Outdoors Latest

Proposal for Overmountain Shelter replacement

Originally a barn, the Overmountain Shelter has been in use since 1986 but was decommissioned in 2019 due to structural instability. USFS photo Originally a barn, the Overmountain Shelter has been in use since 1986 but was decommissioned in 2019 due to structural instability. USFS photo

A proposal for the future of the Overmountain Shelter on the Appalachian Trail, closed since 2019, will be discussed during a virtual presentation and public scoping meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Located in the Roan Mountain area in Avery County, the Overmountain Shelter was originally a barn on a private farm that was acquired by the U.S. Forest Service in 1979 and became part of the Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest. The Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club converted the barn into a trail shelter in 1986. Despite efforts to maintain it, the barn has become structurally unsound and cannot be safely occupied. Slope movement has caused a significant downhill lean in the structure and a support beam snapped under the large upper loft.

A proposal is now being considered to decommission the shelter and pit privy. In place of the shelter, a 12x12-foot covered picnic table area is being proposed as a place to sit, enjoy the view and provide a dry cooking area for campers. The fields around the shelter would remain open for tent camping. The Stan Murray Shelter just 2 miles to the south provides a covered overnight alternative for campers. 

A 20-day period for written comments opened Monday, Jan. 23. To learn more about the project, submit a comment or join the Jan. 25 meeting, visit fs.usda.gov/project/?project=63432.

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2 comments

  • please save the barn, it has offered us historic memories and is our favorite shelter on the entire at.

    posted by Mark and Mike Popadak

    Thursday, 01/26/2023

  • please save the barn, it has offered us historic memories and is our favorite shelter on the entire at.

    posted by Mark and Mike Popadak

    Thursday, 01/26/2023

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