When I spend the night in a building instead of a tent or my car, I prefer to stay in a hostel. Yes, cost is a factor in my decision, but a hostel stay is an opportunity to meet fellow travelers and outdoor folks and learn from them. Also there’s a historical aspect to hostel staying, as the community atmosphere is a throwback to an earlier era of travel with shared accommodations and meals. And camping prices keep going up and the wilderness aspect is disappearing.

During my Harpers Ferry stay Easter Weekend I spent the night at the Teahorse Hostel. When I first saw the Teahorse in 2013 my reaction was “what an odd name for a Japanese takeout place.” And its an unusual name for a hostel, but once I learned it was named for the “Teahorse Road” in China, I understood. The owner is applying her love of history and linking the Teahorse Road to the C & O Canal Towpath and Appalachian Trail.

We had a full house Easter weekend, with section hikers on the AT, an AT volunteer, some cyclists riding the C & O, one family renting an entire room, and one formerly sedentary man rediscovering the wonders of Harpers Ferry. Bunk beds were comfortable, the area was quiet, company was good and the waffle breakfast was great. I’m looking forward to return trips to Harpers Ferry to explore the area, and if I don’t camp the Teahorse will be a great alternative.

For more information on the Teahorse visit: http://www.teahorsehostel.com/