Appalachian Trail Histories

Menu
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

The Earl Shaffer Shelter, pictured here in August 2008, was dedicated to Earl Shaffer, the first person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in one year. Shaffer, who grew up nearby, eventually asked that his name be taken off the shelter in 1983, because he felt it had become "too fancy" after the addition of a wooden floor, replacing the old dirt floor. The Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club disassembled this shelter in 2008, and it now resides at the Appalachian Trail Museum at Pine Grove Furnace State Park (PA).

Collection: Trail Shelters
Earl_Shaffer_Shelter_1.jpg

The Peters Mountain Shelter, pictured on January 1, 1980. This shelter is the replacement for the Earl Shaffer Shelter, which was removed from the Trail in the summer of 2008, and now resides at the Appalachian Trail Museum in Pine Grove Furnace State Park (PA). This shelter is maintained by volunteers from the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club, co-founded by Earl Shaffer.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Peters Mountain Shelter 1980.jpg

The Appalachian Trail lean-to (shelter) at Deep Gap near Standing Indian Mountain, North Carolina.

Collection: Trail Shelters
ATC063small.jpg

The Wayah Gap Shelter in the Nantahala Mountains, in the spring of 1961. The current shelter at this location (now known as the Wayah Shelter) is a more recent structure. The original shelter, pictured here, is a typical three-sided log structure with a dirt floor and a fireplace in front. The trash can in the foreground was typical at many back country shelters until the 1970s, when the trash cans were removed and hikers were expected to pack out what they packed in.

A hand drawn map of Wayah Bald by George Masa in 1932 offers an interesting window into the Trail in this region in its earliest days.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Wayah Bald Shelter 1961.jpg

This image depicts the original version of the Wawayanda Lean-to (shelter) in New Jersey in 1955. This original version of the shelter is a typical example of the three sided log and beam lean-to design that was typical of the early trail shelters. The current version of the shelter was built in 1990.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Wawayanda Lean-to 1955.jpg

This photograph of the Walnut Mountain Shelter from 1940 depicts the original version of the shelter. The current shelter at Walnut Mountain is a much newer structure and is maintained by the Carolina Mountain Club. This original structure was built from chestnut logs milled nearby and is one of several early trail shelters that had log rail fences around them to keep livestock out of the structure.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Walnut Mountain Shelter 1940.jpg

The Spruce Peak Shelter, pictured here in the summer of 2011, is an enclosed structure sleeping 16. It was built by the Brattleboro section of the Green Mountain Club in 1983 with logs cut and provided by U.S. Forest Service. The Spruce Peak Shelter replaced the Bromley Camp in this section of the Trail in Vermont.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Spruce Peak Shelter 07212011.jpg

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 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

The Rod Hollow Shelter was constructed by volunteers from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in the summer of 1985. It is located several miles north of Paris, Virginia and is the last stop south of the "rollercoaster" section of the Trail in Northern Virginia (or the first shelter south for southbound hikers).

Collection: Trail Shelters
Rod Hollow Shelter 07102015MK.jpg

The Rocky Run Shelter in Maryland pictured here is the original shelter built in 1940 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This Adirondack style log lean-to remains on the Trail but in 2008 volunteers from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club constructed a new two story shelter.

Collection: Trail Shelters
Rocky Run Shelter 06252012MK.jpg