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Old 04-03-2022, 08:14 PM   #1
BillyGoat53
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leanto/bridges ages?

Can anyone point me in the direction of some data on the ages of some of the backcountry points of interest? Looking for original built dates of leantos and bridges. I figure there has to be a database of this, but cant come up with anything via google. I figured the nys gis would have the information, but can quite figure out how to navigate to get what i want.

Thanks in advance
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Old 04-03-2022, 08:36 PM   #2
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I doubt there's any singular database that has all of this info, at least for every bridge/lean-to across the Adirondack Park. I'm sure you could probably compile a fair amount of info if you had access to paper records in the various DEC offices, but that would be no easy undertaking.

You could try submitting a FOIL request for any work orders associated with the construction/repair of lean-tos and bridges.
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Old 04-03-2022, 08:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I was hoping there would be some sort of information compiled with easy access. I like staying at the leantos and imagining their unique histories. It would be nice to know a little bit more of their histories.

Your leanto list has inspired me to try to stay at as many leantos as possible. I stayed a couple nights at the e branch sacandaga lt (my #35) this weekend. Between staying there and the bridge right next to it, it got me to thinking there must be some information out there.
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Old 04-03-2022, 09:00 PM   #4
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Not a definitive source, but UMPs may have some inventory of this. Sometimes they give some historical notes, but as far as those kind of structures, I doubt it.

Most lean-tos don't last *that* long, I don't think. I'm sure the L2 rescue members would have some idea. Bridges are probably shorter lived. Historically though, some of that may be lost - although as DS says, the DEC probably has some kind of record, but it may be a hassle to acquire.

I really don't know much about this, but the little I do know, tax maps show improvements, and sometimes with dates. I'm not sure they do for the forest preserve - but I've never looked. And I'm not sure I want to go through the process of figuring that out, but if you look at some county GIS tax maps they usually have a tab that will list improvements.

Also historic maps sometimes show shelters marked - but that only really gives you a vague idea when something appeared. I'm guessing many of these were built around the time the DEC started building campgrounds in the park - I'm guessing 50's...
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Old 04-03-2022, 09:19 PM   #5
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Here's one for you. Definitive proof of when the Ouluska Lean-to was constructed:



Unfortunately, I think the inscription was damaged within the past few years and is no longer nearly as legible. That photo was taken in 2013...
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Old 04-03-2022, 10:31 PM   #6
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Nice! One of my favorite spots. Stayed there last year, didn't notice that, so it might be covered up. The transcribed log books are really cool. Kind of a miracle that they're still there.
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Old 04-03-2022, 10:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyGoat53 View Post
Nice! One of my favorite spots. Stayed there last year, didn't notice that, so it might be covered up. The transcribed log books are really cool. Kind of a miracle that they're still there.
I've had that same thought myself on several occasions while passing through there. I think that the extreme remoteness of the locale helps- a similar endeavor at a more accessible lean-to likely would've resulted in the transcribed log books having been used for kindling years ago.
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Old 04-04-2022, 09:16 AM   #8
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While you won't necessarily receive truly "authoritative" answers, you could post some questions about specific structures on the "History and Legends of the Adirondacks" Facebook page.
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Old 04-04-2022, 10:58 AM   #9
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The ones on the Coldriver 1 an 2 I read some place were built around 1930 an the Northern Lean tos on the other side were somewhere around 1970. The other four on the Cold I have no idea.
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Old 04-04-2022, 08:15 PM   #10
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Wow, i would have guessed the dates on the cold rive/northern leantos the other way around. I hiked the horse trail on the other side of the cold river last year and remember the northern leantos looking like they had more age on them. Thanks for the few tidbits.

I guess the leantos id be most interested in knowing a little more about would be the ones within the west canada lakes wilderness and the ones back in five ponds (shallows, wolf, sand, cage). If anyone has any information or anecdotes they'd like to share, i'd be interested.
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Old 04-04-2022, 08:16 PM   #11
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as well as the ones along the cold river. Those are my three favorite areas i've been in the park so far.
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Old 04-05-2022, 04:40 PM   #12
Cold River Bob
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Billy When you were back in there last year how bad was it grown in? the last time I was on that side was 2012 an it was getting harder to find parts of the trail then.
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Old 04-05-2022, 09:16 PM   #13
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Not particularly. I hiked from cold river #4 back up to duck hole. There was a lot of blowdown to climb over on the wide corridor section. After the turn, the path was clear, but definitely grassier than most trails. the section from the northern leantos to the cold river was an absolute slog fest. It didnt help that it rained pretty hard that whole morning. If my memory serves me right, the trail was fairly decently marked as well.
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Old 04-07-2022, 08:39 AM   #14
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The folks at Lean 2 Rescue might have some historic build info
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Old 04-07-2022, 10:43 AM   #15
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The western High Peaks horse trails got new markers a few years ago- not a whole lot, but enough to reassure you that yes, you are still on the right route. The horse trail between Moose Pond and Moose Pond Stream also got a few wooden arrow signs at some of the more confusing old junctions on the logging road network.

But they do get pretty brushy in spots. A group went through the Cold River horse trail on horseback in 2019 and they had some... not very pleasant things to say about the experience in their entry in one of the lean-to log books.

I know that the Northern Lean-tos got a new adopter a few years ago, and that Lean2Rescue has been looking at a possible work trip there to fix them up a bit. They aren't in horrendous shape but the roofs are definitely starting to get a little bit leaky. In the 3-4 years since they each got brand new log books, I know one of the log books has yet to get enough entries to fill the first page.
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Old 04-19-2022, 09:32 PM   #16
Dave Bourque
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Some lean-tos have logs that go back many years. They make great reading when spending a night there.
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Old 04-19-2022, 09:51 PM   #17
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DEC Regional foresters are the land managers who determine which leantos L2R teams will work on each season and detail which ones need repair, where old ones are moved to or dismantled, or where new ones will be placed. You might start with the senior forester at Ray Brook, Kris Alberga.
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Old 04-21-2022, 08:34 AM   #18
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Thanks wldrns! I'll see if I can find an email address and inquire with him. Seems like a man that would have some information.
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Old 04-22-2022, 02:53 PM   #19
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I'd love to know the ages of these 2 bridges ??
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Old 04-22-2022, 06:38 PM   #20
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The one over chickadee brook is not very old. It was new within the last 15 years for sure.
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