The recent major renovation of the 1933 Civilian Conservation Corps-built Appalachian Trail (AT) Shelter 1.2 miles North of Burningtown Gap (east end of State Road 1310) required the shelter to be lifted off the ground so the bottom row of logs could be replaced. Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) spent 513 man hours and $1,200 in materials to accomplish the renovation over three months.
The shelter was rotting into the ground before the NHC jacked up the shelter, replaced the bottom row of chestnut logs with locust, placed five concrete foundation piers, replaced the wooden floor, constructed board and batten walls, and constructed dry stack walls for aesthetic and protection purposes. In order to get the highest shelter corner six inches above ground, the lowest (back corner) needed to be raised three Cold Spring Shelter gets a ‘lift’ feet to level the shelter.
The maintenance project was quite different from the normal trail maintenance tasks. The processes of jacking, cribbing, log replacement, chinking, and dry stacking rocks were new to most. As usual the skills needed came from the diversity of professions that make up the NHC maintenance crew.
The NHC maintains 58.5 miles of the AT and 30 plus miles of side trails (blue blaze trails) leading to the AT from trail heads. Their section has ten shelters with privies. All of their work is done in consultation with the USFS Nantahala Ranger District and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Southern Regional Office in Asheville. For more information visit the web site at www.nantahalahikingclub.org or on Facebook.