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 as this historic article shows. Volunteers could only spend a few hours each weekend building and marking the trail.

    Nonetheless, 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.

    Since that time, PATC's trail region has grown along with more cabins and shelters but the tradition on which the club was founded endures. To learn about early activities read the selected articles below. Back issues of The Potomac Appalachian with more history are available for reading in the Archives Room at PATC headquarters in Vienna.

  • Native American History in the Blue Ridge Area

  • The Civil War -- War on the Appalachian Trail

  • Articles about the history of the mid-atlantic region, including colonial era survey expeditions, the creation of Shenandoah National Park, the building of Skyline Drive, and many more!
  • In memory of some special PATC members who have passed away