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Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall and First Lady of the United States Lady Bird Johnson at Grand Teton National Park in 1964. Udall was a strong supporter of the Appalachian Trail and helped with the passage of the National Trails System Act of 1968 that created the Appalachian Trail as a national park.
During the first four decades of the Trail's existence, the majority of its route passed over private property. The local trail clubs and the ATC secured rights of way over these private lands through a series of agreements--some formal, some informal--that gave the clubs the right to build the trail across an individual's land, gave hikers the right to pass through, and sometimes included the right to build a shelter on the landowner's property. This sample easement from 1938 shows that the ATC was often able to secure these rights of way at minimal cost (in this case, $1.00). At the same time, these agreements were very fragile, generally giving the landowner the right to revoke or cancel the agreement with 30 days notice. As a result, the Trail was often rerouted when an easement was canceled, or when the property through which it passed changed hands.
Members of the Philadelphia Trail Club at an unidentified Appalachian Trail shelter, Easter Weekend, 1933. The man on the left is George W. Outerbridge, the second person to hike every step of the Appalachian Trail after Myron Avery. The woman on the right is likely Mary Kilpatrick, the first woman to hike every step of the Trail, and one of the two men in the center of the image is likely her husband, Martin Kilpatrick, the third person to complete every step of the Trail. Outerbridge and the Kilpatricks were leaders of the Philadelphia Trail Club and section hiked the AT during the 1930s.