Appalachian Trail Histories

This map depicts the Appalachian Trail between Roanoke and Fries, Virginia in 1940, including the legendary stretch over the Pinnacles of Dan. This original route of the Appalachian Trail was abandoned in 1952, when the Trail was rerouted west into the Jefferson National Forest to the route it follows today.

PATC Map 13 1940.jpeg

The Little Laurel Shelter on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina was previously known as the Camp Creek Bald Shelter. Located just over a mile south of the summit, this shelter is a stone lean-to and is maintained by the Carolina Mountain Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters

The Bourn Pond Shelter was located on the shore of Bourn Pond in Vermont, on a former route of the Appalachian Trail, now known as the Stratton Pond Trail. This shelter is one of the cabin style shelters found along the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail and was built by the Green Mountain Club. It still exists, just no longer on the Appalachian Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters

The Blackrock Hut (Shelter) is located in the southern district of Shenandoah National Park and is an example of the "hut" style of shelter, built from stone and logs. This shelter was completed in June 1941 and the current shelter is the original structure from 1941.

This particular image depicts a moment in the history of the park and its trail shelters when hikers were banned from overnight camping at or within site of the shelters. The sign leaning against the wall reads, "Overnight camping at or within sight of this shelter is prohibited." The camping prohibition was the result of the Park Superintendent's concern that the AT shelters had become party locations for Park visitors. His closure of the shelters was a point of contention between the Park and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club throughout the 1970s, after which the camping ban was relaxed.

Collection: Trail Shelters

The Bigelow Mountain Shelter, pictured here sometime in the 1950s, was removed from the Appalachian Trail in the 1960s. It is a typical version of the log sided Adirondack style lean-to favored by the early shelter builders. It was located just south of the current Horns Pond Shelter.

From the back of the image: "Lean-to on the Appalachian Trail on the conifer-covered slopes of Mt. Bigelow in Maine. Here the Appalachian Trail and the Bigelow Range Trails meet, affording a crest line route of 20 miles along Mt. Bigelow."

Collection: Trail Shelters

The Big Flat Shelter in Shenandoah National Park, c. 1940s. This shelter was built by volunteers from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in the 1940s and was removed at some point in the 1960s due to the creation of the Loft Mountain Campground in the Park. Records on the exact location of the shelter are hazy at best. Those who have researched the location of the former shelter place it, most likely, at the site of the current amphitheater in the campground facility.

Collection: Trail Shelters

The Pickle Branch Shelter is a typical example of the U.S. Forest Service's plank sided lean-to. This shelter was built in 1980 by volunteers from the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club and U.S. Forest Service staff. It is currently maintained by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Pickle Branch Shelter 2008.jpg

The Trimpi Shelter is a stone shelter built in 1975 and located in Southern Virginia just north of Troutville. This shelter is maintained by the Mt. Rogers Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
RATC050 1.jpeg

The Brown Mountain Creek Shelter is located in the George Washington National Forest in Central Virginia and is a typical example of the shelters built by the U.S. Forest Service. It is a plank sided lean-to built just above a small stream. This shelter is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club.

The Brown Mountain Creek community that existed here before the National Forest and the Appalachian Trail was made up of the descendants of freed slaves who created a small but thriving community in and around the stream that gives the hollow its name. An oral history with a former resident of the community is available here.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Brown Mountain Creek 2018.jpg

The Seeley-Woodworth Shelter, built in 1984 by volunteers from the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club, is named in honor of two long-time NBATC members -- Harold Seeley and Jack Woodworth. This shelter is a typical example of the USFS plank sided shelter design and its construction was part of a relocation of several shelters in this section of the Trail, either to eliminate shelters too close to roads, or to remove others from wilderness areas. The Seeley-Woodworth Shelter is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Seely Woodworth 2018.jpg

The original Rausch Gap Shelter was built in 1973, and was replaced by the current structure (pictured here) in 2011, by volunteers from the Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club. That club continues to maintain the shelter.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Rausch Gap Shelter.jpg

The Clark's Ferry Shelter is located north of the Susquehanna River, just east of Duncannon, Pennsylvania. The shelter was built in 1993 by volunteers from the York Hiking Club, one of the member clubs of the Keystone Trail Association.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Clarks Ferry Shelter 2007.jpg