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The Appalachain Trail is just another place on the map without an understanding of the people that hike the trail. By telling the stories of their journey, whether this be through traditional means such as books, leaving parts of their story in trail registers, online, or in the oral tradition, their stories inspire and inform others of the difficulties and triumphs their experience.
More than 250 shelters line the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The oldest of these shelters date from the 1930s and were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the most recent date from the 2010s. They vary in construction and design from simple lean-tos made of logs cut and peeled in the nearby forest to more elaborate structures with more than one story, or a front porch, or other novel features.
Like the Trail itself, these shelters are now maintained by the network of volunteer clubs responsible for the upkeep of the Trail. They are designated for use by long distance hikers and are available on a first come/first use basis. Most are located close to a consistent water source.