Appalachian Trail Histories

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The Priest Shelter, September 4, 1960. The Priest Shelter was constructed in the 1950s at the completion of a major relocation of the Trail in Virginia. It sits atop The Priest, just south of the Tye River. It is traditional for hikers to confess their sins "to the Priest" in the shelter log book.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Priest Shelter.jpg

The Earl Shaffer Shelter, pictured here in August 2008, was dedicated to Earl Shaffer, the first person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in one year. Shaffer, who grew up nearby, eventually asked that his name be taken off the shelter in 1983, because he felt it had become "too fancy" after the addition of a wooden floor, replacing the old dirt floor. The Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club disassembled this shelter in 2008, and it now resides at the Appalachian Trail Museum at Pine Grove Furnace State Park (PA).

Collection: Trail Shelters
Earl_Shaffer_Shelter_1.jpg

The Peters Mountain Shelter, pictured on January 1, 1980. This shelter is the replacement for the Earl Shaffer Shelter, which was removed from the Trail in the summer of 2008 and now resides at the Appalachian Trail Museum in Pine Grove Furnace State Park (PA).

Collection: Trail Shelters
Peters Mountain Shelter 1980.jpg

The Appalachian Trail lean-to (shelter) at Deep Gap near Standing Indian Mountain, North Carolina.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Cable Gap Shelter was built in 1939, by a crew from the Civilian Conservation Corps. It is located near Fontana Dam in the Nantahala National Forest. It is one of the oldest trail shelters in the southern half of the Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Cable Gap Shelter 03202015.jpg

The Melville Nauheim Shelter is located in Vermont's Woodford State Park, near the village of Woodford. It is part of the Long Trail shelter chain that the Appalachian Trail shares, and is maintained by the Green Mountain Club. This image offers a sense for how crowded the small trail shelters can become in popular sections of the Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Melville Nauheim Shelter 08151992.jpg

Built in 1960, the Harper's Creek Shelter is maintained by the Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club. It is the only shelter within the Three Ridges Wilderness area and is several miles north of the Tye River in Nelson County, Virginia.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Harpers Creek Shelter 05271974.jpg

The Punch Bowl Shelter is located in the Jefferson National Forest (VA) between the James and Tye Rivers. It was built by the U.S. Forest Service in the early 1960s and is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Punchbowl Shelter 05251974.jpg

The Thunder Hill Shelter is located on northern slope of Apple Orchard Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest (Virginia). Built in the 1960s by the U.S. Forest Service, this shelter is of the later Forest Service structures that were plank and post construction rather than being built from logs. This shelter is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Thunder Hill 07232016MK.jpg

The Thunder Hill Shelter is located on northern slope of Apple Orchard Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest (Virginia). Built in the 1960s by the U.S. Forest Service, this shelter is of the later Forest Service structures that were plank and post construction rather than being built from logs. This shelter is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club

Collection: Trail Shelters
Thunder Ridge Shelter 05201974.jpg

The Fulhardt Knob Shelter is located in the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia and was built by the U.S. Forest Service. It is one of the few Trail Shelters with no spring nearby. Instead, water is gathered in a large rain cistern behind the shelter. It is maintained by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Fulhardt Knob Shelter 05181974.jpg

The Moreland Gap Shelter was built in 1960 by the U.S. Forest Service and is located in the Cherokee National Forest. It is maintained by the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club. Note the large trash pile to the left of the shelter and the vandalism on the shelter walls. Litter and vandalism were increasingly a problem along the AT in the early 1970s and led the Appalachian Trail Conference to consider removing the shelters altogether.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Moreland Gap Shelter 05031974.jpg