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  1. #1
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    Red face Any shelters not to be missed?

    Hey y'all. Finally got my 2015 AWOL a couple days ago and have been obsessively marking it up like the over-eager hiker nerd that I am with suggestions from friends who have thru hiked about the best places to stop and everything. My friends were more into hammocking and stealth camping whereas I'm more of a shelter gal myself, though, so I don't have too much info on the coolest shelters to stay at. I hiked the LT this fall and was always bummed to come across a really sweet shelter at 10am when it was a nice day and I knew I still had several miles left in me, so I like to at least keep in mind the places where it might be extra fun to stop. I know most places are pretty basic and similar, but I'd love to hear about any shelters that you remember being particularly cool from your thru, section hike, or just heard about from a rambling homeless looking crazy person you met one time (hiker trash forever). Love anything with good views, swimming spots, super spacious, whatever. I already know not to miss Thomas Knob... Who doesn't love ponies?

    Places that stood out for being particularly awful might also be fun to note, too. Thanks in advance!
    Nadia
    'Furball'

    LT '14
    AT '15

  2. #2

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    Some of my favorites last fall were:
    Upper Goose in Mass (best place to zero - pack in good eats/drinks to enjoy)
    Cooper Brook (ME) - awesome swimming spot. Also Pierce Pond (ME) is a must (be careful swimming, you'll hear the story here). Get the $10 pancakes at Tim Harrison's nearby.
    Little Rock Pond (Vt)

    For views: Chestnut Knob (Va), Vandeventer (TN), Eagles Nest 3 (Shenandoah) stick out.
    The pizza delivery ones- 501 in PA, RPH in NY, Partnership in VA. Also, not a shelter but the Graymor Monastery in NY is free, has electricity, pizza delivery (to gate) and you can walk .4 to sports bar or .2 down to deli for food/beer.
    Cool architecture etc ones I noted were
    Bryant Ridge (va), Ed Garvey (Md), Hexacube (NH)

    Also consider staying at shelters that allow you easy access to great sunrise views- catching a sunrise at McAfee by staying at Campbell Shelter for example.

    You'll find plenty of dumpy shelters in NJ, NY, TN. Mainly the ones built 50+ years ago. And the notorious /haunted ones like Wapiti (VA) and Punchbowl(VA)


    Good luck on your hike! -TK

  3. #3
    Registered User AO2134's Avatar
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    In GA, Blood Mountain Shelter is pretty cool, but I wouldn't stay in there. I'd plan to stay at hostel at mountain crossing. Avoid Whitley Gap Shelter, way, way to far away from trail. Plumorchard Gap Shelter was pretty nice.

    Long Branch Shelter is really really nice. Sassafras Gap Shelter too. Fontana Hilton is a must. I've only made it to Fontana, so I can't help you north.

  4. #4
    illabelle's Avatar
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    Quarry Gap Shelter in Pennsylvania is very nice. The caretaker takes a lot of pride in his work. In the image below, you can see flower baskets hanging from the eaves. Several other nice touches around the shelter to make you feel at home.
    https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=HN.6080...6&pid=15.1&P=0

  5. #5
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    Denton shelter near Linden Va, Garvey shelter in MD, and Quarry Gap are all very nice looking shelters although I didn't stay in any of them. I camped near the Garvey shelter.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  6. #6
    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    Top choices from the shelters I have seen in person:

    Overmountain Shelter (NC)
    Bryant Ridge (VA)
    Jim and Molly Denton (VA)
    Raven Rock (MD)
    Quarry Gap (PA)

  7. #7
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    West Mountain Shelter in NY. No water, long way off trail, but great view including NYC Skyline on a clear night.

  8. #8

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    Stratton Pond shelter in VT is quite the mansion.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    West Mountain Shelter in NY. No water, long way off trail, but great view including NYC Skyline on a clear night.
    Exactly what I came here to say... well, except for the water part. I seem to remember there being a water pump down the (extremely steep) hill in front of the shelter. It wasn't always working though, but last time I was there a couple years ago it was. Hell of a climb back up to the shelter from the pump though, carry heavy water.

    Anyway, one of my all-time favorite shelters on the AT. That view is just amazing. Totally worth the .5 mile side trail to get to the shelter.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

  10. #10

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    1 Fontana Dam shelter ( the Hilton ).
    2 Roan High Knob.
    3 Over Mountain shelter ( the Barn ).
    4 Vandeventer shelter ( one of the best views on the trail ).
    5 Partnership shelter.
    6 Bryant Ridge shelter.
    7 David Lesser Memorial shelter.
    8 Birch run shelter.
    9 Quarry Gap shelters ( looks like something you would see in Switzerland.
    10 501 shelter.
    11 RPH shelter.
    12 Cooper Brook Falls Lean-To

  11. #11

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    I always thought the Sunrise Shelter (pavillion) in NJ always afforded a pretty nice view of Northern NJ.

  12. #12
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    i enjoyed whitley gap shelter, GA. . .long way off but so pretty & great water source too.

    i loved cooper's brook shelter in maine but i got stung by a yellow jacket that had a nest a the base of tiny pine tree near the stream. loved swimming in the stream!

    wadleigh stream shelter in maine, has a huge incredible spring for the water source.
    .com

  13. #13
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    The Priest, not for the shelter, but to read the confessions in the log book. The "Alter" is pretty cool too and the short side trip to climb Spy Rock for the 360 degrees is well worth it.

  14. #14
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    There is one shelter in CT that gives you an amazing view of the sunrise over the valley below, I believe it is Riga shelter, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    There is one shelter in CT that gives you an amazing view of the sunrise over the valley below, I believe it is Riga shelter, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
    I think you're correct about that. And agree that the views from there are great.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

  16. #16
    Registered User SmokyMtn Hiker's Avatar
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    I have not been north of Damascus but my picks would be as follows from north to south.

    1. Blood Mtn. I probably would not stay here when Neels Gap is just at the foot of the mountain but regardless the views from the mountain are great.
    2. Tray Mountain. The short side trail to the shelter has an awesome view.
    3. GSMNP, if you have seen one in the park you have seen them all but Icewater has the best view but depending on the time of the year espect it to be a full house.
    4. Overmountain is not be missed. Regardless of the amount of people it's plenty big enough and the view into the Roaring Creek valley is nice.
    5. Vandeventer which has been mentioned more than once on this thread. The view down into Lake Watauga area is breathtaken but the trek to the water source is well....a bit challenging.
    6. Hogback Ridge. It has been a little over 5 years since my stay there but if I remember correctly the view from the privy was nice, yeah I know that sounds weird but that's one of my memories of my stay there.

  17. #17
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    Not a shelter but the Antlers Campsite in Maine is not to be missed. It is the site of an old sporting camp in a grove of old softwoods with a dandy beach on an undeveloped lake. One of the best spots to camp in the 100 mile wilderness.

    Have to mention Pierce Pond Shelter in Maine, It is quite close to the pond which is undeveloped, its loaded with loons and moose. There is sporting camp on the outlet stream of the pond. You order breakfast the night before and then stop by in the AM and pig out.

    In the whites there are a couple of AMC huts in spectacular locations, Greenleaf and Lake of the Clouds. Unless you get a work for stay, they are quire expensive and packed full most night by guests with reservations, they are in very spectacular spots. Lakes of the Clouds has incredible sunsets while Greenleaf has great sunrises. As spectacular but slightly off the trail is Crag Camp which looks over Kings Ravine on Mt Adams. It is first come first served but far less expensive than an AMC hut (but no meals).

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    There is one shelter in CT that gives you an amazing view of the sunrise over the valley below, I believe it is Riga shelter, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
    This is the one, yeah. It can be crowded at times, but if the weather is clear, it does provide a heck of a view.

  19. #19
    Registered User ATAdam's Avatar
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    PA has a few good ones, I forgot the name of it. But the first one in PA has a church behind it. Hit it up on Sunday and make yourself known, free pasta dinner!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    West Mountain Shelter in NY. No water, long way off trail, but great view including NYC Skyline on a clear night.
    +1, and it dates back to the 1920s.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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