Appalachian Trail Histories

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Master planning document for the Appalachian Trail, adopted by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service in 1981.

Collection: Legislation
ATCompPlan.pdf

This two story shelter has space for as many as 20 hikers. Built in 1992, the shelter is dedicated to the memory of Nelson Leavell Garnett, Jr. and was designed by his architecture school classmates. The shelter's costs were paid by Garnett's parents, in memory of their son who loved hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Bryant Ridge BD123.jpg

An act to establish a land and water conservation fund to assist the States and Federal agencies in meeting present and future outdoor recreation demands and needs of the American people, and for other purposes.

Collection: Legislation
Public-Law-88-578.pdf

A transcript of the hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Roads, October 24, 1945, on a bill proposed by Congressman Daniel K. Hoch (Pennsylvania) to establish a "national system of foot trails." Hoch's proposal was made as an amendment to the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1944. The transcript includes the text of the amendment, as well as statements by Hoch, Myron Avery of the Appalachian Trail Conference, L. F. Schmeckbier of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, as well as others in favor or or opposed to Hoch's amendment. The amendment, which failed to clear the committee, would have provided $50,000 per year for the acquisition of land or easements for up to 10,000 miles of foot trails in the United States.

Collection: Legislation
HR 2142 1945.pdf

Report of the 1965 study commissioned by the Secretary of the Interior Morris Udall and completed by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation (U.S. Department of the Interior). The report was a response to President Lyndon Johnson's "Natural Beauty Message" of February 8, 1965, in which he called for development and protection of a balanced system of trails—in the nation's metropolitan areas as well as in the countryside—in cooperation with State and local governments and private interests. Johnson called for such a trail system to help protect and enhance the total quality of the outdoor environment as well as to provide much needed opportunities for healthy outdoor recreation. This report helped provide a framework for the creation of the the National Trails System Act of 1968.

Collection: Legislation
trails_for_america_1966_ocr.pdf

The National Trails System Act of 1968 created three types of national trails, "to promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation." The three trail types were National Scenic Trails and National Recreation Trails, along with associated side and connecting trails. Two of the most important of the National Scenic Trails were the Appalachian Trail (AT) and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Eventually in 1978, a fourth category of trail, National Historical Trails, was added to those protected by the Act. This Act is the foundation stone of federal oversight of the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and other long distance trails such as the Continental Divide Trail.

Collection: Legislation
STATUTE-82-Pg919.pdf

Built in 1989 by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, the Campbell Shelter is just to the north of the very popular McAfee Knob.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Campbell.jpg

The Dick's Dome Shelter is located in Sky Meadows State Park along the Appalachian Trail in Fauquier County, VA. Built in 1987 by Potomac Appalachian Trail Club member Dick George on what was private property, the shelter is a very small geodesic dome along the bank of Whiskey Creek. The PATC has built a replacement, Whiskey Creek Shelter, just up the hill from the old Dome.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Dick'sDome.jpg

The Sam Moore Shelter in Northern Virginia is located 3 miles south of the Bears Den Hostel on a portion of the trail known as "The Roller Coaster." The shelter has capacity for 6, a privy, fireplace, and sheltered picnic table. This shelter was built in 1990 by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Sam Moore Shelter.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.jpg

Built by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club in 1965, the Fulhardt Knob Shelter is the last on the Appalachian Trail to use a cistern system for capturing and supplying water to hikers. According to the RATC, "This shelter is also notorious because it has been the on-again-off-again home for an otherwise homeless woman named Peggy who believes herself to be the deposed queen of England. She is, at times, belligerent and she leaves a lot of trash behind; but she does not appear to be dangerous."

Collection: Trail Shelters
Fullhardt Knob.jpg

Built in 1984 using the traditional design of open lean to stone and log shelters, Calf Mountain Shelter is located in Augusta County, Virginia, at the southern end of Shenandoah National Park. The shelter was meant to hold up to six people and is maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. The Calf Mountain Shelter is built, in part, out of the remains of the Rip Rap and Sawmill Run Shelters, both of which had been dismantled due to over use.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Calf Mountain.jpg