Appalachian Trail Histories

This map depicts three of the routes of the Appalachian Trail in Southwestern Virginia -- the route laid out in 1931 by Shirley Cole and Roy Ozmer, the route used between 1933-1952, and the present route of the trail. The original route looped south of Roanoke and Salem to the junction of Floyd, Franklin, and Roanoke counties, before proceeding south toward Fisher's Peak in North Carolina. After 1933, the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club convinced the ATC to shift the northern portion of this trail section north and west of Roanoke to bring it across Catawba Mountain, the location of Tinker Cliffs and McAfee Knob. After 1952, the ATC abandoned this original route of the AT and moved the trail more than 50 miles west to its present location west of Blacksburg.


A small portion of a much larger map of the public lands in the United States in 1953, created by the U.S. Department of the Interior, that shows the region of Southwest Virginia where the Appalachian Trail was located from 1930-1952.

Lost AT Map 1953.jpg

In 1930, the Carolina Appalachian Trail Club  was organized for the purpose of completing the western North Carolina segment of the Appalachian Trail. Its home was in Asheville. In 1931, the group merged with the Carolina Mountain Club, an organization founded in 1923 and still active today. This map of the Appalachian Trail and the North Carolina section of the Great Smoky Mountains was created that same year. The map was one of many collected by Horace Kephart (1862-1931).

Collection: Maps
Appalachian_Trail_in_North_Carolina (1).jpg

This map of a proposed Appalachian Trail appeared in Benton MacKaye's essay, "An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning," Journal of the American Institute of Architects, 9 (October 1921): 325-30. It shows the original route he had in mind for the Trail as well as a variety of connecting trails that either existed or were already in the planning or construction stages.

Collection: Maps

A map showing the length of the AT, starting from the southern terminus of Springer Mountain, Georgia and ending at Mount Katahdin, Maine.

Collection: Damascus, Virginia
Appalachian Trail Path.jpg

Historical Range of the American Chestnut Tree. The American Chestnut Tree once grew throughout the Appalachian region from the southern United States to New England.

Chestnut Range .gov.pdf

Basic Map of Baxter State Park Trails

Collection: Iconic Locations

This is the pamphlet that is handed out to guests who vacation to Shenandoah National Park. The lodge is located approximately halfway down the 104-mile-long Skyline Drive, and is the highest point of the highway. This map depicts the numerous cabins that make up the lodge, as well as shows where the Appalachian Trail crosses over and passes by Skyline Drive.

Skyland brochure.pdf

This map of the Appalachian Trail was produced by the Appalachian Trail Conference in 1948. It shows the southern terminus at Mount Oglethorpe (rather than the current Springer Mountain).

ATCMap 1948.jpg

This 1938 map of the Appalachian Trail from the Susquehanna River to the Virginia/Tennessee border, appeared on the back of the stationary of the Appalachian Trail Conference beginning in the late 1930s. It describes those portions of the Trail covered by the PATC's Guide to Paths in the Blue Ridge: Measured Distances and Detailed Directions for 506 Miles of the Appalachian Trail and 65 Miles of Side Trails in Virginia and Adjacent States, originally published in 1931 and reprinted numerous times since. The route of the Trail in 1938, especially in southern Virginia, is quite different from the current route.

Collection: Maps

Image from page 6 of "The Appalachian Trail", published by the U.S. Forest Service in 1964.


Map of the proposed Appalachian Trail, hand-drawn by Benton MacKaye for the first meeting of the Appalachian Trail Conference, March, 1925. Although this map became the blueprint for the Trail, the final terminus for the path ended up being Springer Mountain, not the Cohutta Mountains of North Georgia as he proposed in this map.

Collection: Maps
MacKaye Map 1925.jpg