Appalachian Trail Histories

This map depicts the Appalachian Trail between Fries and Damascus, Virginia in 1941, including the crossing of the New River at Dixon's Ferry. This original route of the Appalachian Trail was abandoned in 1952, when the Trail was rerouted west into the Jefferson National Forest to the route it follows today.

PATC Map 14 1941.jpeg

The Blackrock Hut (Shelter) is located in the southern district of Shenandoah National Park and is an example of the "hut" style of shelter, built from stone and logs. This shelter was completed in June 1941 and the current shelter is the original structure from 1941.

This particular image depicts a moment in the history of the park and its trail shelters when hikers were banned from overnight camping at or within site of the shelters. The sign leaning against the wall reads, "Overnight camping at or within sight of this shelter is prohibited." The camping prohibition was the result of the Park Superintendent's concern that the AT shelters had become party locations for Park visitors. His closure of the shelters was a point of contention between the Park and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club throughout the 1970s, after which the camping ban was relaxed.

Collection: Trail Shelters

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

The Pickle Branch Shelter is a typical example of the U.S. Forest Service's plank sided lean-to. This shelter was built in 1980 by volunteers from the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club and U.S. Forest Service staff. It is currently maintained by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Pickle Branch Shelter 2008.jpg

The Trimpi Shelter is a stone shelter built in 1975 and located in Southern Virginia just north of Troutville. This shelter is maintained by the Mt. Rogers Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
RATC050 1.jpeg

The Seeley-Woodworth Shelter, built in 1984 by volunteers from the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club, is named in honor of two long-time NBATC members -- Harold Seeley and Jack Woodworth. This shelter is a typical example of the USFS plank sided shelter design and its construction was part of a relocation of several shelters in this section of the Trail, either to eliminate shelters too close to roads, or to remove others from wilderness areas. The Seeley-Woodworth Shelter is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Seely Woodworth 2018.jpg

Members of the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club on Potts Mountain in Central Virginia during the fall of 1939. Day hikes like this one were a central activity of the AT Clubs for many decades.

Collection: Trail Clubs
Potts Mountain Hike.jpg

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

A sign marking the Appalachian Trail at a road crossing near Bobblet's Gap in Central Virginia, August 4, 2016.

AT Sign 2016.jpg

Thru hiker Julius Bruggeman passing through Shenandoah National Park, June 12, 1970. Unlike most Appalachian Trail hikers, Bruggeman made his own pack and much of his other gear.

Collection: Hikers

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

The South River Shelter, pictured here just after its completion in the summer of 1940, is one of the original trail shelters built in Shenandoah National Park by the Civilian Conservation Corps. This shelter is no longer in use as a trail shelter and instead is used as a trail maintenance storage facility by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, which maintains all the shelters in the Park.

Collection: Trail Shelters
South River Shelter 1940.jpg