its best features; as well as offering a nice view of the river, fires are permitted and you can buy logs to burn in the fire pits in the garden. There is a covered porch and also a decent-sized, sheltered area with picnic benches and mosquito nets for outdoor dining.

Summary

HI - Harpers Ferry Hostel & Campground is a quiet and relaxing place to stay, but it is definitely not for those who want to get out at night!

by Laura T
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
January 2013

Hostel exteriorThe lounge/fire placeDorm room
Porch areaA bench in the garden overlooking the river
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is HI - Harpers Ferry Hostel & Campground rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
87%
90%
90%
80%
90%
90%
Hostels.com  
80%
60%
100%
80%
80%
80%
HI Hostels  
92%
93%
95%
87%
90%
92%
HostelBookers  
Not listed on HostelBookers.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
86%
81%
95%
82%
87%
87%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   Luck of the Draw ... I have stayed at this hostel several times. When the lady is working, she is very nice and goes out of her way to make sure you are enjoying your stay at the hostel. Conversely, the man that works there seems cold and even gives you the third-degree. The hostel itself is pretty much no-frills. There is one free I-net station and a few board games scattered about. However, the hostel is remote and I have never seen anymore than three guests there at one time. So, good luck on getting a board game going. On the pancake breakfast, if the man is working, make sure you clean up immediately and thoroughly. He'll get angry if you don't. Here is hoping you get the lady when you check in.  , age 50, USA ()
1   Awful place for campers! Don't stay here if you're camping! We were biking the C&O canal and it seemed like the closest place from what we heard. It was a steep climb up to the place and 5 miles away from a grocery store. I wish we had stayed at the Brunswick Family Campground instead which we discovered later (closer to the trail and food). At the hostel, we were treated poorly by the staff who refused to let us use the bathroom more than once despite a $5 extra fee per person for "bathroom facilities usage" (they changed their wording on these rules once we were confused why we were only allowed into the building once for a paid shower). Instead we used a disgusting port-a-potty and garden hose for all our needs. The worst part is how poorly we were treated by the staff who guarded the hostel door, argued with us about their bathroom policy and were very aggressive despite their role as a host. Perhaps if I was a sketchy teenage wanderer who was out to abuse and destroy hostels this would make sense, but as a 30 year old middle school teacher, I had never been treated like this and it made me very upset!  ()
1   Campers are treated poorly, bad location if you don't have a car Beware camping at this hostel. You are not welcome generally. You can pay for bathroom access, but soon after doing this the staff decided that they would only allow us to use the bathroom once, although we were not previously informed of this policy. Apparently this is their new policy because they changed the signs the next morning to say that you only get to use the bathroom once. Otherwise you have to use a port-a-john outside, with no sink. So you are not getting your money's worth when you pay for the bathroom. Overall the staff were rude. Getting to the hostel walking or biking is dangerous because it is at the top of a steep hill and is on a busy, winding road with fast driving trucks and cars. The yard also has a ton of no-see-ums. Generally very unpleasant place.  , USA ()
5   Very nice hostel and very friendly staff I have stayed here twice. Once while hiking on the Appalachian trail. And once while bicycling the C&O Canal. The hostel was a few hundred yards from both. I enjoyed my stay both times. The lady in charge was very nice. As with all hostels it was a no frills type of place. But it was very clean and comfortable. It also had a computer that you could use for free. It had a more cozy feel than most city hostels have. I think that this is because it caters to hikers and bikers who are looking for a quiet place to relax. It is also very affordable. I will stay here again when i bike the C&O Canal again.  , USA ()

Have you visited this Hostel? Rate it and post your review here.