View Single Post
Old 03-27-2020, 01:50 PM   #16
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,224
Originally Posted by mikerads View Post
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:

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.
Most the lean-tos that appear in my set but don't appear in the DEC's set fall into one of several categories:
  • They are newer lean-tos and the DEC has not yet updated their GIS information (the GIS information is managed out of Albany, I believe, so there's usually a delay in updates to the data).
  • They are on non-DEC lands. Most of the remaining lean-tos are on State Parks lands outside of the Adirondack and Catskill State Parks, which are managed by a different agency- the NY State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). Of the remainder, some are on federal lands along the Appalachian Trail which falls under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, some are on county park lands (such as the shelters along the Eastside and Westside Overland Trails in western NY) and a few are on private property but are available for public use.
  • There are a few that are on DEC lands- and have existed for long enough that one would think they'd have been added to the database well before now. These appear mostly to be oversights- especially the significant number that are on State Forest lands on the western half of the Finger Lakes Trail that are completely missing. Again, the GIS databases are primarily maintained out of an office in (I believe) Albany, so there's unfortunately not always necessarily any direct knowledge of of the areas the databases contain information for by the staff that are tasked with maintaining them.

It's also interesting to note that there's one lean-to in the database you used for comparison that is missing from my information- the mythical "Crab Pond Lean-to" in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness, which apparently just will not die. There is not a lean-to at Crab Pond, and there never has been one there. As near as I can tell, when the GIS databases were first created, what was actually a tent site was mistakenly recorded as a lean-to, and the information stuck. Even National Geographic included the Crab Pond Lean-to in their first edition of their map for the eastern Adirondacks.

I'd thought we'd finally killed the Crab Pond Lean-to but it looks like it's back once more, risen from the dead yet again. Just out of curiosity, where specifically did you source the data from? This particular data set looks to be somewhat recent, judging by the presence of the Cheney Pond Lean-to, which is only about 5 or 6 years old. Although it's missing Wolf Pond which I think is maybe 3 or 4 years old.

Originally Posted by AvalanchePass View Post
Do you guys know which Adirondack Lean-to Challenge is associated with this patch?
Originally Posted by AvalanchePass View Post
OK, found this on the WayBackMachine:

Looks like the site shut down in 2016. Sorry for the thread hi-jack.
That "challenge" was short lived. There was some level of critique directed towards it, mainly that it was not particularly well thought out, and the site and all information pertaining to the challenge disappeared shortly thereafter. I will freely admit that some of that critique came from myself- despite the risk that it may have come across as self-righteous ("do as I say, not as a I do"). I'd question the rationality, however, of any sort of "challenge" that mandates overnight use as a requirement for meeting said challenge, given the potential for added impacts should that challenge ever gain popularity. And as I recall, the "Lean-to Challenge" required no fewer than 3 overnight trips into the High Peaks specifically (one each in the Eastern, Western, and Canoe Route zones). To encourage more overnight use in what is already a very heavily used area was not appropriate in my mind.

In contrast, my "Lean-to Challenge" has always been a fun little personal endeavor. And while I've definitely not held back from sharing information about it publicly, I've also never done so in a way that I feel provides motivation for others to attempt the same, so I'm not particularly worried about the potential for impacts. Sure maybe 1 or 2 other folks out there might feel inspired to follow in my footsteps (and maybe there's even someone out there who's closer to finishing than even I am), but I feel quite confident in that my endeavors are very much not the same thing as aspiring to be the next big patch that everyone and their mother runs (literally, in some cases) to achieve.

(And that's not to say that I have a problem with patch goals generally- that would be pretty hypocritical given how many of them I've worked towards personally. But I do have a problem with ones that aren't well thought out with consideration towards the potential for undue added impacts.)

Originally Posted by Banjoe View Post
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.
Yeah Loch Bonnie definitely fits the description of "decrepit." When I was there (nearly 10 years ago), the lean-to was very nearly in the loch thanks to the beavers. It also looked like you could stargaze through the ceiling.

I haven't been back since, but a friend hiked there last summer- and she said that the trails were horrendously overgrown in that neck of the woods. Forward progress on some stretches was apparently limited to a half-mile an hour at best.
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote