I stayed at Gooder Grove Adventure Hostel during my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in April, 2018. This is a great spot about 100 miles into the trail, which is about the perfect time to take that first zero. It was great to sit down with owner Colin ‘Zen’ Gooder to learn a bit more about the fantastic full-service hostel he has created, a popular stop for aspiring AT thru-hikers as they make their way to Katahdin or Springer. Check out his website – he will be adding outdoor adventure excursions in the summer of 2018 offering a variety of mountain, water, and cultural activities, all within an hour of the hostel!
What is the primary function of this business? Lodging & adventure excursions
How much of your revenue do you estimate to be related to public lands? 85%
What are the primary activities your guests do on public lands? Hiking: long-distance and section; camping; canoeing; t’ai chi; qi gong (breath and energy work)
Why Franklin? I grew up here – this hostel has been my home for 11 years.
What are some of your favorite spots on public lands nearby? Siler Bald, where you have a view of four different states; Wayah Bald (‘Wayah’ means ‘wolf’ in Cherokee); Lake Chatuge; Dry Falls; Mooney Falls… there are so many – more than I can name!