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Hiking in Adirondack Park

North Country Trail in the Adirondacks The 46 ADK High Peaks
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Lean To's


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A lean to is a three sided shelter with an overhanging roof and one open side.  Many are located along the trails inside of Adirondack Park, giving visitors opportunities for backcountry camping.  They are available on a first come basis up to the capacity of the lean to, usually about 7-8 people.  Thus a small party can not claim exclusive use of a shelter and should allow late arrivals equal use.

Normally you won't see anyone camping at a lean to, except in the high traffic areas as the High Peaks region.  Usually your odds are pretty good that you'll have that lean to for yourself, even during holiday weekends. Most of the shelters have a fireplace in front (some with a primitive grills), some have privy's close by, some have benches as well as a picnic table and many are located close to water.  It is in poor taste to write or carve your initials into a lean to.  Please keep the lean to clean for the next visitor.

Since reservations are not accepted or possible for a lean to (except campgrounds like Tioga Point), it is important that you carry alternative shelter as a tent.  The DEC has also imposed the following rules when dealing with a lean to.

  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

Remember if your camping in an area with no lean to, unless there is a "camp here" disc there is no camping allowed 150 feet from water, road or a trail.  It is usually pretty easy to find a good tenting spot in the backcountry when no lean to is available.

Below is a list of the over 200 lean to shelters available for backcountry camping in Adirondack Park. The list is sorted by each forest preserve inside of the park.  Please e-mail us if we're missing a lean to or if a lean to we have listed has been removed. We offer all this hiking information for free on this website, however this site would disappear without donations and you'll be stuck buying those overpriced, heavy guide books.  Please donate $1, $3, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford. Thank You!

Bear Lake Lean To in Black River Wild Forest

Black River Wild Forest (9)

Remsen Falls
Nelson Lake
Woodhull Lake
Sand Lake Falls
Gull Lake
North Lake
Chub Pond #1
Chub Pond #2
Bear Lake

Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness (2)

Middle Branch Lake
Middle Settlement Lake

Independence River Wild Forest (2)

Panther Pond
Pine Lake

Pigeon Lake Wilderness (6)

Queer Lake
Russian Lake
Andy's Creek
Upper Gull Lake
Sister Lake
Upper Sister Lake

Moose River Plains Wild Forest (4)

Seventh Lake #1
Seventh Lake #2
Eighth Lake

West Canada Lakes Wilderness (16)

Brooktrout Lake
West Lake #1
West Lake #2
West Canada Creek
South Lake
T Lake
Spruce Lake #1
Spruce Lake #2
Spruce Lake #3
Sampson Lake
Pillsbury Lake
Cedar Lake #1
Cedar Lake #2
Cedar Lake #3
Colvin Brook

Shaker Mountain Wild Forest (2)

Chase Lake
Holmes Lake

Silver Lake Wilderness (3)

Silver Lake
Mud Lake
Hamilton Lake Stream

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest (4)

Wilcox Lake #1
Wilcox Lake #2
Murphy Lake
Lizard Pond

Siamese Ponds Wilderness (5)

Siamese Ponds
Puffer Pond #1
Puffer Pond #2
John PondHour Pond
Sacandaga River

Gore Mountain Ski Area (1)

Burnt Ridge

Lake George Wild Forest (8)

Fishbrook Pond #1
Fishbrook Pond #2
Greenland Pond
Millman Pond
Lapland Pond
Black Mountain Pond
Fifth Peak
Five Mile Mountain

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness (14)

Berrymill Pond
Grizzle Ocean
Pharaoh Lake #1
Pharaoh Lake #2
Pharaoh Lake #3
Pharaoh Lake #4
Pharaoh Lake #5
Pharaoh Lake #6
Clear Pond
Rock Pond
Little Rock Pond
Tubmill Marsh
Lilypad Pond
Oxshoe Pond

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest (2)

Stony Pond
Cheney Pond

Hammond Pond Wild Forest (1)

Moose Mountain Pond

Dix Mountain Wilderness (3)

Slide Brook
Lillian Brook
Boquet River

Giant Mountain Wilderness (1)

Giant Mountain

Hurricane Mountain Primitive Area (2)

Gulf Brook
Biesemeyer Memorial

Sentinel Range Wilderness (1)

Copperas Pond

McKenzie Mountain Wilderness (3)

Whiteface Brook
Loch Bonnie

Wilmington Wild Forest (1)

Cooper Kiln Pond

Taylor Pond Wild Forest (3)

Taylor Pond #1
Taylor Pond #2
Taylor Pond #3
Taylor Pond #4
The Cliffs

DeBar Mountain Wild Forest (4)

Grass Pond
Sheep Meadows #1
Sheep Meadows #2
Debar Mountain

Cranberry Lake Wild Forest (2)

Burntbridge Pond
Bear Mountain

Five Ponds Wilderness (13)

Sand Lake
Cage Lake
Wolf Pond
Little Shallow
Big Shallow
High Falls #1
High Falls #2
Cage Lake Springhole
Griffin Rapids
Cowhorn Pond
Olmstead Pond
Janacks Landing
Trout Pond

Aldrich Pond Wild Forest (1)

Streeter Lake

Watsons East Triangle Wild Forest (1)

Bryant Pond

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest (9)

Trombley Clearing #1
Trombley Clearing #2
Hungry Bay
Weller Pond
Norway Point
Saginaw Bay
Follensby Clear Pond
Saranac River

Saint Regis Canoe Area (3)

Fish Pond #1
Fish Pond #2
Saint Regis Pond

High Peaks Wilderness (73)

Rocky Falls
Ward Brook
Number 4 #1
Number 4 #2
Moose Pond
Duck Hole #1
Duck Hole #2
Cold River #1
Cold River #2
Cold River #3
Cold River #4
Scott Clearing
Mister Van
Deer Brook
William G Howard
Wolf Jaws
Ore Bed Brook
Bushnell Falls #1
Bushnell Falls #2
Marcy Dam #1
Marcy Dam #2
Marcy Dam #3
Marcy Dam #4
Marcy Dam #5
Marcy Brook
Avalanche Camp
Slant Rock
Panther Gorge
Northern #1
Northern #2
Livingston Point
Calamity #1 (recently removed)
Calamity #2
Beaver Point #1
Beaver Point #2
Henderson Lake
Moose Pond Stream #1
Moose Pond Stream #2
Ward Pond Brook
Newcomb Lake aka Fish Rock
Calkins Creek
Island House
Plumleys Landing #1
Plumleys Landing #2
Rodney Point #1
Rodney Point #2
Kelly Point #1
Kelly Point #2
Hidden Cove
Catlin Bay #1
Catlin Bay #2
Calkins Brook #1
Calkins Brook #2
Hemlock Hill
Raquette Falls #1
Raquette Falls #2
Bradley Pond
Flowed Lands
Lake Colden #1
Lake Colden #2
Stony Creek

Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest (1)

Black Bay

William C Whitney Wilderness (1)

Lake Lila

Sargent Ponds Wild Forest (14)

Lower Sargent Pond
Pine Brook
Utowana Lake
Deep Hole
Lost Channel
Long Lake #1
Long Lake #2
Raquette Lake #1
Raquette Lake #2
Raquette Lake #3
Raquette Lake #4
Raquette Lake #5
Raquette Lake #6
Raquette Lake #7

Blue Mountain Wild Forest (2)

O'Neil Flow
Tirrell Pond

Blue Ridge Wilderness

Stephens Pond
Cascade Pond
Wilson Pond

Paul Smiths** (12)

Peters Rock
Bent Spike
Upper St Regis
Church Pond
Frog Pond
Lincoln Brook
Osgood Pond
St Regis River
Long Pond (Day Use only)
Black Pond #1 (Day Use only)
Black Pond #2 (Day Use only)

**Restrictions may apply for Paul Smiths, see their website for more information on any lean to located on their property.


Hiking in Adirondack Park

ADK Fire Tower Challenge Adirondack State Campgrounds

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