While every shelter on the Appalachian Trail has its own unique character, the RPH Shelter in New York State is unlike anything you’ll encounter up and down the trail. This is truly a Hiker Hilton with takeout delivery, lounge furniture, picnic tables, plaster walls, a clean painted floor, working windows, a nice privy, and even a small library. I had the pleasure of camping here alone, although some company would have been welcome too, back in mid-April when I hiked the New York AT.
The shelter has a funny location. It’s located right off the Taconic Parkway, and looks a little suspicious on the New York/New Jersey Map of the AT due to its proximity to a road. But it’s in remarkably nice condition and obviously well looked after by local maintainers. Those same maintainers, including a trail adopter with the trail name “Elvis Trailsey,” do a really fine job on the surrounding section of trail, which is in pristine condition and a nice hike.
The RPH stands for Ralph’s Peak Hikers Cabin and from what I gather, a 4 walled version of the current cabin had been originally built on the site. One wall was subsequently removed, so that it would match the other shelters on the AT, which by regulation have to have at least one open wall. I can’t remember how I learned this, but that’s the story I remember.
When I spent the night there, it was raining, but I remember sitting under the covered porch and munching on peanut butter and honey sandwiches, reading a book I’d found inside. Deer had come out of the forest and were grazing unconcerned in front of me. It was all remarkably civilized and peaceful. I can still see it in my mind.
Most Popular Searches
- RPH shelter
- rph shelter appalachian trail
- rph shelter ny