Bessemer Hostel
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Updated March 28, 2015

The Bessemer Hostel has beds available

Stay in this rustic Ohio hostel with great views of the Wayne National Forest for only $10/night per person in the 4 bed mixed gender dorm room.  Two private rooms are also available.  Private rooms are $25/night each (discounted rates can be found online).  The hostel now has a special available only by phone for $125/week for a private room, or $20/night weekdays for a private room.

Book With

Or call: 740-753-3000, 740-707-4110, 740-675-1211, or 740-753-3888.  Chad Kister is the only person authorized to answer phone calls and please record calls and post the to the internet if you do not get through to Chad Kister.

or email

FAX: 740-300-0326

Payments and donations can be made here:

The Bessemer Hostel does not provide refunds.  Payment must be made in full to reserve a bed.  All guests must also sign a form upon arrival.

The hostel has a pool table (with free games), a library, free wi-fi, cable TV and a full kitchen.  A washer, dryer and clothes line are also available to hostel guests with prior permission.  The hostel is located on the second floor of environmental author Chad Kister's home, and his homestead is a paradise for nature lovers with diverse wildlife and hand dug ponds.  Thousands of acres of national forest are near the hostel, with a hiking trail starting from the hostel.

The hostel offers free coffee and tea, and use of a coffee maker in the common kitchen, though customers do have to make their own coffee or tea.  The hostel also offers free 24-7 phone service with free long distance on a desk in a hostel common area (with a different number than those listed on this website). The hostel also provides soap and shampoo.  Towels and linens are also provided (though customers are not allowed to take them with them).

Five Pizza places (with a whole lot more too) deliver to the hostel.

Other Hostels in Ohio:  The Wayfaring Buckeye

Other recommended hostels: Detroit Hostel

The Go Bus goes to Nelsonville four times per day (twice coming from Athens, and twice coming from Columbus).  The bus stop is at Hocking College, about two miles from the hostel (walking, driving is somewhat farther).

Cabs are pricey but possible, coming from Athens.

The hostel recommends the Athens Ohio Green Cab (740) 594-7336) (740-59 GREEN)

The Athens Airport Express can take travelers from the bus stop to the hostel for about $35 (740-590-4686)

Other cab companies: 740-594-7433 or 740-594-8294

Those staying for a week or more get a free copy of the Hostel Owner's first book, Arctic Quest: Odyssey Through a Threatened Wilderness about his 700-mile journey by foot and raft through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, living off roots, berries, greens and fish.

About the Bessemer Hostel

While they are popular throughout the world, and in much of the United States, the Bessemer Hostel is the only hostel in the Nelsonville area. The Bessemer Hostel is located at 4592 Bessemer Rd.; Nelsonville, OH 45764.  Some GPS units list the hostel under Buchtel as the city (it is outside any municipality). The pleasant neighborhood also has a nice forest setting.

The hostel has a kitchen, and a full bathroom. Like most hostels, the bathroom and kitchen are shared with other hostel guests.  

Hostels are similar to hotels and motels, but they offer shared rooms and lower prices.  The Bessemer Hostel also offers private rooms.  Here is wikipedia’s definition of a hostel.

The Hocking River is two miles away with superb smallmouth bass fishing, canoeing and kayaking.

Thousands of acres of the Wayne National Forest and miles of hiking trails are near the hostel.

The hostel does not have any upper age limit, but those under the age of 18 must be accompanied with an adult.  Minors are not allowed in the dorm room unless the whole room is reserved.

Due to the large amount of vacancy at the hostel, the hostel will now allow pets in the private rooms with prior permission.  Pet owners agree to not leave pets unattended, all pets must be on a leash when outside bedrooms, and that if their pets become a nuisance to other guests, that they can be moved to the kennel.  Also, guests need to reserve and pay for a space in the kennel ($10/day for dogs under 50 pounds, and $2.50 more per day for larger dogs).  Owner/manager Chad Kister also runs a Kennel on the same property, but in a different building (for pet boarding only).  See for more information and pricing.

Chad Kister is the only person allowed on the first floor of his house.  Anyone except Chad Kister with the intention of entering the first floor is permanently banned from the property.  It is the second floor that is the hostel.  This is clearly marked with signs reading “Do Not Enter” preventing anyone but Chad Kister from getting near his first floor doors.  The hostel has two doors to the outside with “hostel” painted on each.

Guns are not allowed in the hostel.  To reserve the whole dorm room requires $40/day.  Athens County Ohio charges a 3 percent lodging tax.

The hostel has four doorbells, and if for some reason there is still no answer, call the above phone numbers.

Youtube video of Chad and

His dog (his dog tills

His garden: