Appalachian Trail Histories

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The Deer Lick Run Shelters in the Michaux State Forest in Pennsylvania were built after the removal of the Mackie Run Shelter in the early 1980s. Although these are newer structures, they are built in the same paired shelter style of many of the original lean-to shelters in this stretch of the Trail. These shelters are maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC).

Collection: Trail Shelters
Deer Lick Shelters 09012017MK.jpg

Members of one of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) Shenandoah National Park trail crews creating water diversions on one of the many trails in the Park. Members of Appalachian Trail maintaining clubs devote hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours each year to the maintenance of the AT and its associated side trails.

Collection: Trail Clubs
PATC Trail Crew 2012.jpg

Leaving the bus on a PATC trip to Smoke Hole, West Virginia, April 19, 1936. PATC hiking trips during this era were often organized with bus service for members.

Collection: Trail Clubs
PATC Smokehole 1936.jpg

The Three Springs Shelter was located in what is now known as the Roller Coaster section of the Appalachian Trail in Northern Virginia just north of the FEMA Mount Weather Operations Center. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s on private land, the ownership of this shelter passed to the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) in 1969, when the club purchased the shelter and 15 surrounding acres of land, including a section of the AT. This shelter no longer exists. 

The 1941 ATC Guide to the Paths of the Blue Ridge offers this description:
Three Springs Lean-to is situated in a small clearing near the summit of the Blue Ridge on its southeast slope one mile north of Mt. Weather. It occupies the site of the old Ashby farmhouse that had been built early in the nineteenth century. There is a chimney over the fireplace.
At that time, the Appalachian Trail was located on the east side of Blue Ridge Mountain Road, but was later re-routed onto the western side of the ridgeline.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Three Springs Shelter 1941.jpg

The Ashby Gap Shelter in Northern Virginia was located just west of the village of Paris. Built by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in the 1941 on a tract of private land, the shelter was torn down in 1955, when the AT was re-routed away from the site. The 1941 ATC Guide to the Paths of the Blue Ridge offers this description:
Ashby Gap Lean-to is situated in a clearing near the summit of the Blue Ridge on the northwest slope, a little over a mile south of Ashby Gap. It is close to the site of an old cabin.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Ashby Gap Shelter VA.jpg

Members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC), and the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club (NBATC) on a group hike to McAfee Knob, October 1935.

Collection: Iconic Locations
McAfee 1935.jpg

This undated photograph shows hikers stopping at the Ney lean-to (shelter) at Ney's Gap near Schuylkill, Pennsylvania. This shelter has been removed, but was not far from the current Eagle's Nest Shelter.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Ney Lean-to.jpg

Jean Stephenson (1892-1979), founding editor of the Appalachian Trailway News and author of a number of important ATC publications, including Guide to the Paths of the Blue Ridge and the Conference's guide to the Appalachian Trail in Maine. Stephenson was also ATC Chairman Myron Avery's most important support during his years as ATC chairman, managing his correspondence, defending him to his critics, and helping him organize the work of the sprawling ATC enterprise.

Stephenson held a doctorate in law and was a member of the Washington, D.C. bar. She was an avid genealogist, he helped direct a genealogical research program sponsored by American University, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the American Society of Genealogists. 

Collection: Builders
Jean Stephenson.jpg

Georgia Forester Roy Ozmer, either during his expedition marking the Appalachian Trail in Georgia in 1927 or during his trip through Southern Virginia where he marked out the Appalachian Trail south of the Peaks of Otter in 1930.

Collection: Builders
Roy Ozmer 1930as.jpg

Mount Katahdin viewed from Daicey Pond, Baxter State Park, Maine, in July 1939 during the annual meeting of the Appalachian Trail Conference.

Collection: Iconic Locations
Mount Katahdin 1939.jpg

The Ashby Gap Shelter in Northern Virginia was located just west of the village of Paris. Built by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in the 1941 on a tract of private land, the shelter was torn down in 1955, when the AT was re-routed away from the site. The 1941 ATC Guide to the Paths of the Blue Ridge offers this description:
Ashby Gap Lean-to is situated in a clearing near the summit of the Blue Ridge on the northwest slope, a little over a mile south of Ashby Gap. It is close to the site of an old cabin.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Ashby Gap Shelter.jpg

Pinefield Hut was built in the summer of 1940 in a style typical to Shenandoah National Park (VA) at this time--a stone base with a wooden roof. This shelter is maintained by Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Pinefield Hut 08292015MK.jpg