Appalachian Trail Histories

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The Little Laurel Shelter on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina was previously known as the Camp Creek Bald Shelter. Located just over a mile south of the summit, this shelter is a stone lean-to and is maintained by the Carolina Mountain Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
ATC064.jpg

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
Wesser Creek Shelter 1961.jpg

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

Collection: Trail Shelters
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A route map of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. This map shows not only the route of the Parkway, but also the year when each section of the road was completed. The Parkway began as a New Deal project in 1935 and was not completed until 1987. Altogether, the Parkway is 469 miles long and at its north end it connects with Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, which adds another 105 miles to the route. The Blue Ridge Parkway is part of the National Park system and is the most visited of all the national parks since the end of the Second World War.

Collection: Maps
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Benton MacKaye took part in the meeting of several of the southern Appalachian Trail clubs at Cloudland Lodge, Georgia, October 13-14, 1934. In this photograph, he is standing at the summit of Whiteside Mountain, N.C.

Collection: Builders
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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
Wayah Bald Shelter 1961.jpg

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 Carter Gap Shelter is the third shelter on the Trail north of the Georgia/North Carolina line. This image is of the older version of the shelter. There is now a second, newer Carter Gap Shelter closer to the Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Carter Gap Shelter 04041974.jpg

A hand drawn map of the Appalachian Trail where it crosses Wayah Bald in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, made by Asheville, NC photographer George Masa (Masahara Izuka). Masa was instrumental in helping Appalachian Trail Conference chairman Myron Avery determine the final route of the Appalachian Trail and appropriate names for locations in Western North Carolina. This is just one of a number of maps Masa drew by hand for Avery's use in the early 1930s.

Collection: Maps
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The Big Springs Shelter was located between Mooney Gap and Wallace Gap in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. A plank sided lean-to of the type favored by the U.S. Forest Service, the Big Springs Shelter was removed in 2013 and replaced by the Long Branch Shelter. The new shelter was built and is maintained by the Nantahala Hiking Club. (Location data on the Big Springs Shelter is approximate.)

Collection: Trail Shelters
Big Spring Shelter 1961.jpg

In 1930, the Carolina Appalachian Trail Club  was organized for the purpose of completing the western North Carolina segment of the Appalachian Trail. Its home was in Asheville. In 1931, the group merged with the Carolina Mountain Club, an organization founded in 1923 and still active today. This map of the Appalachian Trail and the North Carolina section of the Great Smoky Mountains was created that same year. The map was one of many collected by Horace Kephart (1862-1931).

Collection: Maps
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The Silers Bald Shelter, April 27, 1941. A master list of AT shelters published in the July 1939 edition of the Appalachian Trailway News describes this shelter as "authorized: plans or work being proceeded with." Thus, it was built between the summer of 1939 and the spring of 1941 when this image was taken by Albert Roth. Silers Bald Shelter is located on the North Carolina side of the Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just south of Clingman's Dome, and is maintained by the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Silers Bald Shelter.jpg