Adirondack Lean-Tos

A lean-to is a three-sided log structure that has an overhanging roof. Lean-tos make perfect shelters for camping, and many are found along Adirondack trails.

Lean-To Basics

It is common etiquette for lean-tos to be first-come first-served for parties who come across them in the woods. On average, lean-tos can comfortably sleep 7-8 people, but the size sometimes varies. You must share a lean-to with anyone who may wish to use it, until the full capacity has been reached.

For the most part, lean-tos cannot be reserved in advance, therefore it is important for you to bring a tent along with you in case the lean-to is already occupied.

The DEC has established the following rules regarding lean-to use:

  1. No plastic can be used to close off the front of a shelter.
  2. No nails or other permanent fasteners can be used to affix a tarp on a lean-to, however you may use rope to tie canvas or nylon tarps across the front.
  3. No tent can be pitched inside of a lean-to.

You should always keep the lean-to and surrounding site clean for future visitors, and refrain from carving your name, initials, or other markings into the lean-to.

lean-to

Peter's Rock Lean-To on Lower St. Regis Lake (Photo: Kevin Lenhart)

Where To Find Lean-Tos

There are around 200 lean-tos within the blue line for you to use. Below is a list of specific wilderness areas and the number of lean-tos that can be found there, as compiled by CNYhiking.com, and updated based on new information:

Adirondack adventurer Andy Arthur has also compiled a map of Adirondack lean-tos »

Find information on New York State Park Campgrounds »

See our favorite primitive camping spots »

Sources:
CNYhiking.com - http://cnyhiking.com/AdirondackLeanTos.htm
AndyArthur.org - http://andyarthur.org/google-maps-lean-tos-october-2012.html

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