South Shenandoah

The PATC in the SNP South District

  • What's Here?

    You will find great information here about the history and opportunities available in the South District.

  • Safety

    You will find here valuable information about hiker and trail worker safety.

  • Techniques

    Wonder how trails are built and maintained? You will find helpful info about our techniques and tools here.

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Trail Crew
Who Are Those People?

Who Are Those People?

We are the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club who volunteer our efforts to the Park and to hikers in the South District.

Who – and – What Are We?

We are the members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club…

who maintain 45 miles of the Appalachian Trail, along with many miles of blue-blazed side trails and four trail huts in the South District of Shenandoah National Park. Trails in this District offer a much more remote experience than in the North and Central districts of the Park. This is true, despite the presence of Skyline Drive and facilities such as at Loft Mountain and Dundo Picnic Grounds. For example, there is proportionately more federally designated wilderness here than in the SNP North and Central districts.

Work With Us!


  • The PATC
  • The South District
  • Join Us!
  • Footprints

The PATC was established by volunteers in 1927 to create the Appalachian Trail in our Mid-Atlantic region and to help promote the new Shenandoah National Park. From the eight who formed the club, over 6,000 men and women now comprise our membership. At our beginning, the Appalachian Trail did not exist in our area. Today, PATC members have built and maintain 240 miles of the A.T. and 800 miles of side and connecting trails. As our membership grew, so did our interests and programs—Mountaineering, Skiing, GPS Rangers, & the renowned Shenandoah Mountain Rescue Group.

Myron Avery

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PATC members maintain 44.8 miles of the Appalachian Trail as well as 58.6 miles of blue-blazed side and connecting trails in the South District of Shenandoah National Park. Other PATCers volunteer their time to work with the district trail crew, maintain four A.T. huts or shelters and the publicly-available Doyle River Cabin, and monitor the corridor set for the A.T. This extensive cumulative commitment is made individually by each volunteer. We look forward to welcoming you as an active member of PATC!

South District PATCers

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You love to hike; it’s in your blood. Strolling along on well-maintained trails pleases you regardless of the season; you eagerly anticipate opportunities to view native flora and fauna as well as outstanding views. You don’t need to “give back” to the trails for the joys they offer you. Rather, you wonder what you may do to give to those trails so that more may enjoy similar experiences. You can do this—by joining PATC to help maintain a bit of the A.T. or a side trail or by working with the Flying McLeods trail crew.


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Vestiges of our past mountain communities and culture abound. More and more, however, you have to know what to seek and where to seek it. Native Americans hunted and settled here. Europeans carved out farming communities in mountain gaps and hollows. A French engineer led Irish immigrants to dig a railroad tunnel by hand through Afton Mountain. Stonewall Jackson marched his army over Brown Gap. Gilded Age tourists encamped at Black Rock Springs. There’s much to discover here!

Crozet Tunnel

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