Out with the old ... and in with the new: The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Nantahala Hiking Club, and a local company - Goshen Timber Frames - teamed up for the construction of Long Branch Shelter near Glassmine Gap. The new structure is located north of Standing Indian on the Appalachian Trail and about 17 miles from Franklin, N.C.
The new two-story Long Branch Shelter replaces the old Big Springs Gap Shelter (shown below), which was built just north of Albert Mountain.
The Big Springs Gap Shelter is reportedly in a state of disrepair and is scheduled to be dismantled. It is a short walk from a parking area, so the new site for the Long Branch Shelter will offer backpackers more solitude and safety.
The new shelter can also be accessed via Standing Indian Campground where the Long Branch Trail follows Long Branch Creek up 800 feet up to the A.T. at Glassmine Gap. The trail is roughly 2.0 miles long and starts just across the road from the parking area.