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Wednesday, 19 December 2012 00:00

Historic Appalachian Trail shelter gets a lift

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out atshelterThe Nantahala Hiking Club recently renovated an 80-year-old Appalachian Trail shelter about a mile north of Burningtown Gap in Macon County.

The club spent more than 500 man-hours working on the shelter that was originally built in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. In total, the work lasted three months and cost the club $1,200 in materials.

The shelter had been slowly rotting into the ground, before the hiking club jacked the shelter up, replaced the bottom row of chestnut logs and the wooden floor, installed five concrete foundation piers and revamped the structure’s walls.

In order for the work to be completed, parts of the shelter had to be raised three feet off the ground. The shelter reconstruction project was quite different from the normal trail maintenance tasks of clearing fallen trees and fixing eroded trail beds. The necessary skills of jacking, cribbing, log replacement, chinking, and dry stacking rocks came from the diversity of professions that make up the club’s maintenance crew.

The NHC maintains about 10 shelters on nearly 60 miles of the AT and more than 30 miles of side trails. The shelter renovation was done in consultation with the U.S. Forest Services and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

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