Earl's niece, Nancy Shaffer Nafziger, accepted the award on behalf of Earl at the induction banquet held at Boiling Springs, PA on June 17, 2011. Other inductees that night include Myron Avery, Gene Espy, Ed Garvey, Benton MacKaye and Arthur Perkins. Of the six, only Gene Espy of Macon, GA, the second person to thru-hike the A.T., is still living and was present to accept the award in person. The A.T. Hall of fame is housed at the A.T. Museum at Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Pennsylvania.
The description of Earl in the Hall of Fame article is as follows:
While Benton MacKaye developed the Trail in concept and Myron Avery built the Trail, it was Earl Shaffer who pioneered the concept of thru-hiking. His notion of a 2,000-mile continuous wilderness expedition by foot was unheard of at the time, yet it went lengths to popularize the A.T. and propagate how the Trail is thought of today. Thousands of adventurers have since followed in Earl's footsteps, taking journeys that have in many cases changed lives and redirected priorities.