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Old 12-22-2010, 03:44 PM   #1
MikeMcLean
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Taylor pond lean-to winter camping

Hi all,

First post.

I'm preparing a small camping trip with the kids next week and wanted to stay on relatively flat terrain with them, as well as find a place where we could potentially build a fire, so I've pretty much settled on Taylor Pond.

A couple obvious questions:
1) Is camping and hiking to one of the lean-to's permitted?
2) Are fires permitted?
3) Is there a charge to get onto the trails or use a lean-to?
4) If I decide to use a tent, I need to be 150' from the trail, water or lean-to. Right?

(I know these questions may seem obvious, but sometimes the info is confusing and/or none existing)

Thanks!

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Old 12-22-2010, 05:23 PM   #2
Bob K
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I've only been to Taylor pond once, and traveled by canoe, but I'll answer as best I can.

Camping certainly permitted and I don't know if there are trails to the leantos. I assume that with continued cold weather, you'll be able to walk or ski across the pond. Pulling a sled is easy if you go across the pond.

Fires allowed in most of the AKDs (including Taylor Pond) except Eastern High Peaks. You'll likely see a fireplace at each leanto. You may want to bring some firewood (or starter) with you - easy with a sled.

This time of year, no charge for camping - first come first served. Though I think i once heard that Taylor pond leanto's may require reservation (and fee?) in summer as the campground sites at the East end do - not sure about this.

Tent OK by leanto (not in) as any leanto is a designated campsite by definition. If not at a designated site, then the 150' rule applies. Enjoy. This is a good place to go for a short trip to a leanto as exiting would be easy if the kids wanted out.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:58 AM   #3
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I'm not sure how soon I would trust the ice on such a big body of water. Avalanche and Lake Colden were only deemed crossable less than a week ago. There is no trail to the lean-to on the northwest shore, but there is a trail to the one on the southeast shore. Another consideration is that lean-to sites on large bodies of water tend to be windy and therfore cold. The lean-to at Gulf Brook on the trail to Hurricane has a mostly flat approach, is sheltered, and fires are legal.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:04 AM   #4
MikeMcLean
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Thanks for the info guys.

I definitely wasn't going to cross the lake! Not now at least.

As for the Gulf Brook lean-to, I'll check it out. I was expecting to hike to the northwest lean-to, but if there is no trail ... (the southeast one seems a bit far for my kids ...)
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgoodwin View Post
I'm not sure how soon I would trust the ice on such a big body of water. Avalanche and Lake Colden were only deemed crossable less than a week ago. There is no trail to the lean-to on the northwest shore, but there is a trail to the one on the southeast shore. Another consideration is that lean-to sites on large bodies of water tend to be windy and therfore cold. The lean-to at Gulf Brook on the trail to Hurricane has a mostly flat approach, is sheltered, and fires are legal.
Tony, is the road plowed all the way to Crow Clearing?
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:59 AM   #6
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I was just out at the South Lean-to last weekend. Trail is marginal - some thin spots and wet in many places. Some cold weather and a bit more snow will make it much more skiiable.

South Lean-to is easiest to reach from the Snowmobile Trail off Nelson Rd. Plenty of wood around. You should always plan on the possibility of the lean-to being taken.

If the pond is frozen and there is good snow cover, then starting at the campground is the way to go. Of the 3 lean-to's, my favorite is the furthest one at the end. I don't think it's quite safe yet, but soon.

Alternatively, you can park at the top of Silver Lake Rd and just drop down to the campground and camp there. Some nice sheltered spots.

Taylor Pond is also favorite spot for the juvenile delinq. program - often you'll see them out there for their 2-week camping session.

If you need more info about Taylor Pond, feel free to post or PM me. I've spent a lot of time there.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:51 PM   #7
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Taylor Pond is also favorite spot for the juvenile delinq. program - often you'll see them out there for their 2-week camping session.
I worked for them for two summers... it's a great program!

I'll second the Gulf Brook Lean-to recommendation. Definitely an ideal destination for a winter trip with kids.
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:04 PM   #8
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Seeing those kids out there with the "pup-tents" is always amazing for me.

Agree, a great program - too bad these kids had to be punished as reason for doing it.

Ever hear back from "graduates"? I can't imagine that the experience for most of them will not last a lifetime.
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:40 PM   #9
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Well, nothing about the program is a "punishment." It's all about teaching kids are at greater risk of making mistakes that will negatively affect the rest of their life to make positive choices. A lot of it is done through "natural consequences, " teaching kids to recognize the consequences that their choices and actions make, for better or for worse.

The shelters you mention are a great example of this... Each kid gets a tarp to sleep under, and they are taught upon entering the program how to set them up effectively to stay dry. If a kid is lazy, and does a poor job setting his tarp up, and it rains that night and he gets wet, he has no one to blame but himself. In the summer, they are also issued bug nets to keep the bugs out.

I've actually adopted this shelter method for myself since working there, and it's the one I primarily use, as it keeps me far drier in the rain than any tent ever has!

As for hearing from graduates, the program does occasionally hear from former students. Staff members, by law, cannot maintain contact with students outside of the program.

Most of the students, upon graduating, are more than ready to leave the woods, and while they state adamantly that they will never sleep outside again, they also state just as adamantly that they are thankful to have had the experience they found through the program. We did have one student who was so turned on to hiking and camping by the program that he later enrolled in NOLS, however.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:57 PM   #10
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Looking at the maps, the Gulf Brook lean-to looks like a good compromise.

The kids want that fire , so I want to stay away from the high peaks.

Again, thanks for the information. I'll keep you posted on how it went.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MikeMcLean View Post
Looking at the maps, the Gulf Brook lean-to looks like a good compromise.

The kids want that fire , so I want to stay away from the high peaks.
I think you'll like the Gulf Brook Lean-to. It's one of my favorites, I've been by it several times and I stayed there a few summers ago. There's an island in the stream nearby, the island used to have a sign that said "Bear Butt Isle," but I think it was gone the last time I was there.

It's worth noting that the fire ban exists only in the Eastern High Peaks, that this the area and mountains in the vicinity of Lake Colden, Marcy Dam, Flowed Lands, Panther Gorge, and John's Brook. The Western High Peaks, Giant Mountain Wilderness, and Dix Mountain Wilderness all contain high peaks but don't have the fire ban.
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:46 PM   #12
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I've actually adopted this shelter method for myself since working there, and it's the one I primarily use, as it keeps me far drier in the rain than any tent ever has!
Sounds interesting. Maybe you could start a thread with some pics of this method.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:53 PM   #13
MikeMcLean
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Again, thanks all. The suggestion to go to the Gulf Brook lean-to instead of Taylor Pond was followed and appreciated. It turned out to be perfect with the kids.

http://mikemclean.ca/ocd
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:23 PM   #14
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Awesome!
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