Appalachian Trail Histories

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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 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

Hikers "Linus" and "Woodstock" on the Appalachian Trail near Pennsylvania Highway 16, May 11, 2000.

Collection: Hikers
Linus Woodstock 2000.jpg

A member of the Philadelphia Hiking Club resting along the Appalachian Trail near Smith Gap, April 19, 1935.

Collection: Hikers
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The Birch Run lean-tos were built in 1934 by workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the Michaux State Forest in Pennsylvania. Like other shelters in this stretch of the Trail, these lean-tos were constructed in pairs of smaller shelters, rather than as one larger shelter. The original structures were torn down in the 1980s, and replaced with a single, larger shelter. These shelters were and the new shelter is maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC).

Collection: Trail Shelters
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The Racoon Run Shelters in the Michaux State Forest (PA), were built by workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1934. Smaller than the standard Appalachian Trail lean-tos built at this time, the paired shelters in this stretch of the Trail in Pennsylvania are unique along the Trail. The Raccoon Run Shelters were maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, but they were torn down in the 1980s when the AT was relocated away from its current route. The Raccoon Run Shelters were among those too close to the road, and often frequented by non-hikers.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Racoon Run Shelters 1934.jpg

The Quarry Gap shelters in Michaux State Forest (now Caledonia State Park) were built in 1934 by workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The trail shelters in Michaux State Forest at this time were unique in that they were built as pairs of smaller structures rather than one larger lean-to. At some point in their history, the Quarry Gap shelters were re-roofed with a single, continuous roof, providing shelter for hikers between the two structures. These shelters are maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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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

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

Collection: Trail Shelters
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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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This undated photograph shows hikers stopping at the Ney lean-to (shelter) at Ney's Gap near Schuylkill, Pennsylvania. This shelter has been removed, but was not far from the current Eagle's Nest Shelter.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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Smith Gap Shelter (Pennsylvania) under construction in 1948. The was built by members of the Philadelphia Trail Club and was opened to hikers on June 12, 1949. The shelter was built on private land, but in the late 1960s the landowner decided to build a vacation home on the site and turned the shelter into a storage shed. At this time, the Delaware Valley Chapter of the AMC had taken over supervision of the Appalachian Trail in the area from the Philadelphia Trail Club, and Chapter members built a new shelter closer to the Trail in 1973. They dedicated the shelter to their long serving volunteer LeRoy Smith, who passed away shortly after the completion of the current structure.

Collection: Trail Shelters
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