Appalachian Trail Histories

The Mosby Shelter was located on the Appalachian Trail between Manassas Gap and Chester Gap in Northern Virginia. It was built in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, operating from their camp in Linden, Virginia, just north of the site of the shelter. Today, the location of the former shelter is called the "Mosby Campsite" and the nearby Tom Sealock Spring, which is one of the sources of the Rappahannock River.

The 1941 edition of the ATC's Guide to the Paths of the Blue Ridgeoffers this description of the shelter:
Mosby Lean-to is situated on the edge of a clearing on the crest of the long spur extending to the east from High Knob, about half way between Manassas and Chester Gaps. A small settlement that formerly was in this locality is said to have been called "Mosby" because several of Colonel Mosby's rangers resided nearby.

In 1980, the Mosby Shelter was stolen. Hikers arrived at the site to find that the shelter had been dismantled and removed, likely for the chestnut logs that had been used in its construction. It was not rebuilt.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Mosby Shelter 1939.jpg

The Milesburn Shelter (now Cabin) is located in the Michaux State Forest in southern Pennsylvania and is maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). Built in 1930 as a park ranger cabin, Milesburn was converted to an Appalachian Trail shelter by the PATC a few years later. It is one of the locked cabins along the AT between Waynesboro, Virginia and Duncannon, Pennsylvania that hikers can reserve in advance for a fee.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Milesburn Shelter.jpg

The Maupin Field Shelter is located in Nelson County, Virginia, approximately 20 miles south of Shenandoah National Park. It was built by the U.S. Forest Service in the 1960s and is maintained by the Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club. The shelter is located just north of the Three Ridges Wilderness area and is a favorite among northbound hikers as the last stop before a visit to the Devil's Backbone Brewery in the Roseland, Virginia.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Maupin Field Shelter 07282016MK.jpg

The Matts Creek Shelter is located in the James River Face Wilderness Area of the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia. It is the first shelter south of the James River and is a typical example of the plank sided lean-tos found along the Trail in U.S. Forest Service lands. This shelter is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Matts Creek 06122017MK.jpg

The Mackie Run Shelter in the Mont Alto State Forest (now Michaux State Forest) in Pennsylvania, was built in 1936, with the assistance of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Unlike other lean-to style shelters built in the area at this time, the Mackie Run shelter was built as a single structure rather than as a pair of smaller shelters. The Mackie Run shelter no longer exists. It was one of many shelters removed or relocated because it was too close to a road and thus too easily accessible to non-hikers. The Deer Lick Run Shelters, approximately one mile north, replaced the Mackie Run Shelter in this stretch of the Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Mackie Run Shelter 1939.jpg

The Johns Spring Shelter, formerly known as the Boy Scout Shelter, was built in 2003 by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club as a replacement for the older Boy Scout Shelter. John's Spring Shelter is a memorial to John Haranzo, an avid AT hiker and RATC member.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Johns Spring Shelter 07172016MK.jpg

The Johns Hollow Shelter is the first shelter northbound hikers encounter after crossing the James River footbridge. Built in the standard U.S. Forest Service style in the 1960s, this shelter is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
John's Hollow Shelter

Trash left by hikers at the Wiggins Shelter in Virginia, May 1970. Increasing use of the Appalachian Trail by both casual and long distance hikers in the late 1960s and early 1970s led to a number of problems such as increasing amounts of litter, increasing vandalism, and degradation of the environment around trail shelters. One response of the ATC was to urge trail maintaining clubs to remove trash receptacles from shelters (note the trash barrel in this image). Another was to embark on much more aggressive educational campaigns, like the very successful Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics program. In due to overuse problems like those pictured here, the Wiggins Shelter was removed from the Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Wiggins Shelter.jpg

Volunteer trail crew unloading pieces of what will become the George W. Outerbridge Shelter in Pennsylvania, October 1965.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Building Outerbridge.jpg

Chairback Gap Shelter (Maine) in the 100 Mile Wilderness. This shelter was originally constructed in 1954 by the Maine Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters

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
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The Catawba Mountain Shelter was built by volunteers from the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club in the summer and fall of 1984. This shelter was added to the chain of shelters after the relocation of the Appalachian Trail from North Mountain to Catawba Mountain, adding McAfee Knob to the Trail's route. This shelter is built in a style that is reminiscent of the typical plank sided lean-to favored by the U.S. Forest Service, but has unique features in its design, including the peaked roof and more open front. It is maintained by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Catawba Shelter 07182016MK.jpg