Appalachian Trail Histories

Five members of the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club on Whitetop Mountain in Southwestern Virginia at a "Tri-Club Meet." These multi-club meetings were common, especially among the southern clubs. In this particular case, the three clubs were the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC), the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club (NBATC) based in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), then based in Washington, D.C. ATC Chairman Myron Avery organized a work trip to the Appalachian Trail in Southwestern Virginia over Memorial Day week and volunteers from all three clubs worked on sections of the trail from northern Floyd County down all the way to Damascus, Virginia, clearing trail, blazing the route, and enjoying one another's company. They all stayed at the lodge which used to be on the summit of Whitetop Mountain, which is where this photograph was taken.

1936.05.30 Triangle Meeting.jpg

Members of the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club on Potts Mountain in Central Virginia during the fall of 1939. Day hikes like this one were a central activity of the AT Clubs for many decades.

Collection: Trail Clubs
Potts Mountain Hike.jpg

Benton MacKaye took part in the meeting of several of the southern Appalachian Trail clubs at Cloudland Lodge, Georgia, October 13-14, 1934. In this photograph, he is standing at the summit of Whiteside Mountain, N.C.

Collection: Builders

Members of one of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) Shenandoah National Park trail crews creating water diversions on one of the many trails in the Park. Members of Appalachian Trail maintaining clubs devote hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours each year to the maintenance of the AT and its associated side trails.

Collection: Trail Clubs
PATC Trail Crew 2012.jpg

Leaving the bus on a PATC trip to Smoke Hole, West Virginia, April 19, 1936. PATC hiking trips during this era were often organized with bus service for members.

Collection: Trail Clubs
PATC Smokehole 1936.jpg

Members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC), and the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club (NBATC) on a group hike to McAfee Knob, October 1935.

McAfee 1935.jpg

A member of the Philadelphia Trail Club clipping vegetation along the Appalachian Trail, March 23, 1935, on the Little Gap, PA section of the Trail. Club members "cut scrub oak and cleared nearly half a mile through the thickest growth," and later, "paint[ed] blazes all the way through to meet the blazes in from Smith Gap," according to a report of the trail work weekend. This work weekend was one of many that the Philadelphia Trail Club utilized to build their short section of the Trail in 1935.

Collection: Trail Clubs

Photograph of a large group of members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club during a hike on the Appalachian Trail in the early 1930s. Club co-founder Myron Avery is pictured to the left with his famous measuring wheel and Frank Schairer, another co-founder and the club's first supervisor of trails is to Avery's left with clippers draped over his head.