Appalachian Trail Histories

This panoramic image of Lover's Leap in Patrick County, Virginia, is compiled from three photographs taken by ATC Chairman Myron Avery during a hike on the Appalachian Trail in Southern Virginia in January 1932. Avery was scouting the new route of the Trail in this region with local Appalachian Trail leader Shirley L. Cole and his brother Earnest.

Lovers Leap.jpg

The original route of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia crossed the Pinnacles of Dan, a route described by hikers at the time as second only to Mt. Katahdin for its difficulty and beauty. In 1952, the ATC moved the route of the Trail more than 50 miles north and west, abandoning this region of Southern Virginia and removing the Pinnacles from the Trail's route forever. Today the Pinnacles are accessible only by permit from the company that controls the dams in the gorge. This image comes from former ATC Chairman Myron Avery's personal scrapbooks in the ATC Archives.


Myron Avery was the second chairman of the Appalachian Trail Conference and was one of the founders of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and served as that club's president for many years. Under his stewardship, the ATC and its associated clubs completed the Appalachian Trail in 1937. Avery was the driving force behind the creation of a number of the southern trail-maintaining clubs, and was the Trail's fiercest defender from the time he assumed the ATC chairmanship until his death in 1952.

Collection: Builders

The Spring Mountain Shelter in Tennessee was one of the early Appalachian Trail Shelters in this region and survives in its original form. Built from logs cut and peeled nearby, the Spring Mountain Shelter is a typical example of the Adirondack style lean-to favored by the trail maintaining clubs in the Trail's infancy. In this photo, by Myron Avery, you can see his famous measuring wheel that went with him everywhere he went on the Trail. The shelter is currently maintained by the Carolina Mountain Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Spring Mountain 1940.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 Ridgeoffers 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

The Mackie Run Shelter in the Mont Alto State Forest (now Michaux State Forest) in Pennsylvania, was built in 1936, with the assistance of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Unlike other lean-to style shelters built in the area at this time, the Mackie Run shelter was built as a single structure rather than as a pair of smaller shelters. The Mackie Run shelter no longer exists. It was one of many shelters removed or relocated because it was too close to a road and thus too easily accessible to non-hikers. The Deer Lick Run Shelters, approximately one mile north, replaced the Mackie Run Shelter in this stretch of the Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Mackie Run Shelter 1939.jpg

Georgia Forester Roy Ozmer, either during his expedition marking the Appalachian Trail in Georgia in 1927 or during his trip through Southern Virginia where he marked out the Appalachian Trail south of the Peaks of Otter in 1930.

Collection: Builders
Roy Ozmer 1930as.jpg

Albert Gordon "Dutch" Roth, Carlos Campbell, Guy Frizzell, Myron Avery (with measuring wheel), and Oliver Crowder on hike from Newfound Gap to Deals Gap. May 29-31, 1931.

Collection: Hikers

Mount Katahdin as seen from Daisy Pond (now Daicey Pond), photographed by Myron Avery. This image is from the Myron Avery Scrapbook Collection at the Maine State Library.

Collection: Iconic Locations
Katahdin Daisy Pond.jpg

Myron Avery during a survey of the route of the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Collection: Builders

Myron Avery and two other hikers on the summit of Mount Katahdin (Maine).

Collection: Builders

Myron Avery on Hawksbill Mountain in Shenandoah National Park with his famous measuring wheel. Avery was rarely without his wheel when he was on the trail.

Collection: Builders