HISTORY OF PATC
The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club is founded on volunteerism and public service to outdoor enthusiasts in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. This tradition goes back to November 1927, when the club was formed to survey and construct hundreds of miles of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,100-mile footpath following the crest of the Appalachian mountain chain. In the early days, making a contribution could be a challenge. Roads were not paved, and in many cases financing could be a challenge. Volunteers could only spend a few hours each weekend building and marking the trail.
Eight men, including Myron Avery, met and formed the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in Washington, D.C. in 1927 to build “a section” of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and support what was then the proposed Shenandoah National Park. Myron Avery was the 1st President and held the post until 1940.
It is said that the dream of an Appalachian trail belongs to Benton MacKaye but the fact that we have the Appalachian Trail is due in large part to Myron Avery. The A.T. was completed as a continuous footpath from Maine to Georgia in 1937.
By the time Shenandoah National Park was created in 1937, PATC was already maintaining a network of trails in the region, and publishing the first maps and guidebooks. PATC also started constructing cabins and shelters for members and the hiking public during this period.
PATC's trail region continues to grow along with more cabins and shelters, maps and guidebooks ... but the tradition on which the club was founded endures ... volunteerism and public service.
To learn more about early activities, check out the PATC History Library or the PATC store.