Appalachian Trail Histories

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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

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

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

Pass Mountain Hut was built in 1939, and is constructed largely out of stone. It is located in Shenandoah National Park, on the east face of the mountains, about one mile north of Thornton Gap, where Highway 211 crosses Skyline Drive. Today the area around the shelter is heavily wooded, but when it was first built hikers had views up to Mary's Rock above Thornton Gap and into the foothills of Rappahannock County, Virginia. The Pass Mountain Hut was built and is still maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Pass Mountain Hut 04032015MK.jpg

Smith Gap Shelter (Pennsylvania) under construction in 1948. The was built by members of the Philadelphia Trail Club and was opened to hikers on June 12, 1949. The shelter was built on private land, but in the late 1960s the landowner decided to build a vacation home on the site and turned the shelter into a storage shed. At this time, the Delaware Valley Chapter of the AMC had taken over supervision of the Appalachian Trail in the area from the Philadelphia Trail Club, and Chapter members built a new shelter closer to the Trail in 1973. They dedicated the shelter to their long serving volunteer LeRoy Smith, who passed away shortly after the completion of the current structure.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Smith Gap Shelter (1948).jpg

The Applebee Cabin in Pennsylvania during a weekend hike by members of the Philadelphia Trail Club. The cabin was located on the Appalachian Trail north of what is now the Hertlein Campsite (formerly the Hertlein Cabin), but was removed in 1971 due to excessive vandalism of the structure. The cabin was built in 1930 by the Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club and was maintained by the club until its removal from the Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Appleby Cabin (1933).jpg

The Antietam Shelter, located in the Mont Alto (now MIchaux) State Forest (PA), was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1936. It is located on the banks of Little Antietam Creek. Maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, this shelter is slated to be moved to a new location, possibly on the Tuscarora Trail, in the near future, due to its proximity to the popular Old Forge Picnic Grounds.



Collection: Trail Shelters
Antietam Shelter 2017MK.jpg

Old Orchard Shelter, Appalachian Trail, Grayson Highlands State Park, August 17, 2014.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Old Orchard Shelter 2014.jpg

The Lula Tye Shelter, 1966. This shelter was built by the U.S. Forest Service in 1962 near the southern shore of Rock Pond in the Green Mountain National Forest. It is named for Lula Tye, who was the Corresponding Secretary of the Green Mountain Club from 1926-1955.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Lula Tye Shelter 1966.jpg

Bobblet's Gap Shelter, July 21, 2016. A typical light wood frame shelter was built by the U.S. Forest Service in 1961 and is named for a local farmer (Will Bobblet) who used to live nearby.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Bobblet's Gap 2016.jpg

In 1938, the National Park Service published guidelines on the proper types of structures that should be built in the national parks. This booklet, authored by the architect Albert Good, was used by leaders of the Civilian Conservation Corps as guidance for the trail shelters they built along the Appalachian Trail during the 1930s. The description of the lean-to design reads, in part:

In New York State the Adirondack shelter is a tradition, a survival of the primitive shelter of the earliest woodsmen and hunters of this region. The end and rear walls are tightly built of logs, the front is open to the friendly warmth and light of the campfire. The roof slopes gently to the rear and sharply to the front to give a protective overhang.

The Adirondack shelter design was also used by the Appalachian Trail Conference in its guidance to member clubs in 1939 about the shelters they were building in the stretches of of the Trail they were responsible for.


Collection: Trail Shelters
CCC Shelters.jpg