The Aquone Hostel

The Aquone Hostel is a hidden treasure nestled in the mountains of the Nantahala National Forest. This is the second year that Steve and Maggie Bennett have operated the hostel catering to AT hikers and it appears that word is getting out about Aquone. They offer shuttle services and will pick up hikers at Wayah Gap, Burningtown Gap, or Tellico Gap.
Tonight the hostel is full with about eleven hikers including Tie Dye, Jolly, Don’s Brother, Captain Dan, Whiskers, Rocket, Oxy, Puffy, Bojangles, Postman, and me. Everyone is very friendly and we’re sharing stories, talking about our next destination, and watching the weather channel. It is supposed to rain tomorrow, which is a slight inconvenience, but more of a concern is the weather forecast for the Smokies which are coming up in the next few days.
Quick note,…Don’s Brother is hiking in memory of his brother who died from ALS. He’s a great guy and it’s a great cause. Check out his website at
The Aquone charges $20 for a bed in the hostel and all amenities at the hostel – kitchen, phone, internet, showers. Dinner costs $8.95 and breakfast costs $4.95. Shuttle from the trail is $4-6, depending on where they pick you up, and laundry costs $4 a load. Two hikers can share a load of laundry to economize. It is quite a bargain – Maggie’s home cooked meals are delicious, nutritious and just what a hungry hiker needs after several days on the trail eating hiker food. Tonight we had meat loaf, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, homemade bread, and sponge cake with icing for dessert.
They have a good supply of hiking food, snacks and beverages at reasonable prices.
Steve and Maggie are extremely energetic and have a warm and caring spirit. Steve was a 2010 thru-hiker (Wiggy) and he and Maggie will do anything to help thru-hikers. Earlier this year, when the weather was extremely cold, he got a call at 2:00 a.m. from a hiker who was experiencing hypothermia. Maggie quickly fixed a thermos of hot chocolate while Steve got ready. Steve met the hiker at one of the gaps and took him directly to the emergency room for treatment. That’s real trail magic!
Check out their website at
Photos of Steve and Maggie and the group at breakfast.




About The Man in My Shoes

Since retiring in 2012 I am enjoying the freedom of being able to make my own decisions about how I spend my time and am taking advantage of the opportunities that I have to spend more time with my family, explore, learn, and pursue my dreams and goals. I look forward to writing about these pursuits and hope you enjoy reading about them.
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5 Responses to The Aquone Hostel

  1. I’m sure you’re all grateful for their hostel – especially given the weather outside. It’s rainy and cold here in Woodstock, Ga. so can just imagine how much cooler it is out on the trail. The meat loaf meal sounds great!! Yum.

  2. David Hansen says:

    Fabulous. Snowing here today!!! Good grief and hope you are not seeing it.


    David J. Hansen, J.D.

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    Davidson & Garrard

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  3. Annette says:

    Hi Tim – I looked at the Aquone website, and I sure would like to spend a week or two there in the summer – of course staying in one of the beautiful cabins and hiking, fishing and swimming. I really miss the gorgeous Southern mountains. It is so touching about one of your hiking buddies walking for his brother. This reminds me of “The Way” where for some it starts as a spiritual journey. Probably in the end, it is a spiritual journey in one way or another for everyone who hikes the AT. Stay warm and dry as possible.

  4. Ann says:

    let’s open a hostel in retirement!

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