Tim's Lean-to Page

Three sided open log shelters in the mountain areas of New England; these can sure be nice to find at the end of a long day of backpacking.  I musta' stayed at a hundred of these shelters over the years. They are much easier and a lot more pleasant than using a tent. I never use a tent; they isolate you from the outdoors completely. A leanto or a bivy sack are the way to go. On my 300-mile hike along the Long Trail in Vermont, they were spaced about 2-4 hours apart along the length of the trail. A big problem on some afternoons was stopping for a snack at a real nice one in mid afternoon, or during threatning skies, and not knowing whether to stay there for the evening, or to keep traveling onward to the next one.

Summit leanto in winter; @ 13 below zero!

Summit leanto in winter; @ 13 below zero!


The State Parks in Vermont have a slew of lean-tos at their roadside State Park campgrounds. The Adirondak Loj near Lake Plastic, New York also has some real nice ones.  Baxter State Park in Maine also has some good ones, both down low and up high. There used to be a neat one on top of Mount Watatic, but some boneheads tore it apart for firewood. The one on Muddy Pond, in the photo above,  on the Midstate Trail is awesome, but I'll never tell its location.  Too much potential for parties and general abuse. But the ones in the backcountry, high up in the mountains, are a big part of some of my fondest memories in the high peaks of New England.


Some of my favorites;

Hermance/Shehadi on Whiteface


Near Killington in Vermont, and more of a "lodge" than a leanto, but real nice during nasty weather. (At treeline the weather is always nasty)

"Go outside and play!" as my Mom used to say!

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Page by Tim D, May, '99