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Historical Maps

PDF copies of historic maps relevant to the South District of Shenandoah National Park.

USGS University quadrangle map of 1931 — Shows the original path of the Appalachian Trail following Moormans River before climbing to Black Rock Gap, where it essentially followed the route of the present Skyline Drive below and past Big Flat and Loft mountains.

USGS Elkton quadrangle of 1927 – 1937: Skyline Drive is absent and the Appalachian Trail still follows what would become the route of Skyline Drive.

In this 1947 edition of the USGS quadrangle for Elkton, VA, the Skyline Drive is shown as it is currently routed. The Appalachian Trail has been moved up onto Big Flat Mountain and across the saddle up and over Loft Mountain, where it descends steeply to Ivy Creek. This is essentially the present route of the A.T. … except for subsequent re-routing to avoid the present Loft Mountain Campground.

The present Loft Mountain Campground was built on Big Flat Mountain in 1964. Interestingly, this 1965 USGS quadrangle of Browns Cove, VA shows the A.T. remained on its route up Big Flat Mountain past the present Loft Mountain Amphitheater before crossing the Campground access road to the eastern side of the saddle leading toward (the actual) Loft Mountain.

This 1965 edition of the McGaheysville, VA USGS quadrangle shows the Appalachian on its present route from the (then new) Loft Mountain Campground on Big Flat Mountain over (the actual) Loft Mountain and its steep descent to Ivy Creek. This map shows, for the first time, the new Ivy Creek Shelter (as it was then called). The NPS replaced the former Big Flat Shelter with this structure when the Loft Mountain Campground was built on Big Flat Mountain. Even more interesting is the apparent fact that the Big Flat Shelter does not appear on a USGS quadrangle!

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