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Old 02-10-2020, 09:20 PM   #2
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,953
There's no established tent sites (designated or otherwise) anywhere near the lean-to. You might see an old fire pit or two down near the shore of the marsh, but this would be an illegal spot to camp (within 150 feet of the water and not at a designated site). If the lean-to is taken you can probably find a primitive site to make work- the woods are pretty open there and it wouldn't be too terribly hard to find something that complies with the 150 foot rule.

I will say that this is probably the least-used lean-to in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness- and with good reason. The marsh is a horrible water source (the water is grimy and mucky), and it's a solid walk to the next nearest water source (Rock Pond Brook to the south). Also, the lean-to gets horrendously buggy in the summer- it's set far enough back off the marsh that any breezes that do pick up during the day don't typically quite make it to the lean-to.

Honey Pond does have a small, established tent site but it's also an illegal site- too close to the water and not designated. Also, the last time I was there, the tent site was just about in the water thanks to beaver activity.

The Lilypad Pond lean-to is a much nicer place to camp than Tubmill Marsh- but there's also no overflow tent sites here, either, and this lean-to is moderately more popular.

Another possible alternative- Arnold Pond is a steep but short climb from the same trailhead, albeit on the north side of the road (Route 74). There is a designated tent site at the pond (it's the fairly obvious site at the end of the trail). If you arrive at the Short Swing Trailhead and see cars there, and/or see a group signed in for Tubmill Marsh, you might consider this option instead. From what I remember, though, the surface of this site is mostly exposed bedrock so if you don't have a free-standing tent, setting up here could be a challenge.

Personally, though, if I were prioritizing visiting Rock Pond, I'd probably hike in from the Putnam Pond side- the trail is a bit shorter and easier, and you can also make a loop out of it by continuing around Putnam Pond. If you have time you could also add Treadway Mountain to your itinerary which provides fantastic views.

If you go this way, Heart Pond has 1 small but nice designated tent site on the east shore, and Bear Pond has a nice designated tent site on the south shore. There's also 3 designated tent sites on Rock Pond in addition to the 2 lean-tos- 1 just north of the Rock Pond Lean-to, 1 on the north shore, and 1 on the west shore (just north of the outlet). Clear Pond has 1 designated tent site on the west shore, and Grizzle Ocean has 1 designated tent site on the east shore (a bit hard to find but it's set uphill and away from the pond on the opposite side of the trail).

I hope this is helpful. Good luck!

Last edited by DSettahr; 02-11-2020 at 12:17 PM..
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