Lofty, cool, and breezy the historical stone building housing Mountain Crossings is called the Walasi-Yi Interpretive Center ("Wa La See Yee"). It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps who started construction in 1934 and finished in 1937, incidentally the same year the Appalachian Trail was completed. The center served as a dining hall and an inn until the mid sixties. After nearly being torn down in the 1970s some locals worked to preserve this historic building. Finally in 1983 it was reborn as Mountain Crossings, the outdoor retailer and Appalachian Trail gift store that it still is today. The A.T. itself passes through the building, marking the only covered portion of the trail's 2100 plus miles.
Every year Mountain Crossings serves over 2000 hikers on their way to Maine. The staff evaluate over 500 packs each year and ship back over 9000 lbs of gear from the store. The personalized service and the spirit of the store and staff can be felt from the moment you enter the store. Mountain Crossings staff know their stuff. The combined experience of our team exceeds 15,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail. Since 1983 Mountain Crossings has helped many a hiker and even helped develop some gear.
Stayed there for my first section hike of the AT and showered there for my second section hike. Staff is awesome.
This is an iconic location early on the AT. The hostel is a row of bunk beds nestled into a long room. A shower and video collection are available. The store includes some backpacking basics to restock on. However one nice opportunity is to ask their staff to give you a gear shakedown. They will go through your gear and help you decide upon was is needed or excess baggage. You can mail your dead weight back home. I sent myself a mail drop of food and supplies here (a tip is a nice gesture for holding the package for you). If you prefer camping, there are sites just up the hill. You can still make use of the shower and laundry for a small fee. The Appalachian Trail goes right through the building. Many hikers send their worn out hiking boots back to be added to the tree. Don't miss this oasis.