View Full Version : Pine Knob Shelter - MD

Former Admin
10-19-2002, 11:45
Info, questions, comments, experiences (good or bad) regarding - Pine Knob Shelter

Past/Present hikers - what can future hikers expect here? Have any good stories or memories from here?

Future hikers - any questions?

03-15-2003, 18:09
This, too, appears to be one of the older shelters. Has a tenting area near it, spring and privy. I have not stayed at this shelter, just checked it out briefly a while back. Not far from I-70, which is pertinent for those who don't want to stay in a shelter near a road, nor far off Route 40. Just as an aside-the snipers that were running around shooting people last fall were caught at a rest area off I-70 not far from here).

Papa Bear
06-01-2003, 12:57
Here's (http://gallery.backcountry.net/papabear_2003_HF_Duncannon/abd) a shot of Pine Knob Shelter.


01-14-2004, 10:18
For the first time in over a year, I went hiking last Saturday. So good to get out again!! It was just a short one..rt. 40 to Annapolis Rocks and back again..but I checked out Pine Knob while out there. I hadn't been there in AGES. It's really been spruced up...repainted..looks a lot "cleaner". Nice work!! There was a guy and his big dog staying overnight there..he had a fire going..he had hiked in from 40.

01-14-2004, 10:59
Sectioned that area in November. Had lunch at Pine Knob Shelter after staying at Cowell Shelter the night before (Late November 03). It was a well maintained Shelter, freshly painted, and had a small broom. Someone however had left a zip lock bag with there trash in it, inside the shelter. Of course, an animal/rodent go into it and ripe everything to shreads. I cleaned it up and took it with me and headed to Dahlgren Campground. (Which I might add, does not have warm shower or bathrooms in the winter (not mentioned in Thru-Hikers Handbook). I should have known better, but the 2 days before of cold rain/ice blurred my thought process. :datz Couldn't imagine what the Class of O3 NB went through. Anyway, Hit Harpers Ferry the next day.(16 or 17 miles)

john coffey
01-19-2004, 19:35
I am a member of the PATC shelter crew and Pine Knob was repainted and had the sleeping deck replaced about a year ago.

01-21-2004, 00:27
I spent a night there with 2 sobo's in Sept. during my section hike. A trail angel stopped by and dropped off some canned goods. Funny thing was the birds were noisy as heck that night or was that the pounding I got from the 80proof liquid one of them was passing around.

01-21-2004, 05:48
I stayed there last May and there was a bunch of weekenders that took over the place and had a beer blast there. They actually hauled up 3 ice chests full of beer and food from the parking lot. They also brought a chain saw and cut up everthing around the shelter to make a giant fire. These guys were organized. One of them told me they have come up every year from New Jersey since 1994 to do this, since they're married and can't go on the AT anymore. Crazy Horse was there with them. They gave him a bunch of food the next day, so he made out. The caretaker came by in the morning before I left and he was glad they cut up the fallen trees around the shelter. And there's a lot of tenting spaces there, so it wasn't too bad for me. It's not a bad shelter considering that it's really close to the road. Better than the ones along the Blue Ridge.

01-26-2005, 11:59
The roof leaked on my down sleeping bag my first night out with Icebound. It was the back right corner area. Just a slow drip on my feet that didn't register with my sleepy head until I was quite wet.

01-26-2005, 12:07
Gorgeous setting but kinda close to the highway. Hit it in the mid afternoon on a sunny day. The Mayapples were in bloom and surrounded the shelter area. Sat and took a nice long break and savored the scenery.
AT 2003

01-26-2005, 12:16
Nice spot. Stayed there in 2003 and ate lunch there in 2001. The only bad thing is the sound of the Interstate that's close by. But since it rained all night, it was really muted out. The shelter leak has been there for a number of years. Good camping, good spring.

01-27-2005, 01:38
My papa, Brushy Sage, used to live in Frederick, MD and hiked the portion from 40 up to Annapolis Rocks quite often, even helped construct the new camp area there. I was along with him on one such hike and we stopped by Pine Knob shelter and found a few folks who were stoned and getting more stonder. They were also trying to finish a bottle of something to celebrate getting back on the trail after a break. The shelter is fairly close to the road, maybe .5 mile, so it has a party reputation. Dad can share more.

Brushy Sage
01-27-2005, 12:05
I used to see folks who would bring a sizeable tent, lawn chairs, coolers, charcoal grills, and have a regular outing in the area between the shelter and the privy. This was mostly on weekends. Because of the traffic noise from I-70, thru hikers tend to use the shelter as a nice stopping place for lunch or a nap, and go on farther to spend the night.

06-29-2005, 07:22
more info : http://www.rockclimbing.com/topic/91883

sounds like a bad attack and the shelter is closed at the moment while a hunt continues for the raccoon

07-21-2005, 17:27
Lots of noise from the interstate and an almost non-existant water source.

Otherwise a good shelter.

Lucy Lulu
07-24-2005, 17:35
There was a "crazy racoon" attack at this shelter. Sleeveless had it leap on her back while typing on her pocketmail at the picnic table in the evening. It chewed up her back, leg, and arm. She was back on the trail within a day or two, and is doing great as she currently heads on up the trail. I hope at 60, that I have her determination and resilience. Go Sleeveless!!!

Green Bean
08-20-2005, 21:26
We were hiking the MAryland Section of the AT when we stayed at the Pine Knob Shelter. there was a group of kids camping 100 yards down from us at a nice camping spot. They ended up being very friendly poeple and we hung out with them around the fire and they showed us a rock face almost straight up from the privy (the AT doesnt cross by it) Then we went down this trail that was unmarked(this was at night when we were doing all this) and we walked and walked and nobody knowing what was coming ecxept john just had a feeling there was somthing coming up and we shine our flashlights up and there is this shelter with two bunk beds and dating back to 1974 and had to be built long before that. So we keep on walking and come to what looks to be a foundation of a house and a brick fire place in front. We then came to another shelter then head back to get some sleep. THe next day we went up and found another shelter. I just thought it would be interesting to find out more about the area and why there are three abandoned shelters and an old foundation of a house so if any one knows anyhting about what i am talking about could ya please email info to [email protected] Thanks!!
~Green Bean~

08-21-2005, 21:27
This used to be my favorite shelter to stay at way back in the 70`s..Sometimes I would literally stay there for 2 weeks at a time..I know people will say you aren`t suppose to "live" in the shelters but back then there was far less foot traffic on the trail and in the off seasons (When school was in session) you might see but 3-4 people all week long..The spring was very active back then.

07-02-2006, 13:03
I tented here my 1st night coming out of HF. Didn't go all the way to the shelter, I found a nice spot to lay down my bivy coming down the trail to the shelter. If I had it to do over again I would have gone to the annopolis rocks campground because there was still a lot of day light left and it's too close to the road.

06-25-2007, 16:55
Nice shelter. Very bold and active mouse population. The tent pads are not level. They look level so be careful when you set up or you might end up with your head downhill which makes for poor sleeping. The water source flow was not that strong.

06-25-2007, 18:35
this shelter sounds okay. it looks nice. im going to stay at it next time im near.

11-25-2007, 16:50
I was up the Pine Knob Shelter today and the spring was basically just a trickle

12-08-2008, 00:32
Slept there in the cold rain, late November 2008. No mice, but the roof leaks slightly in a few spots on the right side.
Spring was slow but adequate if you are patient.
Thought that we heard people in back of the shelter and saw lights flashing at about 6 pm, well after dark, but nobody came in.
Saw a cammo bowhunter walk past the front just about at sunrise, but he didn't stop.
The noise from the rain and I-70 vehicles made a strange sound all night.
Overall a memorable stop. Glad the shelter was there for us!

Mrs Baggins
12-08-2008, 06:13
Hiked there from South Mt Inn one day (2006) on a Saturday and stopped there to eat lunch before turning around to go back. There was a guy there with full pack gear spread out. We sat at the picnic table to eat and heard what we thought was a radio. Turned out the guy had a portable TV! Tiny, one of those 6" screen things, but it had antenna on it and he was glued to it. He didn't talk to us at all, just sat staring at the TV and laughing.

doda man
04-15-2009, 10:50
As of 4/13 there has been a homeless guy staying in this shelter. This shelter is less than a mile from alt. 40. I think he parks there.

04-16-2009, 06:51
On the weekends its overrun by folks going to Annapolis rock, a few miles before A-rock there is a camp site with a spring allot quieter than the shelter

04-16-2009, 08:39
If possible, I would hike on past here and plan to hike on to Ensign Cowell. Can be done if you plan on it a few days ahead.

The Phoenix
06-25-2009, 17:34
This shelter has had bear reports... and this is the shelter where a raccoon chomped on my skull. There is plenty of trash and food scraps everywhere... I am personally not too fond of it.

But the spring was pretty decent (due to all the rain)

very close to the road (.6 miles I think)

just my 2 cents...


06-25-2009, 19:56
I hike maryland all the time spring good there and had lunch there once never stay though hot shower down the trail about 8 miles at the Dahlgren Backpack Campground why stay anywhere else

06-25-2009, 20:45
Apparently there's a raccoon biting folks be careful there

06-25-2009, 22:02
This was where Sleeveless was attacked and bitten by a Rabid Raccoon, in 05 I believe was the year.

06-26-2009, 06:56
This was where Sleeveless was attacked and bitten by a Rabid Raccoon, in 05 I believe was the year.

No this was this year The Phoenix was bit in the head while sleeping

you can read the forum here http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=859654#post859654

middle to middle
06-26-2009, 13:28
I have stopped there and like it.

Downhill Trucker
06-27-2009, 04:36
Bear reports at Pine Knob? Its so damn close to the road! Interesting...

Downhill Trucker
07-07-2009, 05:00
I'm still curious if there are bear reports at this shelter. I've been there many times and have had no evidence of anything except sloppy leave no trace ethics. Are there any current reports? I often camp nearby.

07-07-2009, 06:46
It's best to by pass and go on to the Annapolis Rock or POCO campgrounds to many locals, to noisey from I 70 I live in Maryland and out of all the shelters that's proably the my least favorite, last year a couple homeless guys were living there.

07-07-2009, 07:24
No way about the racoon. i slept there friday night. Glad he didnt come back for a visit.

07-07-2009, 09:51
No evidence of a racoon on 6/14 when I was there for the night.

Downhill Trucker
07-08-2009, 03:11
And I'm guessing there are no bear problems there as well. I've hiked the MD sections of the AT for many years now and have never seen signs of bear. I have seen them in the Catoctin Range and further west... but never on South Mountain (which is the ridge the AT runs).

07-09-2009, 23:14
I stayed there in 2005 and if I ever hike the AT again (I hope) I will run past there. I got there with Socks after 22 miles that day. I said I had a bad feeling about the place. Socks jumped up inside and said there is nothing there that could bite us. I was attacked by a raccoon that evening. I still have the scars. I hiked on the next day after starting the rabies shots. Had to stop 4 more times to get a shot. Oh well, now I have stories to tell but a major inconvience for the next month of hiking.

Sleeveless AT '05
www.trailjournals.com/sleeveless (http://www.trailjournals.com/sleeveless)

07-10-2009, 17:08
Glad it was pouring down rain when we tented there July 2nd. I guess it kept the critters away! It also kept the boy scouts in their tents so everyone else could get a good nights sleep. Some one came in about 5 am and left Dunkin Donuts Coffee and doughnuts with a note saying " I thought thru-hikers got up earlier than this!" Overall it was a nice camping area even tho the road was kind of noisy but again this was cancelled out by the rain hitting the tent. Plenty of water at the spring and the privy was in decent condition

07-22-2009, 21:13
This is the shelter where I lost my iPhone. Also, I met a girl the other day that said her friend was bitten by the raccoon there last year. So with Phoenix and Sleeveless, that makes at least three raccoon bite victims. So I think this shelter is cursed.

The Phoenix
11-03-2009, 12:56
I got my redemption at this shelter... bit disappointed that there were no raccoons I was planning on popping on of the son of bitches' heads off.

10-13-2010, 20:15
Tented near the shelter on 10/08. Spring running slowly. Old shelter. Lots of stink bugs. Busy place as easily reached by day hikers and weekend over-nighters. Loud traffic noise from I-70.

10-13-2010, 20:32
I was glad it was there in June of this year when I sectioned. I had left PenMar around lunch and was getting tired when I stopped. No one there, no critters seen or heard. The spring was flowing ok then. The highway noise was noticeable. Overall it was a nice stop.

02-08-2011, 11:40
if you can, avoid using this shelter for overnighting. it's close to the interstate and sees a steady stream of day hikers heading to or from Annapolis Rocks. plus the raccoon curse.

i would sleep in the rain sans tent at Pogo before i would stay at Pine Knob - it's just not a good spot in the modern era.

04-24-2011, 21:19
Stayed there April 13 on my Duncannon-to-Harpers Ferry section hike, sharing the shelter with another section hiker. Thankfully, no raccoons. Water flowing well. Slept well despite the noise from nearby I-70. For an old shelter, it appeared in decent shape.

04-24-2011, 21:54
Ate lunch there last Sunday with friends and found the constant hum of I-70 a bit annoying , but no more so than the loud motorcycles that can be heard at times while hiking through Shenandoah Nat'l Park during the summer months.

01-12-2012, 13:29
Stayed there in November of 2011. As others have noted it is close to the intestate, and gets heavy hiker traffic. As a matter of fact, it was full when I was there. There were people staying in the shelter, and many tents set up on the sites near it. There are a couple of nice large tent sites. Didn't notice any bear activity or the problem raccoons from several years ago. I had a nice evening there.

03-29-2013, 15:32
Stayed there 3 days/2 nights during Christmas vacation 1965. It was very cold. The interior had not been painted white.....way back then.

03-29-2013, 21:59
Stayed there March 22 2013 and had a quiet evening, along with a bunch of other people. No raccoons, no problems, other than geese flying down the I-70 corridor around 3am. Water flowing, not strong, but OK. Beautiful sunset.

11-07-2013, 21:25
Stayed at Pine Knob on 10/20/13. Friday night and we had the shelter to ourselves -- not even a mouse in sight. In fact, the only critter we saw was a little chipmunk.

Piped spring was running slow, but steady, with a bit of sediment. There's no place that the water pools, so if you're filtering, you'll need something to catch the water in, first.

Privy was pretty clean, deodorized, and appeared to be recently painted.