View Full Version : Crampton Gap Shelter - MD

Former Admin
10-19-2002, 11:47
Info, questions, comments, experiences (good or bad) regarding - Crampton Gap Shelter

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

Future hikers - any questions?

02-28-2003, 18:54
I've seen the shelter-seems to have a nice little set-up with a wooden bridge leading to the privy. It, too, is older, like Rocky Run. There's a pretty nice tenting area above the shelter, but you can hear noise from the town on one side at night.

john coffey
01-19-2004, 19:45
I am the overseer of Crampton Gap Shelter. In the last two years there was a12x12 deck added to the front of the shelter with a built in table and bench and the shelter was painted inside and out. There was a cooking fire ring installed and in Dec. of last year with the help of a scouting group there was a new outhouse installed.

01-21-2004, 00:20
I spent a long lunch there on my section hike and really appreciated the deck that was built there. the place was clean and well kept. I like that style of shelter in the cold weather when I do stay in a shelter. THANX for a great place to stop and all your hard work.

01-21-2004, 05:57
I stayed there in April with Blue Duck and that place is a palace compared to what it was in 2000. The overseer and the trail crew did a fantastic job there, it really is nice. Now if only they could get the cows and dogs downhill at the farm to shut up during the night and kinda of detour the smell that wafts up during the heat of the day, that place sure would be heaven.

Brushy Sage
01-21-2004, 09:20
A lot of the Blair Witch movie was shot just down the hill in Burkittsville, MD. Maybe those are not all "natural" sounds drifting up the mountain at night. BTW, there are walking tours of the movie's filming location. I imagine the staff at Gathland State Park (on the AT, at the War Correspondents memorial) have more information.

03-21-2004, 11:17
Great little shelter ... this is one of the traditional, older log style shelters with some newer additions added to it, like a deck, updated privy, etc.

We stopped here for an extended lunch back in October 2003 and ran into the overseer who was doing some patch work. It was obvious that he took a lot of pride in keeping the shelter in tip-top shape.

Here is a picture of the shelter. (http://www.stinkypigs.com/BackPacking/AppalachianTrail/MarylandSection/AT-MD/pages/DCP_2276.htm)

Here is a picture of the nearby War Correspondent's Memorial (http://www.stinkypigs.com/BackPacking/AppalachianTrail/MarylandSection/AT-MD/pages/DCP_2277.htm)

06-04-2007, 17:28
Stayed at the tenting area (which is on the way down the hill to the shelter) in early May 2007. What hasn't gotten a lot of attention is that the Camping Area is really nice-- designated tentsites with actual plots of soft earth for easy staking.

While the shelter looked pretty nice, it's a good thing I didn't want to stay in the shelter itself-- it had already been taken over by an overnight hiking group (it was only about 5 PM). There's a deck, the shelter is on a slope, and the spring is right next to it. Spring was flowing steadily in mid-Spring (no pun intended).

06-25-2007, 16:44
Spring was only a small trickle a month ago. The privy could use a window. It was pretty dark in there. Porch was very nice. Took a long lunch break there.

07-14-2007, 13:49
Hiked by there today. Spring was dry.

11-03-2007, 11:13
Anyone know if the spring is running a little better this fall after the rain we have had?

02-09-2008, 21:55
I stayed at Crampton Gap on Groundhog Day a week back, and it is a very nice shelter. It was the first shelter that I have spent a night in, so I am not an expert on the subject. However, based on other lean-tos that I have slept in, this was very hospitable. The deck was also nice for spending the evening with some other hikers. The only mark against the shelter was the spring, which was a slow trickle, but due to some ingenuity, we were able to salvage some water from it. Most of the guides mention that the spring is "unreliable" so it was not a surprise.

I have uploaded a few photos from the shelter in my pictures here on WhiteBlaze.

02-09-2008, 22:12
The Spring was dry over Thanksgiving weekend of 2007. I really think they shouldn't say that this shelter has water at all, given its water problems.

02-10-2008, 00:48
Well, the good this about compton gap shelter, is a short walk away Gathland SP has clean water (given amenaties are open). There is a side trail going to the shelter from the parking lot so you dont have to hike back up the mtn to the AT.

02-11-2008, 14:33
Crampton Gap is a good shelter, however, it is a popular destination since it's so close to the park. I've seen some large crowds up there in the past. Also...the Blair Witch is near there....

02-12-2008, 22:36
Well, the good this about compton gap shelter, is a short walk away Gathland SP has clean water (given amenaties are open). There is a side trail going to the shelter from the parking lot so you dont have to hike back up the mtn to the AT.

Compton Gap?..Oh man, sounds like a place you don`t want to be after dark :p....That side trail is nice..Everytime I pass there going south I always just take that side trail down to the park and get back on the AT south from there..Why go all the way back up that hill just to come back down again on the other side when you can walk a level trail and end up the same place?.....I went the official route enough times that I feel fine taking the short cut from now on ;)

03-19-2008, 10:06
My buddy and I were doing a three day trip from PenMar to Harpers. Our second day was 20 miles from Ens. Cowall to Crampton Gap. About ten miles into that day from hell it started to rain, and the temp was dropping quickly. At about 5pm we passed Rocky Run shelter, which was under construction. Five miles to go. We passed a blue blazed trail that went WAY down hill, but the trail was UNMARKED! I ran down half way, but didnt see the shelter. We then made it to the park just as it got dark and realized that that trail was to the shelter. By that point we were so broke and at risk for hypothermia, that we decided not to go back to the shelter, but instead to hitch hike into town and stay at a motel. If it werent for some friendly people that gave us a ride, we would have been screwed. PLEASE REPLACE THAT SIGN!

09-15-2008, 12:10
I did a hammock hang near this shelter this past weekend (9/13-14/2008). The spring was dry. However, you can get water from nearby Gathland State Park. It is .3 miles down a side trail to the right of the shelter. Had a great time at the Hammock Hang. No one was at the shelter that Saturday night.

09-15-2008, 12:32
Boy it was a HOT weekend for that

09-15-2008, 12:41
Thanks for the update, mikec. I'm planning to stay there next weekend on a quick get-a-way trip.

Walkie Talkie
09-15-2008, 13:05
The water from the park doesn't taste the best. Kind of like rusty pipe. Hey Mike I was also at the hang.

10-18-2008, 16:52
John the place looks way better than I remember it. Great work. Looks like you must of enjoyed your visit to Rocky Run Shelter once upon a day and decided to do the same thing. Haven't been up there for quite some time. Keep up the good work.

Karl Goodman

Former overseer of Rocky Run Shelter ( 86-98 )

Downhill Trucker
11-23-2008, 06:43
Me and my friend stayed here on our section hike of 85 miles and it was by far our favorite shelter! Nice cozy setting, clean, old school... No water, strange animal noises all night, and a messed up trail log... you would think we would hate it. NO WAY! This shelter rocks, I just hope everyone else still forgets about it so I can enjoy it again.


doda man
10-10-2010, 20:14
The spring is dry, I was at the shelter today doing some trail work. The water source at the park should still be available. About 1/2 mile round trip.

01-12-2012, 13:37
I stayed here in November 2011. As noted this shelter has a nice tenting area on the blue blaze trail leading to the shelter. The spring was pretty low, and filled with leaves. Even after digging it out and letting it settle it still looked kinda nasty. So I headed back to the state park, which is maybe 1/4 of a mile from the shelter, for water. There is a faucet at the state park, and the water out of it tasted fine. Had a nice evening there. Didn't hear the weird animal sounds, but did hear an owl and had a dog run through camp in the middle of the night chasing deer.

bamboo bob
01-12-2012, 14:55
I have good memories of this place. I herd of boy scouts were camped down the hill from the shelter and fed me until I burst.

12-25-2013, 01:55
According to Reddit user and /r/appalachiantrail subscriber pto892, the Crampton Gap Shelter is now closed due to a fire that burned down the porch and the overhang. Here is the comment that pto892 left on Reddit:

"The Crampton Gap Shelter in the Maryland AT section is closed down for the time being. Somebody burned down the deck and porch over the weekend, and until it's repaired the shelter is closed indefinitely. The tent sites and spring are still open for business though. The Maryland Natural Resources Police are investigating and would like any leads if available. Hopefully it'll be fixed by the spring."

Here's a link to the comment left:

06-03-2014, 14:22
Thats a shame. We hiked to Crampton Gap back in May of 2013 and was a very nice hike. The shelter itself was very nice with its location. The forest was lush and setting out on the porch watching it rain was awsome. Glad to see the campsites are still up though. Nice area.

This is a picture of us at the shelter.



06-03-2014, 17:07
According to the ATC, it's since been repaired (in March):


10-24-2015, 20:50
Stopped by here this afternoon on my way home from Garfield shelter. Big thanks to the awesome job being done by the volunteers and caretakers on this one. The trail is in excellent shape with new water diversion logs and the shelter and surrounding ammenities in great shape! The spring is still dry, but a frostproof water spigot is right next to the rest area at the park close by (closer than the 5 levels of hell at Garfield... ;) ). From the log it looks like I just mised 'Jersey Girl' and the mad hiker....had a great time at Garfield, sorry our paths did not cross again.

04-25-2017, 11:56
In good shape, a ways off the AT. Felt like the blue blaze kept dropping and dropping. Heard cows and machinery, as well as shotguns when I stayed there Saturday 4/22. Shared the shelter with Meandering Snail, the one and only.