Appalachian Trail Histories

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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
ATC019a.jpg

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
LOC001.jpg

Built in 1960, the Harper's Creek Shelter is maintained by the Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club. It is the only shelter within the Three Ridges Wilderness area and is several miles north of the Tye River in Nelson County, Virginia.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Harpers Creek Shelter 05271974.jpg

The Punch Bowl Shelter is located in the Jefferson National Forest (VA) between the James and Tye Rivers. It was built by the U.S. Forest Service in the early 1960s and is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Punchbowl Shelter 05251974.jpg

The Thunder Hill Shelter is located on northern slope of Apple Orchard Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest (Virginia). Built in the 1960s by the U.S. Forest Service, this shelter is of the later Forest Service structures that were plank and post construction rather than being built from logs. This shelter is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Thunder Hill 07232016MK.jpg

The Thunder Hill Shelter is located on northern slope of Apple Orchard Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest (Virginia). Built in the 1960s by the U.S. Forest Service, this shelter is of the later Forest Service structures that were plank and post construction rather than being built from logs. This shelter is maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club

Collection: Trail Shelters
Thunder Ridge Shelter 05201974.jpg

The Fulhardt Knob Shelter is located in the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia and was built by the U.S. Forest Service. It is one of the few Trail Shelters with no spring nearby. Instead, water is gathered in a large rain cistern behind the shelter. It is maintained by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Fulhardt Knob Shelter 05181974.jpg

The Wilson Gap Shelter was built in 1941, by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club's shelter crew. It was an atypical trail shelter, because it was built of stone, with an internal fireplace. This particular design happened because the landowner felt that such a structure would present less of a fire hazard on his land. It was the second trail shelter south of the Potomac River, near the present Blackburn Trail Center. It no longer exists, because by the late 1970s, its proximity to a county road meant it had become a party location for non-hikers. It was torn down in 1978.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Wilson Gap Shelter 06101974.jpg

The Three Springs Lean-to (shelter) in Northern Virginia was located on a stretch of the Trail just north of FEMA's Mount Weather Emergency Management base. This shelter no longer exists, because in the late 1970s the Trail was relocated away from the site and the shelter was torn down. It was maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Three Springs Shelter 06101974.jpg

The Mosby Shelter was located on the Appalachian Trail between Manassas Gap and Chester Gap in Northern Virginia. It was built in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, operating from their camp in Linden, Virginia, just north of the site of the shelter. Today, the location of the former shelter is called the "Mosby Campsite" and the nearby Tom Sealock Spring, which is one of the sources of the Rappahannock River.

The 1941 edition of the ATC's Guide to the Paths of the Blue Ridge  offers this description of the shelter:
Mosby Lean-to is situated on the edge of a clearing on the crest of the long spur extending to the east from High Knob, about half way between Manassas and Chester Gaps. A small settlement that formerly was in this locality is said to have been called "Mosby" because several of Colonel Mosby's rangers resided nearby.
In 1980, the Mosby Shelter was stolen. Hikers arrived at the site to find that the shelter had been dismantled and removed, likely for the chestnut logs that had been used in its construction. It was not rebuilt.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Mosby Shelter 1939.jpg