Appalachian Trail Histories

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The Willis Ross Camp stood near the shore of Stratton Pond in Vermont until it burned in 1972 and was not rebuilt. It was an enclosed cabin-style shelter of the type often found along the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail in Vermont. It was built and maintained by the Green Mountain Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Rentschler Shelter was located in Pennsylvania near Bethel, PA, and was built by volunteers from the Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club to commemorate Dr. Rentschler's role in founding their club. The shelter was built in 1933 and torn down in the 1960s. It was a partially closed front log lean-to, typical of the shelters built during this period in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. A memorial to Dr. Rentschler remains at the site of the former shelter.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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From reverse of photograph: "Replacing the Roof on the East Carry Pond Lean-to (1954)" The East Carry Pond Lean-to is one of the many Ghost Shelters along the Appalachian Trail. In this photograph from 1954, one can see that it was a small log sided lean-to structure with a shingle roof and a dirt floor. It was maintained by the Maine Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Griffith Lake Shelter used to sit near the shore of Griffith Lake in Vermont along the Long Trail/AT route near Mount Tabor, Vermont. This shelter has been removed and replaced with a tenting site for hikers. It was maintained by the Green Mountain Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Clarendon Lodge Shelter on the Appalachian Trail/Long Trail in Vermont in the fall of 1960. This enclosed camp has been replaced by a lean-to style shelter and is maintained by the Green Mountain Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Bourn Pond Shelter was located on the shore of Bourn Pond in Vermont, on a former route of the Appalachian Trail, now known as the Stratton Pond Trail. This shelter is one of the cabin style shelters found along the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail and was built by the Green Mountain Club. It still exists, just no longer on the Appalachian Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Bigelow Mountain Shelter, pictured here sometime in the 1950s, was removed from the Appalachian Trail in the 1960s. It is a typical version of the log sided Adirondack style lean-to favored by the early shelter builders. It was located just south of the current Horns Pond Shelter.

From the back of the image: "Lean-to on the Appalachian Trail on the conifer-covered slopes of Mt. Bigelow in Maine. Here the Appalachian Trail and the Bigelow Range Trails meet, affording a crest line route of 20 miles along Mt. Bigelow."

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Big Flat Shelter in Shenandoah National Park, c. 1940s. This shelter was built by volunteers from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in the 1940s and was removed at some point in the 1960s due to the creation of the Loft Mountain Campground in the Park. Records on the exact location of the shelter are hazy at best. Those who have researched the location of the former shelter place it, most likely, at the site of the current amphitheater in the campground facility.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Mohawk No. 1 Shelter is located on the Mohawk Trail in the Mohawk State Forest, a trail that was the route of the Appalachian Trail in Central Connecticut until the 1980s. This shelter was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps sometime in the 1930s. The 1968 Guide to the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts and Connecticut describes the shelter as having a fireplace and no bunks. Hikers had to obtain permission from the Forest Ranger in the Mohawk State Forest before camping there.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Wesser Creek Shelter was a traditional Adirondack style lean-to, located just north of Wesser Bald in the Nantahala region of North Carolina. This shelter no longer exists.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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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
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The Wayah Gap Shelter in the Nantahala Mountains, in the spring of 1961. The current shelter at this location (now known as the Wayah Shelter) is a more recent structure. The original shelter, pictured here, is a typical three-sided log structure with a dirt floor and a fireplace in front. The trash can in the foreground was typical at many back country shelters until the 1970s, when the trash cans were removed and hikers were expected to pack out what they packed in.

A hand drawn map of Wayah Bald by George Masa in 1932 offers an interesting window into the Trail in this region in its earliest days.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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