Appalachian Trail Histories

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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
Birch Run Shelters 06241974.jpg

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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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
Ney Lean-to.jpg

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
Smith Gap Shelter (1948).jpg

The Applebee Cabin in Pennsylvania during a weekend hike by members of the Philadelphia Trail Club. The cabin was located on the Appalachian Trail north of what is now the Hertlein Campsite (formerly the Hertlein Cabin), but was removed in 1971 due to excessive vandalism of the structure. The cabin was built in 1930 by the Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club and was maintained by the club until its removal from the Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Appleby Cabin (1933).jpg

A member of the Philadelphia Trail Club clipping vegetation along the Appalachian Trail, March 23, 1935, on the Little Gap, PA section of the Trail. Club members "cut scrub oak and cleared nearly half a mile through the thickest growth," and later, "paint[ed] blazes all the way through to meet the blazes in from Smith Gap," according to a report of the trail work weekend. This work weekend was one of many that the Philadelphia Trail Club utilized to build their short section of the Trail in 1935.

Collection: Trail Clubs
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The Antietam Shelter, located in the Mont Alto (now MIchaux) State Forest (PA), was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1936. It is located on the banks of Little Antietam Creek. Maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, this shelter is slated to be moved to a new location, possibly on the Tuscarora Trail, in the near future, due to its proximity to the popular Old Forge Picnic Grounds.



Collection: Trail Shelters
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The George W. Outerbridge Shelter on the Appalachian Trail, June 1, 2005. The shelter is named for George Outerbridge, the second person (after Myron Avery) to hike all the sections of the Appalachian Trail. Outerbridge began his section hiking on October 30, 1932, and completed his final section on June 22, 1939.

This shelter is located on the first stretch of the Trail that Outerbridge hiked and is maintained by the Allentown Hiking Club. The Club is a member of the Keystone Trail Association and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The Club, founded in 1931, maintains 10.3 miles of the Trail and has two shelters -- this one, and the Allentown Hiking Club Shelter.


Collection: Trail Shelters
George Outerbridge Shelter.jpg

Allentown Hiking Club Shelter on the Appalachian Trail, June 2, 2005. The Allentown Hiking Club is a member of the Keystone Trail Association and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The Club, founded in 1931, maintains 10.3 miles of the Trail and has two shelters -- this one, and the G.W. Outerbridge Shelter.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Allentown Hiking Club Shelter.jpg