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Deerland Lean-to

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  • Deerland Lean-to

    Hi All,

    I was curious about the accessibility of the deerland lean-tos. Some friends and I will be traveling up late Thursday night and need an easy spot to stop off and camp while on the way to Lake Lila. My main concern is being able to find the lean-tos in the dark. We probably won't arriving till around 9pm.

    Other suggestions along Rt. 30/28N would be welcome as well. I was debating stopping at South Pond, but again, I am wary that we could find the campsites via unofficial trails in the dark.

    Or friends plan to rent canoes from a shop in Long Lake, so we need to stay overnight close to there.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    The two lean-tos at Deerland are pretty easy to find. You'll find then down the hill near the river but before you actually reach the water. One is immediately to the left of the trail and easy to see. The other is off to the right and a bit more in the woods but with a good light, you should be able to find it easily enough.

    Another option is to drive further up that same road. About a mile above Buttermilk Falls you'll see a right turn that goes off to Forked Lake campground; make the right. Not far down that road you will see a trail with a gate across it. Just down that trail there is a lean-to on the Raquette River. If you see a car at the gate my guess is it will already be occupied but if there's no vehicle, it could be open; although a canoe group might be down there so check it out first.

    That's all for now. Enjoy your trip and until next well.



    • #3
      Snapper is correct. The Deerland leantos are very easy to find from the road. look for an obvious gravel pull-off for parking on the right at a point where the road gently curves left (UTM: 18T 542170E 4863680N, WGS84), and a white sign that says "canoe carry" pointing to a very rutted cobble stone strewn trail leading down toward the water. It is essentially at the base of Buttermilk Falls, where the moving water becomes flat again in a somewhat difficult canoe launch point among several large boulders.
      [I]"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[/I]


      • #4
        Both the Deerland Lean-tos tend to be very popular. Any given weekend sees a steady stream of hopeful campers parking and walking down, hoping to find one of the lean-tos available. On a Thursday night your chances of finding an open lean-to are better than on a Friday afternoon, but still not great. I'd definitely have a backup plan in mind.

        There is another lean-to a bit further upriver that is also accessible via a short walk in from the road, at Pine Brook (it's shown on the USGS topo maps). This shelter is also quite popular but it's at worth at least checking if the Deerland Lean-tos are full.

        Worst case scenario, you could always check Forked Lake and/or Lake Eaton to see if there are any open sites (the state campgrounds usually put up a list of what sites are open for the night at the front booth after the staff leaves for the evening).


        • #5
          Thanks for the advice all, this is very helpful! I'm going to hope that one of the Deerland lean-tos are open, but the suggestion of back up plan is sound. That's good to know about the DEC campgrounds. Is there a dropbox to pay for using the site if we do end up going that way? I doubt we will stick around long enough in the morning to see staff.

          Packing up food and gear tonight. Can't wait to hit the road!


          • #6
            Originally posted by HemlockHiker View Post
            That's good to know about the DEC campgrounds. Is there a dropbox to pay for using the site if we do end up going that way? I doubt we will stick around long enough in the morning to see staff.
            I've never seen anything like this. If your conscience gets the better of you, you could probably always call the booth after the fact, explain the situation, and pay via credit card over the phone (probably a good idea in any case since the fees for the campgrounds don't usually cover the full costs of operating them).