Appalachian Trail Histories

Stratton Pond Shelter on the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail in Vermont, July 24, 2002.

Collection: Trail Shelters

A group of hikers on the summit of Roan Mountain in North Carolina, May 6, 1934. The group includes, from left to right in front, Sonny Morris, Harvey Broome, and Albert Gordon "Dutch" Roth. From left to right in back, Benton MacKaye, Guy Frizzell, Mack, Fred Shelly, and Marshall Wilson. Roan Mountain is the high point of the Roan-Unaka Range of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and is the last point above 6,000 feet for northbound thru hikers.

Collection: Hikers
MacKaye Group.jpeg

Photograph of the Appalachian Trial between Thunderhead Mountain and Derrick Knob in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The photographer was Commodore (Cliff) Clifton Dunn and the photograph was taken in 1965.

Collection: Trail Clubs

The October 13, 1941, edition of Life Magazine included a story on the Appalachian Trail, the first such coverage of the Trail by a national magazine. The story features the photography of Eliot Elisofon, one of America's best known documentary photographers.


Members of a Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) day hiking group at the summit of Mount Katahdin in 1939. Of the 37 individuals in the image, 22 signed the photograph on the back. Almost half of the group is female, showing the high degree of participation in these expeditions by female members of the Club. It is also worth noting that the now iconic sign on the Katahdin summit was not there in 1939.


This quaintly named point on the Appalachian Trail -- four miles northeast of Newfound Gap -- is the destination of many hiking trips in the Great Smokies. This jagged point is no more rugged than other near-by peaks along the Sawtooth section of the Great Smokies. Its extreme ruggedness, however, was exposed to view when that spot was swept by fire in 1925.

Collection: Iconic Locations
Charlie's Bunion BW.jpg

Spence Field Trail Shelter; Appalachian Trail, North Carolina. Date unknown. Image taken by National Park Service, "Showing condition some people leave things in."

Collection: Trail Shelters

A group of day hikers at an Appalachian Trail shelter in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (1959).

Collection: Hikers

Appalachian Trail Sign, Plum Orchard Gap, Georgia, just south of the North Carolina/Georgia border.


A small group of volunteer trail maintainers on the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, May 19, 1947. The Appalachian Trail is unique among America's long distance hiking trails in that it is maintained almost exclusively by groups of volunteers from the many trail clubs that take care of the Trail along its more than 2,000 mile course.

Collection: Trail Clubs

Marking the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Albert Roth is adding one of the original AT blaze signs to the trail route just south of Clingman's Dome.

Collection: Builders

Myron Avery during a survey of the route of the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Collection: Builders