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I put together the most complete map of NY lean-to and backcountry shelter locations

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  • I put together the most complete map of NY lean-to and backcountry shelter locations

    I got tired of trying to use an excel spreadsheet to keep track of which lean-tos I have/have not stayed in yet towards the lean-to challenge, because with ~400 lean-tos it was a PITA to remember where each and every shelter is located exactly- useful information for planning future trips! So I decided to just map all of them out. The end product of my endeavors over the past few weeks is the most complete map of lean-to and backcountry shelter locations in NY that has ever been compiled.

    Here's the link to the map: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1XR...aI&usp=sharing

    The map key is as follows:

    Red dots are lean-tos/shelters that are part of the lean-to challenge. To be eligible, a shelter needs to be available for free use at least part of the year. Note that some of these shelters do still require a permit to use (but the permit is free). Some of these shelters are fee use also during at least part of the year.

    Blue dots are lean-tos/shelters that are not part of the lean-to challenge. I.e., they are fee use only, or day use only.

    Important disclaimer: Use of this map is at the sole discretion and risk of the user. No certification is made regarding the accuracy of this map. Most lean-to locations shown are approximate. Some of the shelters shown require property owner permission/permits to use. Some of the shelters shown are planned future shelters that have not yet been constructed. Remember that DEC regulations do not permit pitching tents inside of or adjacent to shelters on DEC lands. Other regulations may apply to non-DEC lands. All information contained within this map should be verified independently before use.

    While I have no doubt that this is the most extensive map of backcountry lean-tos and shelters in NY that anyone has ever compiled to date, I also have no doubt that it is anything but 100% accurate. So feel free to point out any inaccuracies/mistakes that you spot!

    At some point in the future I may work on expanding this map to other states, but for now it is just limited to NY.

    -------------------------------------------------

    Already I've found the map to be super handy for my own planning purposes. I've even put together a version for personal use that just shows only those lean-tos/shelters that are part of the lean-to challenge, color coded by whether I've stayed in that particular shelter already or not.

    BTW, my current count towards the lean-to challenge is 225 lean-tos camped in out of 398 total! 56% complete!
    Last edited by DSettahr; 03-27-2020, 12:09 PM.

  • #2
    So you and I don't always agree on stuff, and that's fine. But two observations:

    >You are as OCD as hell;

    >This is actually a giant contribution and a great service to the hiking community, and the hiking community should thank you for this great work.

    Thanks!

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    • #3
      Very cool! I hit #80 for myself this summer since you first posted the challenge.
      "There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go." -from "The Call of the Wild" by Robert Service

      My trail journal: DuctTape's Journal

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      • #4
        Two weeks ago Lean2Rescue added a brand new leanto to campsite #27 on Indian Lake. There are three more such leanto kits to be erected on the lake. Site #51 is next at some future date.
        Last edited by Wldrns; 10-06-2019, 10:41 PM.
        "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Wldrns View Post
          Two weeks ago Lean2Rescue added a brand new leanto to campsite #27 on Indian Lake. There are there more such leanto kits to be erected on the lake. Site #51 is next at some future date.
          Both are already included on the map.

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          • #6
            I recently read an article about the North Notch and South Notch ski trail through the Sentinel range that was used during the 1932 olympics. It briefly mentioned in the past tense that there used to be lean-tos, but didnt say what happened to them. Was wondering if anyone knows if the remnants are still around like the old Loch Bonnie lean-to?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MaximusFunk24 View Post
              I recently read an article about the North Notch and South Notch ski trail through the Sentinel range that was used during the 1932 olympics. It briefly mentioned in the past tense that there used to be lean-tos, but didnt say what happened to them. Was wondering if anyone knows if the remnants are still around like the old Loch Bonnie lean-to?
              There were two lean-tos on the South Notch Trail. Both are shown on the old Plinth, Quoin & Cornice Associates maps of the High Peaks you can still find available for sale at some stores in the Adirondacks (despite being horrendously out of date at this point). One of the lean-tos still exists and is in pretty decent shape, but is on private property, not far from River Road on the outskirts of Lake Placid. I'm not entirely certain that there's any public access to it at present, hence why I did not include it on this map.

              The other was located near South Notch itself (a short distance to the west and slightly downhill). I hiked the old South Notch ski trail back in 2012, and could not find any trace of it. The trail itself was pretty brushy and hard to follow in spots.

              I've thought about possibly adding a third category- lean-tos that no longer exist (or, as in the case of the Loch Bonnie Lean-to, are in such horrendous shape that no one would have any desire to camp there). It'd require extensive research, though- especially concerning the numerous lean-tos that used to exist at Marcy Dam and Lake Colden.

              The lean-to on the northeast shore of Osgood Pond is in similar condition, albeit in better shape than Loch Bonnie (hence it's inclusion on this map). I suspect that this is a "renegade lean-to," and was not constructed with DEC knowledge or authorization.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the info, though I will probably abandon the idea of searching on private property. I have looked for that lean-to on Osgood while paddling up the river, but must have missed it. Now that I have corroboration that it still exists I will go back and look harder sometime.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MaximusFunk24 View Post
                  Thanks for the info, though I will probably abandon the idea of searching on private property. I have looked for that lean-to on Osgood while paddling up the river, but must have missed it. Now that I have corroboration that it still exists I will go back and look harder sometime.
                  I took a few photos of it while snowshoeing on Osgood this past winter: https://photos.app.goo.gl/vdhvqyTad2gXz4SPA

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                  • #10
                    Wow, that's ridiculous, and so incredibly helpful. I've already started adding the PA shelters on there (Old Logger's Path & Susquehannock Trail so far). Thanks for sharing!

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                    • #11
                      Well done. For the heck of it, I took your data and compared it to the NYSDEC dataset called "Points of Interest on Department of Environmental Conservation Lands"

                      I overlaid the two. You definitely have more Lean-to's plotted.

                      Here is the result: https://arcg.is/1XybHL

                      The green dots are your lean-to sites and the larger purple ones are from the NYSDEC dataset.

                      The NYSDEC dataset is still valuable because it has more than just lean-to's. I use it frequently for parking and primitive campsites. But I will be using your data for lean-to's going forward.

                      Thanks for taking the time to create it and share with the commuity.

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                      • #12
                        Do you guys know which Adirondack Lean-to Challenge is associated with this patch?

                        https://i.pinimg.com/originals/1d/07...4c6ebe150e.png

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                        • #13
                          OK, found this on the WayBackMachine:
                          https://web.archive.org/web/20160820...org/challenge/

                          Looks like the site shut down in 2016. Sorry for the thread hi-jack.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for sharing, can’t wait for the Lean-To book

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the map, and the discussion. Once had the displeasure of staying at Camp Solitude on Lake Placid and decided hiking in the rain in mid-30's temps was better than being in the leaking, unheated house. I ended up at an equally decrepit lean-to but I was never able to pinpoint where I'd been and wondered why the lean-to didn't show up on any maps: Loch Bonnie.
                              One of the people I was with came across a real estate add listing Camp Solitude being for sale, I hope someone bought it and made improvements.

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