We hope to inspire everyone who passes through Lost River Hostel to improve themselves and improve the world around them.



The Lost River Hostel is a nonprofit arts and cultural center located on a 16+ acre hillside in West Baden Springs, Indiana overlooking a section of the Lost River valley.  The main building is a farmhouse built in 1868 with a poplar log foundation, and the guesthouse is a newly constructed round building in the forest.   Intended as a stop for travelers, the hostel will be a hub of conversation, inspiration, and have a constant eye toward self-sustainability.  A lovingly cooked meal will be provided for dinner and we also ask that our guests help with a simple chore in the morning to help contribute to the well being of Lost River.  Discounts are available for guests who wish to stay for a full 7 day retreat.



If you are considering making your first visit, please visit our information/requirements page by clicking here.  This is a unique and special place - we'll both be happier if you know what you're in for before you get here!  



There are wonderful places in this world that inspire us such as mountains, cathedrals, forests, fields, caves, and the sea.  People inspire us too.  Those who teach, who lead by example, who create, who perform, who follow their passions, and who radiate kindness.   Those people that give you the sense of “if they can do it, so can I!”

The Lost River Hostel blends both of these things; striving to build and maintain an extraordinary space fueled by a constant cycle of generosity and creativity.  We hope everyone who stays here will go back into the world refreshed and rejuvenated – wanting to be better people and do great things.

While there is no central religious belief system of those who live/work at the hostel, we do believe in making the world a better place and constantly learning new things as we go by providing a distraction-free, reflective space.  In greater efforts to do this, we will also be hosting workshops and events related to music, writing, yoga, organic gardening, cooking, and environmental sustainability.



A round guest house in the forest
A large organic garden
A large kitchen
Dozens of old growth hardwood trees
Mature fruit trees
A delightful indoor common area
A yoga/sun room
A breathtaking view
A chicken coop (with chickens!  BAWK BAWK.)
Access to The Lost River (we have kayaks)
An original root cellar
A massive fire pit
A small cave
A young hedge-maze labyrinth
The Clay Lagoon (swimming hole)



Several treehouses
A room made solely of mirrors
A screened refuge by the lake
An outdoor bathhouse
A library on a hilltop
A room made of doors
A dining hall nestled in a valley
An underground meditation space
A hot tub made of river stones



The Lost River Hostel has been directly influenced by The Hostel in the Forest located in Brunswick, Georgia.  Started in 1975, it has improved the lives of a countless number of people in countless ways, sending people out into the world to make it a better place.  Among them, teaching people about creating a self-sustaining eco friendly culture, practicing mindfulness, fostering creativity, and maintaining a strong sense of community among its adopted family.  It has even indirectly spawned a few other hostels around the eastern U.S.  If you're ever near The Hostel in the Forest, we highly recommend a visit. 



We know that many of you are traveling with happy, vibrant furry friends.  While we love dogs and hold them near to our hearts, we also do everything that we can to contribute to creating a distraction-free environment.  For that reason, we are a pet-free facility.  However, we don't want anyone to miss out on the hostel, so we're making September of each year a dog friendly month!  Bring your puppies in September - we'd love to meet them!  If you are staying with us another time of year, we recommend using the affordable Hairy-ott Pet Resort in nearby Paoli for your pet.  You can reach them at (812) 569-1177 or visit their Facebook page here.


NEARBY ATTRACTIONS (all within a 10 minute drive)

West Baden Springs Hotel and Gardens
Paoli Peaks Skiing
Hoosier National Forest
The Shirley Creek Trail
French Lick Winery & Restaurant
Wilstem Ranch/Zip Lines
Indoor Karting
Big Splash Indoor Water Park
French Lick Casino



Sage Valley
Elk Ridge/Sanctuary
Living Roots Eco Village
Lost pond Farm
Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary
Our Haven Nature Sanctuary
Sun Circle Farm
Yonderground Farm



Lost River Co-op Market - 15 minutes
Patoka Lake - 20 minutes
Wesley Chapel Gulf - 20 minutes
Martin State Forest - 25 minutes
Spring Mill State Park - 35 minutes
Bluespring Caverns - 40 minutes
Hemlock Cliffs - 40 minutes
Marengo Cave - 45 minutes
Cave River Valley - 45 minutes
Holiday World - 1 hour
Bloomington - 1 hour
Louisville - 1 hour
Vincennes - 1 hour
Evansville - 1.5 hours
Indianapolis - 2 hours
Cincinnati - 2.5 hours
St. Louis - 3.5 hours
Chicago - 4.5 hours
Cabins at Sandy Mush Bald (Asheville area, NC) - 6.5 hours
The Hostel in the Forest (Brunswick, GA) - 11 hours
New York City - 12 Hours
Everglades Hostel (Miami area, FL) - 16 hours
Deer Isle Hostel (Maine) - 20 hours